If you spend any time on the internet, you’re bound to come across health care articles wanting to prepare you for the “March of the Millennials”.
While well-meaning, most of these articles don’t make any recommendations that you haven’t already heard before:
- “Provide a positive work-life balance.”
- “Give employees opportunities for advancement.”
- “Create a culture of respect.”
It’s hard to resist rolling your eyes at these bland suggestions- as true as they may be- because they’re hardly specific to millennials.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t want a job where they feel like they’re making a difference and having enough time for their loved ones.
So, consider this: when every other employer is offering a “more balanced work-life”, how are you going to stand out from them?
The simple, and not so easy, answer is to start by focusing on the actual needs of Millennials.
The first place you might look to is…
Workplace Technology and “The Tie-In Loop”
No surprise here. Millennials are a tech-savvy bunch who are accustomed to using they’re devices for everything. Case in point, it’s generally easier for them to look up a question they have about a medicine or disease than it is to seek out a colleague on another floor.
Given this predisposition, it’s only natural to expect millennials to push for up-to-date equipment and processes in the workplace. Since, they’re not the type to patiently wait around for change.
They’ll expect an organization to stay on top of the latest trends and systems. Whether that’s a more efficient internal communication system or digital platform.
Now, this isn’t to say you should buy into EVERY new tool as it rolls out — you still need to do your due diligence. However, investing more time, energy, and money in these upgrades could yield real rewards, especially if there is a:
- Direction connection to QI and positive practice transformation
- Justifiable care quality, patient safety and business practice reasons
Which brings us to “The Tie-In Loop”—no fancy stuff here. The point is to have apps and services that focus, and refocus, your providers on the top current goals and programs that reduce costs and improve care.
Think: mobile EMR access, Infection Control habit reminders, and organizational initiative blogs.
The possibilities are numerous. You just need to be willing to try new things. Like…
Flattening Your Organization
Millennials aren’t the type to follow the rules just because “that’s how they’ve always been done”. If they feel as though their voices aren’t being heard then they have no problem seeking out another employer who will be more receptive to their ideas.
(Trust me. As a health care recruiter, this IS the new paradigm.)
Therefore, will you really need to eliminate some chain-of-command processes?
Yes. And the truth is, you may be able to, if only in the spirit of trimming out the vanity props of top-heavy titles.
But more than that, you’ll need to ask for your employees’ feedback and be ready to ACT on it. Even if you can’t give them exactly what they’re asking for, you should at least try and move the needle in the right direction. That way, you’re showing them that you care about their input.
Often, this’ll increase their satisfaction and the way you run your organization.
Bringing This All Together
If there’s one common theme that ties these ideas together, it’s this: as an organization, you need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Meaning, if you cringed at the thought of “flattening your organization” then you better get used to that feeling. It’s not going to go away any time soon.
One way or another, you will have to push past your fears of trying something new and strange and ultimately, be okay with it. That is, if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
Because in the end, if you’re not willing to accept change then you’re not going to thrive. You’ll fall behind the times and get left in the dust.
You decide what’s more important: feeling comfortable now or staying relevant in the future?
Either way, it’s your choice.