Every generation of healthcare workers has its own set of characteristics, largely shaped by the world and the time in which they grew up. Individuals across generations share many of the same strengths and weaknesses, but some of their differences can impact they ways in which they communicate and work together as a team and with their managers. With several generations working in healthcare, understanding the potential differences between these groups and learning ways to manage these differences can lead to higher employee satisfaction and retention, ultimately improving the quality of patient care. This article presents some of the more common characteristics of generations currently active in the workforce as pertains to technology skills and use of technology, communication, and professional values/motivators. Potential challenges and opportunities of some generational differences are discussed, along with strategies imaging leaders can use to improve employee retention, avoid workplace misunderstandings, and maximize their staff’s talent and enthusiasm. In so doing, the author sometimes presents generalized descriptions of generational trends that are not intended to stereotype any individual or group.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- Understand some of the more common generational differences that might affect communication among team members in a radiologic imaging department.
- Identify key aspects of professional development and mentorship needs among imaging professionals from different generations.
- Describe strategies for avoiding miscommunication and supporting a collaborative, satisfying team environment among coworkers spanning multiple generations.
Categories: Professional Development/Patient Care Quality, Radiology