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Gen X Workers Plan To Stick Around

There hasn't been much workplace news worth blogging about this week. I blame summer.

When the lead stories are about Mel Gibson scaring everyone and Bristol being scared to tell Mom she's engaged to Levi, you know the summer media doldrums are here in a big way.

The only work-related report I've read this week with much interest is a Robert Half International study entitled "Workplace Redefined" where 40% of employees surveyed are ready to star in their own reality show called "I'm An Employee, Get Me Out Of Here!" RHI finds 4 in 10 employees are ready to walk at the first sign the economy is waking up after taking a particularly effective sleeping pill supplied by a banker friend.

The idea that 40% of overworked and underdeveloped employees dream of moving on isn't in itself surprising in the wake of a huge recession. What is surprising is that Gen Xers are the most motivated of any generation to stay with their current employers after the recession ends: RHI found 38% of Gen Xers want to stay where they are to build their skills sets and tenure.

So does this intent to stay indicate Generation X is the most loyal generation of employees? Not exactly. After all, if 38% of Gen Xers are inclined to stay it means 62% are inclined to leave. What these numbers do say, however, is that Gen Xers are all about professionalism -- showing it, using it, touting it, developing it, obsessing over it. Smart employers will tap into Gen Xers' obsession with professionalism and offer continued development opportunities.

RHI also reports Gen Xers are the most likely to be saving for retirement: One-third (34%) of Gen Xers are socking away more toward retirement in this recession compared to 27% of Baby Boomers. I'm not surprised, since the Gen Xers I know think the Baby Boomers will suck the Social Security system dry, leaving nothing for them. We Gen Xers don't sense much of a safety net and run on a fear of living out our golden years in a cardboard box underneath a freeway overpass if we don't keep putting money away for retirement.

Here's a Robert Half video where Ray Liotta -- Oops, I mean Brett Good of Robert Half International -- talks about the study. It's actually a very good overview and worth a watch. Well, he does look a little bit like Ray Liotta, doesn't he? Just saying.

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