Saturday, July 08, 2006


Gen X

The July 3rd edition of Business Week has a great article on the rise of mobile workers.. I think this goes along nicely with the Northwest Compensation and Rewards Forum's next meeting topic of The NeXt Revolution. I'm a part of Gen X (at least based on this definition from wikipedia).

I often work from the office, but I'm just as likely to be on the road working from a local coffee house with wifi and at least once a week I'll work from my home office, especially during the summer when the kids are out of school.

One of the defining characteristics of Gen X for me, in talking with people in their 30's, is the desire for choice: the choice of when, where, and how to work. BusinessWeek quotes James Ludwig, director of design for SteelCase, Inc. "All things are becoming output-oriented, rather than location- or time- oriented." Beyond the choice of when, where and how, Gen X is also looking for choices in compensation, benefits, and work-life balance.

An article in the June 2006 Benefits and Compensation Solutions magazine describes the benefits and compensation package at The Home Depot. One of the key features of both packages is the ability for employees at all levels from the entry level associate to the high level manager to have choice in benefits. It's more difficult to define choice into a compensation package, but The Home Depot makes extensive use of incentives to reward performance, which points out another key features of Gen Xers - the need for recognition.

Choice and recognition are going to be key design features of compensation, benefits and work-life programs designed to meet the needs and expectations of the population of employees known as Gen X.


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