By | April 10, 2019

Retaining talent when turnover in healthcare often exceeds 20 percent can be a costly challenge – and the costs extend far beyond the financial costs of hiring and onboarding a new employee. The loss of service to vulnerable patient populations, the impact on morale and the risk associated with new hires’ potential knowledge gaps all negatively affect your organization.

Engaged employees are significantly less likely to leave, and an engaged workforce can produce several positive outcomes according to HBR:

  • Improved productivity
  • Lower turnover
  • Fewer patient safety incidents

As Gallup points out, employees who know “they are respected as individuals at work” are more likely to be engaged.

Respect can look different to every individual though, which makes this approach to increasing employee engagement seem like a gargantuan undertaking for any organization with a generationally diverse staff. Understanding some shared characteristics of generations can help provide a foundation for respecting individuals, especially when you could have four or five generations on staff. Organizations looking to retain a generationally diverse staff should incorporate teaching around generational diversity, just as they would emotional intelligence or cultural diversity.strengths and weaknesses by generation

Everyone Is Talking About: Millennials

As millennials are projected to compose 75 percent of the workforce by 2030, managing and retaining this generation is a topic of interest to most workplaces. One element of engagement that this generation defines as key are opportunities for growth and development. Providing continuing education opportunities beyond those necessary for compliance can give your organization a leg up in appealing to millennials – and help you develop future leaders from within.

More Than Millennials

Just because the buzz is about millennials does not mean that you should ignore other generations in your quest for generational competence. As we laid out above, each generation has certain shared characteristics that you can be mindful of as you seek to improve engagement across all your staff. For your current managers, likely from previous generations, offering leadership training can help them to feel valued professionally and make them more effective in their roles.

Accounting for generational differences helps you prepare your teams for success – allowing them to provide high quality care for more patients in need. If you’d like to learn more about how to incorporate this strategy into your development plans, check out this webinar.

Nellie Galindo, MSW, MSPH

Nellie Galindo, MSW, MSPH, received her Masters of Social Work and Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked with individuals with disabilities in several different settings, including working as a direct service provider for individuals with mental illness and leading a youth program for young adults with disabilities. She has facilitated and created trainings for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the areas of self-advocacy, healthy relationships, sexual health education, and violence and abuse prevention. Mrs. Galindo has worked in state government assisting individuals with disabilities obtain accessible health information in their communities, as well as utilizing the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure equal access to healthcare services.

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