In our ongoing series of articles on incentive group travel and the generation mix, we’re attempting to shed light on how each generation finds value and motivation in travel incentives. Insights on generational differences can hopefully help leaders and corporate incentive travel planners—who must deal with managing diverse age groups—understand how each generation views corporate and incentive travel. These pieces, which began last quarter with a Millennials article, help guide leaders in using travel incentives to inspire better performance and reach sales goals.
In this quarter’s article, we’ll discuss the quiet, oft-forgotten middle child of today’s workforce: Generation X.
Stereotypical Generation Xers are cynics and loners, slackers in flannel who love apathetic alternative rock. Even the title of their age group—Generation X—suggests something negative, crossed out or rejected. According to an Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) study on generations in the workplace, “Xers weren’t told they could do or be anything they wanted, at least to the extent Boomers and Millennials were. They saw their parents less because, in many cases, their parents were hard-charging Boomers working long hours to make a difference and get ahead.”
These things seem to cast the common Gen Xer in a grim light, but disillusionment taught many from this generation to be resourceful, greatly valuing skill and personal success over corporate platitudes and office politics. An Ebscohost release describes Generation X’s high points as being “self-reliant, resourceful, and comfortable on their own. In the workplace, Gen Xers are independent, technologically savvy, and strong multi-taskers.”
It’s easy to understand why communicative and culturally aware generations like Millennials and Baby Boomers would be extremely motivated by incentive travel. But what angle should you use to get Generation X fired up about travel incentives? Here are a few ideas: