During the Sigma Theta Tau International Biennial Conference in Indianapolis, three GEDI directors presented a powerful session that garnered great reviews and ongoing discussion. Thanks to Drs. Ann Marie T. Brooks and Sheila A. Ryan, and to Marianne Hess for sharing your wisdom on behalf of GEDI. A topic of interest generated by Marianne’s presentation addressed the multigenerational workforce. As we plan for our present and future, we need a succession plan – not just for leadership but for the rank and file cadre of nurses and other healthcare providers who touch lives each and every day. Marianne referenced the work of Douglas L. Keene and Rita R. Handrich, in which they addressed Loyalty, Longevity and Leadership: A Multigenerational Workforce Update. The authors are prolific writers on the topic of generations and workforce challenges. Marianne’s focus was on the Millennial nursing professional and our ability to meet and exceed their need for personal and professional development, a healthy workplace culture, cultural diversity, feedback and interestingly, the fact that they would rather have no job than a job they do not like.

Today’s workforce is replete with Millennials, Gen-Xers, and Baby Boomers; each group has specific needs. Never before has the need for good communication been so important. Clear ground rules, attire, anticipated responses to voice and email, and more relate to a workplace in which we respect the values and wisdom of each of our multigenerational associates and take steps to recognize what they bring to the workplace. Think about your own workforce and how multigenerational it is or will become. What plans have you made to accommodate the needs of the new workforce and how will that effect your succession plan?

Millennial GenX Boomer
Want to be heard and have an impact. They expect face-time with others in the workplace. They question often. Self-reliant and sometimes impatient, they are flexible. Comfortable with technology (not nearly as much as the millennial), they are focused and driven.

Authentic, they play by the rules. They understand the effect of relationships and business results. They value people skills.