Home' The Source : First Quarter 2012 Contents Since Gen Xers value skill development,
build on that desire. Talk to them about op-
portunities that will further their career. O er
top-notch education and training for various
competencies. Let them be a part of the latest
technology your health-care setting o ers.
Xers view all team members as equally important and feel
everyone has a role to play, no matter his or her experience. Their
skepticism and unwillingness to accept conventional wisdom
can be important for making necessary changes to outdated
processes. The answer "that's the way it's always been done"
doesn't work for them. They want to be heard, so invite them to be
a part of committees and task forces. Give them time with top deci-
sion makers, but make sure they show respect for their superiors
and remind them of the importance of the chain of command. To
assist the Xers in getting to know the strategic players in the
hospital, encourage leaders to make rounds and make themselves
available for conversation.
Xers like instant gratification. When training them, break down
their tasks into smaller short-term goals so they can witness progress
and achievement along the way to reach the ultimate longer goals.
Work-life balance is important to this generation. They work and
play hard. They won't hesitate to use their paid time o , and they
probably won't take advantage of policies that let allow them to cash
in their vacation hours. If you ask them to work overtime, don't be
surprised if they decline. If you supervise top-performing Gen Xers
who have a di cult time with the 24/7 sta ng demands in your
department, guide them to a department that has hours that can
better meet their needs.
Nexters: The Big Picture
Born from 1980 to 2000, the Nexter generation is known as
"Generation Y" or "Millennials." Nexters have been well supervised
by schools and parents. They have been raised by a variety of parent-
ing styles including single, unwed moms and overachieving Boomers
who postponed having children until their forties. Hovered over by
helicopter parents, they often are the busiest generation. They have
scheduled extracurricular activities such as music, dance, sports and
volunteer duties from morning to night.
Nexters have been directly a ected by personal
threats stemming from violent outbreaks such as
Columbine, readily available street drugs and the pro-
liferation of gangs. Unlike Baby Boomers, they typically
haven't experienced the blissful days of getting on a bike
and riding to friends' homes unsupervised.
Nexters: Tips for Nourishing and Retaining
As Nexters join teams desperate for young players,
it is important to remember that they may bring back
the idealism of the Baby Boomers while also carrying
on the independent spirit of the Gen Xers.
Be sure to develop an orientation program that recog-
nizes and values the Nexter's attributes. The orientation
program needs to be structured to last over several
weeks, take advantage of the latest technology and in-
clude elements of interaction and fun. Team the Nexter
with a recent hire she clicks with and delegate a project
for them to do together. Remember that Nexters need
to be well supervised since they have lots of academic
knowledge but little or no workplace experience.
Remind Baby Boomers that Nexters are willing to
work extra hours and are committed to their jobs, but
they prefer a team approach. They value collective
action more than competition. This represents a stylistic approach,
not a lack of interest.
Working clinically years ago I had a conversation with two newly
hired nurses of the Xer generation. At the end of our exchange, they
both looked at one another, then at me, a Baby Boomer, and exclaimed,
"You are the only nurse who has been nice to us!" Don't let this be a
common refrain in your hospital: Find ways to welcome everyone,
no matter their age or experience level.
Leaders can help employees identify role models or mentors who
can help all employees reach their highest level of competency.
Partnering the di erent generations of employees, focusing on their
strengths and underscoring how they can be a resource for one
another are essential components to successful communication
between generations. •
[ TeamworkTools ]
Ease contentious relationships by
underscoring how di erent generations
can be resources for one another.
42 The Source | First Quarter 2012
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