Every physician is looking for something different in a job. Though individual preference plays the largest role, a doctor’s age can be a factor in what he or she wants in a position.
Here’s a quick look at different generations in today’s workforce, including common challenges, skills, values, and what engages them in their work.
Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
Though this generation is now the oldest in the workforce today, Baby Boomers resent being told they’re old or thought of in that way
. However, electronic health records, confusing hospital computer systems and even new continuing education courses can be overwhelming for a seasoned nurse or technician who isn’t as comfortable with new technology.
Make Baby Boomers happy by ensuring they have plenty of hands-on training with new systems and time to understand them — and choose intuitive systems, where possible, that will be familiar to your staff. Additionally, give Baby Boomers the opportunity to mentor new employees and younger staff members, helping them feel empowered and important at work.
Generation X (born 1965 – 1980)
Also known as “latchkey kids” because both parents worked outside the home, Generation X-ers make up a large percentage of the workforce and are known for being entrepreneurial. They work hard and adapt well to change, but they’re also “afraid to upset the apple cart”
and let leaders know when things at work upset them or when they think they deserve a promotion. Generation X-ers are raising young children and also taking care of aging parents, so they desire flexibility with schedules and work/life balance.
Satisfy the Generation X-ers you by frequently asking for their feedback in one-on-one settings or anonymous surveys to find out what your facility can improve. Where possible, give them flexibility with their shifts so they can come in later or leave early to care for children and parents. Offer them the opportunity to progress into leadership roles and implement new ideas within your organization.
Millennials (born 1981 – 2000)
Having grown up with personal computers, cell phones and the Internet, Millennials are often called “the entitled generation.” Millennials expect their workplaces to use up-to-date technology, give concrete reasons why seemingly outdated processes are in place, and show how they make the world a better place. Members of this generation are willing to work hard but crave balance
and perks that allow them to bring their best selves to work (e.g., on-site childcare, paid time to volunteer). They are independent and often would rather get to work on their own than be part of a team.
Motivate your Millennials by giving them a chance to share their opinions about the workplace, implement environmentally friendly policies, and ensure they have up-to-date tools to make their jobs simpler. Pair them with Baby Boomers so they can help with them new technology and, in turn, gain wisdom and other skills from tenured staff members.
With these tips on interacting with different generations at your facility, you’ll be better able to tailor your approach and find opportunities for change that can make everyone happy.