For the first time in human history, workplaces now have five generations of employees working side-by-side. This dynamic creates opportunities and challenges for physician practices, which likely experience age-related issues among physicians and staffers alike. Columnists from Inc. Magazine offer the following advice for members of all generations to more effectively meet one another in the middle.
If you are a millennial or younger (born after 1980):
- Take responsibility. Don't expect to be spoon-fed everything you need to know to do your job well, nor for your employer to "bribe" you into working to your potential, suggested J.T. O'Donnell, founder of CareerHMO.com. "Millennials should do their best to proactively seek resources on their own to help them close gaps in skills and knowledge in the workplace," she wrote. "There are plenty of online tools and resources to help them put their best professional self forward."
- Show commitment. Employers are put off--and more likely to fire--employees who are too demanding about when they will work, according to O'Donnell. Especially when they are new to a job, millennials must proactively make up for their lack of experience by being consistently on time, she wrote.
If you are 35 or older:
- Embrace age diversity. "Rather than think in terms of generational lenses, think in terms of the benefits of combining the experience of the past with the unfettered ambition of the future," wrote Thomas Koulopoulos. Similarly, consider reverse-mentoring partnerships to help older workers learn from their younger counterparts.
- Show respect. It's not acceptable to disparage people based on gender, race or sexual orientation--and is likewise totally inappropriate to make comments at work related to generational stereotypes.