Much has been said about the youngest and oldest generations in our current workforce –– Generation Z and Generation X, respectively.
But as more companies experiment with hybrid workplace models, savvy leaders are focusing their attention on Xennials, the micro-generation born between these two demographics, because of their adaptable skill set and ability to bridge generational differences in workplace cultures.
Who Are Xennials?
Xennials are a small slice of the Millennial generation, born in the late 70’s and early 80’s. They're uniquely positioned in our culture, having grown up without computers or mobile phones but later becoming the early adopters of social media and smartphones.
Conversely, their older Generation X peers (also known as Baby Boomers), grew up in an analog world and have struggled to adapt to the ever-changing technology advances at work, making remote work a substantial challenge for them.
The digital world, however, is native to members of the Generation Z (Gen Z for short) workforce, leading them to be at odds with their more senior colleagues over how, when, and to what extent technology is used in work environments.
Why Xennials Are Helpful at Work
Many companies are opting for hybrid workplaces to split the difference between in-office work and fully remote work. Xennials are in many ways a “hybrid” generation and might be one of the most important factors in successfully navigating post-pandemic workplace cultures.
Xennials Helping Gen X
- Having grown up relating to and working with Baby Boomers, Xennials are well suited to help their older colleagues embrace new technologies in the workplace. They can find common ground easily as they also faced a similar learning curve when it comes to adapting to new ways of working.
- Adaptable by nature, Xennials embrace the Platinum Rule at work – treat others as they want to be treated –– instead of using the Golden Rule more commonly associated with Gen X. This allows them to be trusted managers and colleagues for both younger and older team members.
Xennials Helping Gen Z
- When it comes to workplace communication, Xennials can be a valuable resource for younger team members who might struggle with face-to-face meetings, appropriate office etiquette, and presentations. Xennials tend to demonstrate empathy with Gen Z in a way that Baby Boomers do not – thus making them valuable mentors for less tenured team members.
- Creating a shared mission at work –– one of the core tenants of increasing engagement in an organization –– is something that Xennials excel at. Inclusive by nature, Xennials can relate to other generations easily. They are able to create systems and processes that maximize participation across multiple generations.
Leveraging Xennials in the workplace might be one of the top business strategies in the coming years. Under their leadership, teams will be well positioned to increase engagement and reduce turnover –– two metrics that matter, regardless of generation.