Gen X is being neglected. You know, those folks who are making the wheels of commerce turn who were never pampered. No one ever put a Baby on Board sticker on a car in their era. No self-respecting Gen Xer was ever given a medal just for participating in an event. Most of us got a kick in the butt if we didn’t participate, and like our Boomer parents we just accepted it and moved on.

Today, all the chatter in leadership development is about Millennials and the gaps that are growing because of Boomers who are retiring. Let’s be honest: for most organizations, no Millennial is going to be tapped for a job unless it is an Internet of Things start-up or a marketing firm – yet many organizations are spending money on the wrong people.


Productivity and innovation growth is tied to transferring cultural knowledge from Boomers to Gen Xers. You need leaders who are loyal and can take the heat. Our data indicate that Gen Xers hate their job because they are not thriving. We at the DMS define thriving at work as being fully engaged, trusting of management and feeling valued. If steps are not taken to engage Gen Xers, the malaise that currently blankets your workplace will get thicker and the optimism, energy and level of commitment Millennials will grant you will be compromised.


Dr. Mary Donohue is the CEO of the Donohue Mentoring System, a trademarked program that decreases stress and increases happiness and productivity.