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How to Navigate the Multigenerational Workplace

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

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Nurses, like others are working longer. This is resulting in a multigenerational workplace. How do nurses of varying ages and generations work together?

How to Navigate the Multigenerational Workplace

Generational Diversity - Joys and Challenges

allnurses.com just completed a salary survey. The results showed a wide generational diversity, with the largest age group being the 50 - 59 bracket. Each generation brings unique strengths as well as challenges. Managing this multigenerational nursing workforce can be very challenging.

Mary Watts, BSN, RN, allnurses Community Director, recently sat down to discuss this topic with Karen Stutzer, PhD, RN. She is actively involved in the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) and is the chair of the Clinical Resources Task Force.

5 Generations of Nurses

There are currently five generations in the work-force and each generation has certain strengths and brings challenges as well:

  • Veterans - (born before 1945) who are mostly retired
  • Baby boomers - (1946 - 1964) want to work in collaboration with co-workers
  • Gen Xers - (1965 - 1980) many grew up in families of divorce and are quite independent
  • Millennials or Gen Y’ers - (1981 - 1995) grew up with technology so the world is much smaller. However, they also grew up with more violence in the world.
  • Gen Zs - (1996 - 2012) just starting to enter the workforce so these are nursing students, nursing assistants. They are less sure of their career path but can multitask and overall they read less.

The experiences and perspectives of individuals are impacted by a variety of life experiences. This influences approaches to leading, managing and collaborating as managers consider the differences in attitudes, beliefs, work habits and expectations that vary among the generations.

Focus on Commonalities

Dr. Stutzer stated that “we should think about commonalities but need to be mindful of generalities. How we look at the world is shared by several generations. For instance, the baby boomers started to see nuclear families and grew up in predominantly two-parent homes but also grew up in a time of social unrest.” She further explained that we must be cautious about misunderstandings and think about how we communicate. Most of all, it’s important to respect all generations.  

Capitalize on Strengths

Next, they discussed how generations work together. It’s important that we emphasize strengths and utilize all technology to create shared goals. Then, we need to work to increase communication. Some of the ways to improve working relationships among generations are team-building exercises, utilizing different ways to communicate and use technology to reach across the generations. Nurses have a shared interest - to care for the patient. The workplace needs to adjust in order to achieve the shared goal of great care for patients. It’s important to maximize individual strengths and enhance collaboration.

Quote

Nurses have a shared vision.  Our mission is to care for patients and families. It doesn't matter what generations I'm from... It's the most important thing we do...

Here is the complete interview.

 

Welcome to allnurses.com. I'm the Asst Community Manager. Please let me know what I can do to make your experience more enjoyable.

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