Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

Every generation has a unique perspective that often clashes with other generations, but what would happen if those generational differences were instead put to good use? What if we focused on each generation’s strengths, rather than its weaknesses?

Join speaker Karen Stutzer, on Monday, May 20, from 1:45-2:45 p.m., in room W314B, to identify the major strengths and differences in the multigenerational workforce and discuss how to improve collaboration between different generations.

During the session “What’s Age Got to Do With It: Managing a Multigenerational Workforce,” Stutzer, an assistant professor at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey, will examine how different approaches to life influence each generation, including topics such as technology, social structures and education.

Stutzer will also examine strategies that managers can use to improve the multigenerational workforce, specifically when it comes to communication. Managers need to understand the differences in terms of the needs and communication styles of each generation. “One key approach is having clarity of communication and clarity of expectation across the unit,” Stutzer says.

Every generation has strengths they bring to the nursing workforce. Baby boomers have a considerable amount of clinical experience that helps build patient relationships. Millennials are technology-savvy and come to the workplace with a lot of enthusiasm, ready to be contributors.

Nurses can take these strengths and use them in a way that effectively gets the work done while also learning from each other, rather than focusing on fundamental differences. “That’s how we optimize our environment and improve how we’re providing care,” Stutzer says.

People tend to make assumptions and stereotypes in the multigenerational workforce. The challenge is understanding the different perspectives that people bring to the workplace. “Generationally, we are influenced by the social, political and technological events that occurred during the time when we were growing up,” Stutzer says. “We need to be careful not to stereotype.”