Home > generational issues > Do Gen X-ers & Millennials Require Different Workplace Learning Approaches?

Do Gen X-ers & Millennials Require Different Workplace Learning Approaches?


There were 126 million people born between 1965 and 1998. Maybe you’re one of them. Maybe you develop training materials for some of them. Maybe you are responsible for some of these people’s career development.

What makes them tick? How are they different from the Boomers and the Silent Generation? Let’s find out.

Let’s begin by defining some terms and outlining some broad generalizations about the different experiences and world views each group brings to the work place that might impact how they approach learning in the work place.

  • Gen X – the 51 million people born between 1965 and 1976
  • Millennials – the 75 million people born between 1977 and 1998

Gen X is very comfortable with technology – however Millennials assume technology. They cannot recall a time in which technology was not in play. Gen X is good at multitasking – Millennials multitask at lightening speed.

Millennials tended to be latch key kids and perhaps part of blended families. As such, they are pragmatic, practical and very self-reliant. They mistrust institutions, and friends are very important to them.

Gen X, however, tended to be nurtured and supported. They experienced helicopter parenting and, hence, family and friends are one and the same.

Diane Thielfoldt and Devon Scheef note that approaches to mentoring might be adapted. A casual, friendly work environment appeal to Gen X, with the freedom and flexibility to learn. Millennials come with high expectations and like a bit more structure – with personalization and interactivity. To learn more, check out their article

Fast Company explores two myths about these groups – around work ethic and the hours they are willing to work. Read more here

HR.BLR.com offeres 4 Strategies for a Gen X friendly workplace

And finally, from ASTD, an interesting article which defines best practices for Gen X – but these sound like best practices for any age group.

What do you think? Join the conversation on Ning.

Categories: generational issues
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