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There are still some takeaways to managing them, according to the Johnsons. First, because they stay connected through technology, this generation has fewer chances for face-to-face time than previous generations. If hiring them to be in a role where they interact face-to-face, the Johnsons recommended training them because that gives them the opportunity to learn this valuable skill and ensures customers are treated properly.
Flexibility also is important to this generation, especially since they are in school—which is their first priority. This does not mean, however, that they do not want to feel like a valued employee. Welcoming them onto the staff, creating job descriptions so they clearly understand what their role is and leading by example can go a long way with this generation as they enter the workforce, the Johnsons noted.
While each generation has attributes that define it, not everyone in each generation fits the mold. This is especially true for those born on the edge of each generation, which the Johnsons' called the “cuspers.”
For instance, most of the traditionals still in the workplace would be considered cuspers as they were born into the tail-end of their generation. They are not quite baby boomers, but if they had been born a few years later, they would be.
Cuspers “have this unique position where they seem to have a greater ability to flex between the two generations,” Ms. Johnson said.
That does not mean that someone in the middle of a generation can't be flexible, she said, but it is more typical for a cusper to flex more naturally between two generations. She noted that through all her staff's interviews with various people, a common theme by both the older and younger generations is that “the cusper speaks my language.”
Cuspers hold this unique position of having that experience so they are respected by more seasoned team members, Ms. Jonhson said, but they also are approachable by some of the younger members.
People born at the beginning or end of a generation are not the only ones playing this “in-between role” — Generation X is also stuck in the middle between baby boomers and millennials, she added.