Managing Millennials & New Generation Employees
At the MGMA Annual Conference in October 2015, Kyle Matthews, CMPE and the CEO of Cardiovascular Associates of Mesa presented on the topic of Generation Y as physicians, employees and patients. Dr. Matthews discussed the unique characteristics of this generation as opposed to those in the past; and how the general tendencies of their upbringing and societal influences influence practices on both sides of the table. By understanding what motivates and frustrates millennials – people born in the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s – providers can effectively recruit and manage this generation.
While many see millennials as a generation that will turn an established industry upside down, their characteristics fit naturally into provider structures which focus on teamwork. Millennials do very well in teams, and have a strong tendency to help one another. However, they do like individual recognition, and will expect that team members not pulling their weight will be penalized for not doing their fair share.
Some additional key points regarding having a staff of millennials:
- They thrive on praise for a job well done, and expect contributions to be recognized
- Because they have grown up with technology as a part of daily life, they can get frustrated with delays or problems with technology
- They consider hourly agreements a contract – so leaving at 5pm is not lazy, it is what employer and employee agreed to.
- Expecting longer hours on a regular basis is considered inconsiderate, and disrespectful of their lives outside work
- If you do expect more, set the expectations upfront
- Rules are rules and apply to everyone, even and especially the boss; respect is not given because of title, but must be earned
- Checklists should be utilized to outline tasks and set deadlines so as to manage expectations
- Millennials like to see their work tied to any positive effect on the organization
- Honesty, transparency, humor and fun are all important in the workplace.
As millennials become an increasing percentage of the pool of recruits and employees, keeping these broad traits in mind, according to Dr. Matthews, will help you to have a successful and well-functioning practice. Rather than looking at the shift as a negative thing, consider this an opportunity to approach your patients and your practice in a positive new way that reflects the new demographics.