4 Multigenerational Workforce Today there are at least three and sometimes four generations working together in the workplace.Veterans, born before 1945Baby Boomers, bornGeneration X, bornMillennial, born after 1980Boychuck Duchscher J.E., Cowin L., Multigenerational Nurses in the Workplace, JONA Vol. 34, No. 11, pp , 2004.Generational stereotypes: A guide to understanding members of the workforce, potential sources of conflict and opportunities to recruit and retain an effective multigenerational team.Never forget that each person is unique.Some may display traits from more than one generation.
6 The Veterans, born before 1945 Born into conservative, overprotective, two parent, one income households; as children, were “seen and not heard”.Rules were clear, authority clearer.Heroes had clear unarguable and great purposes such as saving the world.Born into the Industrial age.Born during or to parents of the Depression
7 Veterans’ Work EthicAspired to and expected life long single employer career.Diversity was uncommon.Future was predictable. Roles were clear and traditional.Fiscally prudent or frugal.Value organizational loyalty, discipline, teamwork, pay your dues.Do not share personal information.Value photo with CEO, use formal titles.
8 Veterans’ Work Ethic Value history and experience. Comfortable with chain of command. Believe in central command and control.Expect professional managers in a hierarchical structure, who communicate formally and officially in a proper manner.Want formal recognition, symbols of prestige and status.May not question “orders” or direction.
9 Coaching Veterans Acknowledge their knowledge and experience. Use one-to-one face to face meetings; formal feedback, recognition and communication mechanisms.Acknowledge their long service.Teach them about evidence based practice, research, new models of care, shared leadership.Encourage them to express views, question decisions if they see a problem.May be confused or offended that younger nurses are expressing their views in what appears to be a confrontational manner to an authority figure.Formal recognition: hand written notes, plaques, photo with CEO, CNO
11 Baby Boomers Comprise at least 55% of the workforce. “Me” generation. Raised in nuclear traditional families.Spirit of rebelliousness and idealism.Learned to challenge authority and value those who questioned the status quo.Equate work with self-worth, and personal fulfillment.Self indulgent, excessive consumerismMajority of workforceMany selected their career out of a desire to make the world a better place.
12 Baby Boomers Strong work ethic. Invented the word “workaholic”. Competitive, strong willed.Desire but did not achieve work-life balance.Will work longer than traditional cohorts.
13 Baby Boomers’ Work Ethic Want to work in organizations that are democratic, humane, caring and have a positive effect on the world.Value a manager who knows them personally and treats them as a peer.Expect their individual achievements and contributions to be acknowledged.Value a strong work ethic.
14 Coaching Baby BoomersRecognize their achievements with formal status symbols and titles.Peer to peer coaching situations.Recognize with perks.Understand they are a stressed “Sandwich generation”.Provide organizational supports, stress management resources and continuing education.Perks: paid time off, awards, titles, status.Struggle to balance life demands. Report highest levels of interpersonal and vocational strain.
16 Generation XRaised in dual income or single parent households of ethnically or culturally diverse parents, in an adult orientated society.Under protected, latchkey kids.Self-reliant, resourceful, technologically savvy.Born in the Information Age.Saw their workaholic parents get downsized.Workforce was occupied by Boomers.Job market downsized, restructured.Learned to depend on themselves.The “bust” generation
17 Generation XDescribed as alienated, skeptical, cynical, nonconformist and radically individualistic.Grew up with Sesame Street and computers in the classroom.Learned to be self-reliant and turned to friends to fill the gap from absent parents.Pragmatic, outcome focused, independent.No faith in institutions.
18 Generation X Work Ethic Want to work independently on outcomes.Want opportunities for professional growth.Are committed to their profession, not their employer.Value “employability”, not long term employment.See work is a job.Have a “free agent” mentality
19 Generation X Work Ethic Focused on information rather than personal experience. Want facts over emotion.Expect immediate feedback and success.Less willing to make sacrifices for the greater good (not part of it).Are not interested in process, committees that don’t accomplish anything.Uncertainty that makes Boomers and veterans anxious is comfortable for Gen X.Focus on “nursing jobs” has reinforced job mentality.Can manage with flexibility, ambiguity.Why won’t they come to our meetings????? Interest groups, volunteer organizations struggling to find members to participate in old structure. Commitment may not be the problem, the process and model is the problem.
20 Coaching Gen Xers Give them a task and leave them alone. Provide opportunities to grow professionally.Provide technological resources e.g. internetAllow them to learn by doing e.g. role playingListen to their input and feedback.Deemphasize bureaucratic obstacles.Respect their value for work life balance.Recognize them on the basis of merit.Want little supervision, to manage own time and complete work. Not overly impressed by hierarchy, position or authority.Avoid the “oh well nothing will happen” or “we must wait for the region to tell us”.Reward with paid time off, cutting edge projects.
22 MillennialThe second largest demographic cohort, after their parents, the Baby Boomers.Born into multicultural, biracial parents, many in single parent households.Optimistic, goal orientated, educated, ambitious, confident, technologically sophisticated.Accept that the world is a global economy.Understand multiculturalism as a way of life.Technology has always been a part of their lives.TolerantNuclear families no longer the norm.
23 MillennialRespect authority, hard earned achievement, hierarchy and teams. Morally grounded.Similar to Veterans in sociopolitical attributes and work ethic.Share the Veterans traditional values, respect for heroes that accomplish great things e.g. 9/11Considered generous, sociable, practical and morally convicted.Interested in public service and helping professions.
24 Millenials’s Work Ethic Expect work-life balance.Expect mutual respect, support, commitment and trust.Like working in teams.Tolerant, loyal, motivatedHave career plans and paths.
25 Millenials’s Work Ethic Change is inherent in their lives.Multitask easily.Technologically confident.May have limited social and personal interaction skills.May have limited clinical or practical experience.Outspoken.
26 Coaching MillennialWant information, education, communication and lots of feedback.Want a leader who has a vision, can communicate, is honest, has integrity, can motivate others, is knowledgeable and supportive.Want lots and lots of coaching and mentoring.Expect structure, guidance and extensive orientation.Public recognition, traditional status symbols through titles, awards, photos with CEO are NOT.Will be demanding.
27 Coaching MillennialThey want to be involved in decision making and implementation of new practices.They have little patience for a lack of resources, rigidity, or blind insistence on doing things “the way they have always been done”.They want to learn from experience but not be burdened by it.
28 Technology has flipped traditional hierarchy of knowledge Younger generations know more about technology.
30 The #1 issue in health care today: Recruitment and retention (health human resources).Ours is an aging workforce.Boomers poised to retire.We are not educating, hiring or retaining enough nurses to replace us.30% of new graduates leave nursing.Old ways, old ideas not healthy in a time of evidence based practice.Few opportunities to mentor, coach and develop future leaders.An inexperienced staff.Patient safety issues
31 Why do nurses leave? Not valued as a professional Not respected as a personLoss of selfLack of recognitionWorkplace stressLack of acceptanceLack of opportunities in nursing/other opportunities available.
32 Sources of Disrespect Other nurses Other staff Patients and their familiesThe organization
33 Conflict Inevitable in human interactions…. Unresolved conflict leads to error, staff turnover, decreased patient satisfaction.
34 Generational Conflict Members of each generational cohort share common experiences that influence their attitudes and expectations toward authority, organizations, work expectations, career goals and private life.These perspectives can create stress, misunderstanding and conflict in the workplace.Generation Gap is nothing new.What is new: Four generations working togetherDelayed retirementChanges in life expectancyUnder performing markets: pension and benefitsReentry of older nurses into the workforce
35 The generational divide Disrespect Disconnect↓ ↓Peer conflict Poor working relationships=Burnout + Professional attritionYoung and old, they leave.Nurses tend to actively avoid conflict out of Fear: Rejection, Escalating conflict, Sabotage, Shunning, Negative impact on patient care, Stress, Uncertainty,
36 “Every generation blames the one before”* Believing one’s own perspective to be unique and universal.Different assumptions regarding roles.Participating vs. challengingPay your duesFocus on differences not strengths.Expecting to teach not learn.*Mike and the Mechanics, In the Living Years.Roles:Seen and not heardParticipating vs. challengingPaying your dues vs. developing credibility
39 Workplace attributes Strong visible nurse leader. Autonomy Respectful work relationshipsControl over work
40 R-E-S-P-E-C-TAt the heart of every human interaction and relationship.Reflected in HOW we speak to each other as well as WHAT we SAY.Reflects ones own values.SX active listening, no eye rolling, sighing, negative body language.
41 Respect Requires valuing and understanding of each other. As a team, groupAs an individual.Stereotypes and generalities are used only as guideposts.GenerationalArea or place of practice e.g. ER nurses
42 COMMUNICATIONDifferent forms of communication appeal to different generations, different people.Universal: everyone wants more communicationWe are quite stingy with it…..
45 VALUING Work together, cooperate. Support each other Resolve conflict Have fun
46 Valuing every member of the team Veteransexperience, knowledge, skill and judgmentBaby Boomersclinical and organizational experience.Gen Xersinnovative, independent, creative, new models.Millennialtechnologically sophisticated, connected, spirit of optimism.Veterans remember old ways when technology breaks down: disasters
48 Strategies for Leaders Conduct a generational inventory.Hold every employee to the same expectations, organizational policies, code of conduct.Promote the concept of team.Set ground rules the reinforce an expectation of respect and tolerance.Communicate, communicate, communicate.Be a role model.New nurses want to be lead not micromanaged.Communicate using a variety of styles, methods.Self-awareness of own bias.Generationally sensitive reward and recognition; communication; leadership; mentor and coach
49 Strategies for Leaders Explore new ways of doing things.New nurses are not interested in lengthy outdated policies and procedures, delayed communication, meetings.Develop a generation-sensitive coaching and mentoring style.Posters, memos, communication booksFace to face meetings.Group/staff meetings.The internet,
50 Strategies for Leaders Promote career management to manage turnover.Create, facilitate or promote continuing education and professional growth opportunities.Manage your turnover, turnover is to be expected.Encourage staff to certify each other, learn from each other and mentor each other.
51 Strategies for Leaders Be prepared to flex your leadership style.New nurses want leaders who are honest, able to motivate others, have a positive outlook, good communication skills, an approachable demeanor, knowledgeable and supportive.Promote a culture of inquiry, respect and support.Do not micromanage the Gen Xers!Supervise and Guide the MillennialFasten your seatbelt!
52 All staff Talk to each other. Celebrate the strengths of every member of the team.Expect to learn from others.Cut others some slack.Remember……Be open to learning about new ways. Respect that the old ways do not work for everyone.about differences and where you are coming from.Not a management responsibility.Cultures are created by those who participate them.Culture does not come from a corporate office.We are each responsible for our own behavior.A shared responsibility!!!!An ethical responsibilityA professional responsibility.
53 Conflict Resolution Zero tolerance policy for bullying. Commit to resolving conflict.Ethical responsibilityConsistent with Nursing’s commitment to “caring”Conflict resolution tools, workshopsOrganizational values, policies that reflect respect for persons: patients, colleagues, selfNo rescue policy: resolve own conflictsMediate if necessary, don’t dominate.Care enough to confront.
54 Choose to view diversity as a strength Veterans:What tasks require close attention to detail? Where does the unit have a need for resource conservation?Boomers:Where is the need to “roll with the punches” most needed? Which tasks require independent thinking?A real choice.With choice comes responsibility.No victims here.
55 Choose to view diversity as a strength Gen Xers:What requires a fresh look/new way of doing things? What project can best be accomplished independently?Millennials:Where are culturally sensitive views important? What processes require advanced technology?No victims here.Encourage each other.Every successful nurse had a mentor. Your encouragement is critically important in supporting others in taking on new roles, challenges.
56 Commit to each otherTo contribute to an environment of respect, understanding acceptance/tolerance. To value each other and work together (and work things out).
57 We’re all in this together… There’s a role for everyone.Circle of work life.
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