A 2020 survey by Deloitte found that 75% of the US workforce is currently multigenerational, with baby boomers, Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z all working side-by-side.
The benefits are far reaching, including:
- Diversity of Perspectives: A multigenerational workforce brings together individuals with different life experiences, values, and perspectives. This diversity of thought can lead to better problem-solving, creativity, and innovation. Each generation has unique skills and knowledge that can be shared with others, leading to a more well-rounded and dynamic team.
- Mentorship and Learning Opportunities: Older workers can provide mentorship and guidance to younger workers, helping them to develop their skills and knowledge. Younger workers, in turn, can bring new skills and fresh perspectives. This creates a culture of continuous learning and development for all employees.
- Increased Employee Engagement and Retention: Employees are more likely to feel engaged and committed to their work when they feel that their organization values diversity and inclusion. A multigenerational workforce can create a sense of belonging for employees from different backgrounds and generations, leading to increased employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.
- Ability to Serve Diverse Customer Base: A multigenerational workforce can help organizations better understand and serve their diverse customer base. Different generations have different needs and preferences, and having a workforce that reflects this diversity can lead to better customer service and increased customer loyalty.
With four generations working side by side in healthcare, it can also introduce challenges, such as different work styles and potential resistance to change.
“As a leader of a healthcare team, it’s important to know not only how to navigate these challenges successfully – but more importantly – how to unlock the benefits of your multigenerational team,” says COO Rita Hernandez Figi.
Tip #1: Encourage a culture of learning and teaching for everyone, regardless of their age or experience.
“We recommend creating a community of knowledge-sharing where everyone can feel comfortable sharing their ideas and expertise,” notes Figi. “Don’t only rely on older workers to be mentors but create opportunities for information to travel both ways.”
Continual learning benefits employees in several ways, including:
- Increased job satisfaction: When employees learn new skills, they can take on new responsibilities, which can lead to a greater sense of fulfillment and job satisfaction.
- Improved performance: Continual learning can help employees improve their job performance, as they develop new skills and knowledge that they can apply to their work.
- Career advancement: Employees who continually learn and develop new skills are more likely to be considered for promotions or career advancement opportunities.
- Enhanced adaptability: Continual learning can help employees become more adaptable to changing circumstances, which is an important skill in today’s rapidly evolving job market.
- Increased creativity and innovation: Learning new things can inspire employees to come up with creative and innovative ideas that can benefit the company.
- Personal growth: Continual learning can help employees develop a sense of personal growth and achievement, which can boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Tip #2: Create a safe space for input and exchange of ideas.
Listen to your employees and show them that their opinions matter by implementing their ideas and giving them credit.
“We’ve found that holding meetings where all employees, regardless of their age or position, can share ideas for company growth have been really well received,” adds Figi. “This will help everyone feel like they have a say in their ASC or outpatient facility, and it puts everyone on equal footing. This mindset encourages fresh ideas and a more open discussion.”
Three ways to foster open communication:
- Encourage open communication: Encourage your team members to share their thoughts and ideas by creating an open-door policy. Be approachable and listen actively without judgment or interruption. Make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinions and be heard.
- Set ground rules for respectful communication: Establish clear guidelines for respectful communication and encourage your team members to hold themselves and each other accountable for following these guidelines.
- Foster a culture of diversity and inclusion: Promote diversity and inclusion by actively seeking out and embracing different perspectives and ideas. Make sure that everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background, gender, race, or ethnicity.
“Celebrating and acknowledging the unique contributions that each team member brings to the table is critical,” adds Figi, “particularly in healthcare where we have experienced staffing shortages and want to shore up talent and incentivize them to stay.”
To learn about HR solutions and Staffing solutions for your ASC, outpatient facility, or physician office, explore MedHQ services or schedule a time to talk with Rita Hernandez Figi here.