Gen X and Y Bring Assets to Business Development
- Possess considerable expertise in their area.
- Are peers of up-and-coming leaders and decision makers on the client side.
- Are positioned to have a realistic sense of the marketplace.
- Have become hard workers (after being labeled "entitled" or "slacker" early in their career).
- Communicate face-to-face and by phone.
- Are more flexible and agile in their work style than older generations.
- Have greater acceptance of diversity; for example, the encouragement of more women in leadership and managerial positions.
- Work hard for recognition and opportunity; typically ambitious.
- Are eager to learn.
- Are team players.
- Have time to work long hours and cultivate relationships before family responsibilities.
- Are tech savvy; potential to be very productive.
- Possess more presentation and public speaking experience than other generations at the same age.
- Have a better view of coming marketplace needs and alternative delivery modes.
- Are well-traveled and cross-culturally aware.
Here are some quick definitions. Generations are defined by the similar formative influences - social, cultural, political, economic - that existed as the individuals of particular birth cohorts were growing up. Given that premise, the age breakdowns for each of the four generations currently in the workplace are approximately:
- Traditionalists born 1925‒1942
- Baby Boomers born 1943‒1962
- Generation X born 1963‒1978
- Generation Y/Millennials born 1979‒1998 (under age 30 today)
- Communication styles can be a source of tension in client relationships. Clients like the fact that Gen Xers are still comfortable using face-to-face and phone communication. This thought is shared by Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
- While Baby Boomers have a reputation for being workaholics and Gen Xers generally reject the work-centric lifestyle, Gen Xers have turned out to be hard workers who expect to be rewarded on merit and who expect team members to pull their weight. Nonetheless, they want to define how and where they spend their time, similar to those in Gen Y.
- Gen Xers have been helping to shift the gender balance of power on the client side, which is slowly showing results on the service deliverer side as well through the purchasing process. There's growing support for women leaders and recognition of the advantages in the client relationship. More women than ever are making service purchasing decisions for their organizations. With the GenY/Millennials in decision-making roles, we can hope to see more gender neutrality, leading to more productivity.
- Networking is ingrained in many Gen Yers, whether done electronically or in person. When combined with their ambition and business development coaching, networking significantly expands their touchpoint opportunities. Their considerable travel experience and their attraction to diversity of all types provide them a global sophistication that's of great value to business success today and in the future.
- Gen Yers are also savvy consumers who tend to be aware of a fast-changing marketplace needs. They network with young entrepreneurs and follow the trends via Facebook and other social media sites.
The above assets make a good case for involving the younger generations in marketing and business development earlier in their careers than was done in the past. Multigenerational teams will add strength to your firm now and be the springboard for sustainable client relationships for the long term.
- Different Generations in the Workplace Can Collaborate Successfully
- Insights for the Generations on Communication
- More Multigenerational Engagement and Communication Tips
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.