Helping older and younger staff members at your medical practice bridge the generation gap can reap rewards for both employees and your practice (see our previous post). Both generations have valuable ideas to bring to the table, but differences in communication and work styles can create misunderstandings and ruffle feathers. Use these additional tips to help your medical office staff bridge the generation gap successfully:
Flexibility. A flexible work environment is a benefit appreciated by workers of any age; although older and younger workers often approach flexibility from two very different perspectives. Older workers who have spent their working life in a fairly rigid work environment tend to be more overtly appreciative of flexible work hours than younger workers who consider flexibility a critical quality of life issue. However, this also means that younger workers may be more open to flex hours and job sharing.
Teach and Learn. Older employees who have been with the practice for years can be invaluable in teaching new employees the ropes. But even though they may be new to your practice, younger staff members can also teach you a thing or two. Younger employees are typically more familiar and more comfortable with new technology. If you’re implementing a secure messaging system to comply with new HIPAA requirements, look to your younger employees to teach the staff how to use the system.
Younger employees, particularly if they have worked in other medical settings, can also be an excellent information source regarding new technology, procedures, software and other tools now available for managing medical offices and digital patient records.
Soliciting and respectfully listening to suggestions from both experienced and newer workers makes all employees feel valued and benefits your medical office by establishing a collaborative atmosphere.