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Considering Hiring Millennials in Your Healthcare Organisation?

Hiring millennials (also known as Generation Y) seems to be different from hiring any other age group. This is a generation who have grown up with technology, and they don’t remember a time of looking through the newspaper classifieds or having to fax their resume when searching for jobs.

The younger end of the millennials have started to enter the workforce at all levels of Healthcare organisations and they require an open communication management style to get the most out of them. Being open minded to this will also help you keep your sanity.

You may have begun to see applications for medical and healthcare industry roles from the mid 1990s – 2000’s cohort. Especially in administrative and other non clinical areas. Those completing study are trickling through and some are still yet to come – it is best to be prepared for the influx.

Throughout your own career you would have noticed that each generation has different ways of working. Furthermore, each generation will have different personalities, so it can often be difficult trying to manage a team if they are all from different age groups.

In the specialised field of healthcare, there are practitioners from all walks of life, all specialities and a vast age range, making day to day harmony a challenge. I know in my own Medical Centre, we have an age range of 17-71!

Managing your entire team effectively is imperative to avoid a damaging culture of miscommunication, constant conflict and frustration. If you tackle these differences head on, you will notice a much happier working environment, which will ultimately benefit all who work in your Healthcare organisation.

Most workplaces will have the following three different generations working in their practice:

  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964),
  • Generation X (1965-1980), and
  • Millennials or Gen Y (1981-2000)

Each generation has of course their own strengths, and there will be different weaknesses associated with each of these groups.

Millennials often get unfairly tarred with the reputation of being work shy (Gen Y-bother), which has left them being called the “Snowflake Generation”, making some healthcare organisation’s reluctant in hiring millennials.

Baby Boomers are traditionally a generation that believe in hard work and being loyal to their employer. This generation, on the most part, are sometimes happy to work at weekends, or even during the evening. This tends not to be the case with Generation X and Millennials, who seem to prioritise their personal life at the expense of their work life.

But, if you try and understand and make allowances for the way that each generation works, you will see happier employees, greater employee retention and better productivity.

So, let’s focus on the Millennials. Why you may ask? Well, these employees will become the norm in all practices in the coming years, so it is best to know about the way they work now, so you can prepare for the future success of your practice.

Here are six different things to know about the Millennial generation.

Without a doubt – A Confident & Self-Assured Generation

It is hard not to make generalizations! Of course, not everyone will be confident and self-assured. But, some of this generation have been raised in a bubble, thanks to over protective parents. This means Millennial’s are not used to failing. Meaning, they appear to be quite sure of themselves, and are not scared about challenging authority, or speaking up if they think something is wrong.

Some of this generation may be over confident, which can be quite dangerous in a healthcare setting. It is therefore essential that you provide proper training to your new staff to ensure they have the necessary skills to meet expectations of patients, clinical and non clinical staff and management effectively.

They are Quick Learners

Since the Millennial generation grew up with technology, they are quick learners who embrace new ways of working quite quickly, as they are used to change. Challenges come naturally to Millennials, whereas Baby Boomers may be stuck in their old ways of working. If you can place new ways of working on Millennials, you will likely be given a good reception, and they could even be used as leaders to help Baby Boomers adapt to change.

They have a life outside of work and value a Work/Life Balance

Personal time is at the forefront of the minds of Millennials. They are not likely to work overtime unless they are paid more than their usual wage to work it. Some Baby Boomers will often sneer at those that don’t follow their lead by working extra hours. You can address this issue by implementing flexible working, so that everyone works the same hours, but at different times.

Loyalty is a Thing of the Past

You will hear time and time again from patients, “I have had the same Doctor for 20 years”, unfortunately with the current Medicare system in Australia, that is sometimes no longer possible. Change of Doctors in a non DWS areas can occur every 6 months. That coupled with the introduction of the younger generation to the workforce can cause some issues to consistency with your core team.

If Millennials feel like they are not enjoying their job, or they feel unhappy within it, they will not hesitate to look for another job. This means you need to constantly ensure that that Millennials feel valued and happy in their job, especially if you value them as good employees. Failure to do so, and you will have to embark on the dreaded recruitment process again!

To gauge what makes these people happy in their jobs, you may wish to talk directly with them about their expectations and feelings to ensure they are accommodated. If you are seen to be a caring and open employer, they are more likely to come to you with any problems that they may experience, meaning problems and issues don’t fester. Of course, in return, you need to communicate to them what you expect so it is not just a one way relationship.

Feedback is important and needs to be handled with care

Constructive feedback is vitally important for all generations, but especially for Millennials. So if you find that you are hiring Millennials, make sure you do this. Each employee in your office wants to feel valued and looked after, and offering regular feedback is a great way to do this.

This is why it is important you give each employee a job description to ensure you have a guide on which to measure performance for each employee. You will quickly notice if you do this that the performance of each employee will increase over time, which can only be a good thing for the Healthcare organisation at large.

Millennials Expect to be Paid Fairly

Millennials have been brought up to believe that equality is very important, so they will expect to be paid the same as someone else who does the same job as them, even though they may have less experience than other members of the team. If they notice they are being paid less, they will bring this up with you. This is a discussion you need to manage with integrity and skill, so as not to disrupt the entire team.

Creating a happy workplace and collaborative team environment should be the ultimate goal in any organisation, regardless of size. Delivering quality patient outcomes is why you open your doors everyday. Harmony within the team will ensure you are on the right track to achieve these outcomes.

As you can probably realise, trying to build a team that is strong and together is very difficult when there is a mixture of different generations within your practice. By confronting this issue head on, the environment will be a better place to work, which improves performance and improves the efficiency and the profitability of your practice.

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