A Generational Look at Work Initiative and Hedge Fund Service Providers

Tom Brokaw bestowed the title of “the Greatest Generation” to the WW II generation, not for their victory over tyranny but for the sacrifices everyone made to struggle through the daily challenges to get them through two world wars and the Great Depression.  The conflicts and economic hardship that we have today are fractional.  They are truly a generation that puts the greater good above themselves.

Being born on the cusp of the Baby Boom and Baby Bust (or Gen X) generations I grew up in a generation of more individualistic focused people and educational structured environment.  Fortunately, I had parents and family which were very “old school” minded and instilled the values of the generations before me.  I grew up with having a sense of the greater good, community, and being part of something beyond myself.  The expectation that if you work hard, you will reap the benefits of your endeavors.  With this success comes a responsibility to help others around you and those in need.

Today’s generation in, or soon to be in, the workforce, are our Millennials with many of them falling into the Trophy Generation?  The title most fitting for this group that have been lavished with praise and trophies for just trying or participating with no regard to the outcome of their activity.  Failure is not differentiated from success and in many cases all means of measurement of success (like keeping score in sports) has been eliminated.  There is no concept of commitment or sacrifice to achieve your goals.  This generation has been viewed by many as having very little sense of ability and have an unrealistic sense of entitlement.  Studies of recent graduates and employed students have been resulting in these graduates receiving unsatisfactory performance reviews in their workplaces.  Most common issues are poor etiquette, the inability to accept constructive criticism and most troubling, the inability to accept personal responsibility.  The issue being so pervasive that major companies have been pressuring colleges to implement required course to deal with these issues.

As a business owner of a hedge fund service provider, we need to recognize the generational span of our employees and work across them to best utilize their strengths. More importantly our fund admins need to help others who desperately need to build the skills needed to run a successful business.  Each generation is motivated and reacts to situations very differently and we must be able to understand these generational attributes to ensure both their success and the business’ future.

By Vincent M. Sarullo, Managing Director – Tower Fund Services