Managers must adapt their styles to each generation, according to an article in Healthcare Financial Management Association. Strategies to harness the strength of a multigenerational workforce and improve healthcare include:
Be open-minded. Expect different style, dress, communication, and other personal aspects. Don’t allow differences to obscure a clinical manager’s view of a team member.
Seek input. Top-down management may not work with Millennials. Uniform and rigid policies and procedures can harm team engagement. Management needs to ask nurses what they think and explain reasons for all policies.
Provide coaching. Constructive management should be employed instead of punitive or even performance-mandated supervision. Millennial nurses are more likely to be sensitive to perceived criticism or negative feedback. Coaching and coachable conversations tend to be a more successful tactic.
Reverse the mentoring. Managers can learn from multigenerational team members about their strengths, which can benefit the entire team. Technology skills of Millennial nurses can be of tremendous benefit as the older generation team members learn a lot from younger generation nurses.
Be flexible. Flexibility is a must in managing Millennials, but it’s actually a benefit in managing anybody. Work-life balance is appreciated by nurses of any age. The preferences of each generation and each individual should be recognized.
Be friendly and collegial. A cooperative spirit is much more valued than a competitive one. With trends in healthcare shifting to value-based health services, the emphasis is on team-based care.
Offer training and mentoring. Millennials want to develop their skills in the workplace to advance their careers, so training and mentoring opportunities are important. That’s another positive for healthcare, considering the mandate for continuing education.
The key to attracting and retaining Millennial workers seems to be more than just offering a series of enticements, salaries and benefits, but in creating a workplace that workers value.
To learn more about Millennial nurses and how to manage them, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™.