"Brett, what am I supposed to do with these younger employees? They fail to come to work on time, they don't listen to my orders,..." Maybe you have said or heard the same thing.
As the generational shift continues to happen, Baby Boomers and Gen X professionals are faced with the ever daunting reality of the new “Millennial” workforce. These two older generations are now hiring “Millennials” and, many of the younger generation are now practice owners. The generational cross over has never been more dramatic.
Not only is there a difference in age, but there is a dramatic difference in perspective and expectations between the generations. The faster a practice adapts to the differences the faster the money and stability will follow.
What are the differences? Beyond the trite and boring - “Millennials are lazy” dribble that is spread through the media (social and mainstream), the younger workforce will be your greatest asset when you adapt and lead as they need you to lead them. Here are a few important things to know about the rising generation.
1. Millennials are the largest generation in US history. There are an estimated 92mill compared to 61m Gen X, and 77m Boomers.
2. They are encumbered with debt. School tuition costs have skyrocketed in the past 20 years and the costs are handed to students in the form of student loan burden. The Gen X student had an average per year cost of just $10k while most Millennials spend over $25k per year in undergrad tuition.
3. Millennials are seeking access over ownership. This is true for practices, homes, cars, etc. What was once the pinnacle of personal achievement - the owned home, fancy car, and being the owner of a thriving practice, is now a thing of diminishing desire. Millennials are more inclined to a “sharing” society with less accumulation of personal “stuff”.
4. Leadership over management. Millennials by and large desire to be led. But don’t we all. The difference is that the two previous generations were complacent to be managed and fell “into line” - even that term denotes conformity, obedience, and release of personal determination - exactly what the younger employee is not willing to do. Not without a strong leader and clear vision. The boomers came into the world immediately after WWII and were raised in a regimented and orderly world of post military leaders. Gen X had some residual of this. The modern employee has little connection with the structure and order of the past. Don't try to be the change agent, it will cost you in both sanity and in profit.
In order to succeed in the new generation, practice leadership needs to be proactive and adapt to the needs, and styles of the new workforce. Old management is fast becoming ineffective in the modern workplace, and those practices who transition will be the strong leader in the coming years.
Here are 3 things you can do -
1. Drop the seniority/ladder climbing hierarchy of the past and build true teams that respect and empower individual expertise.
2. Lead. Data and details can be managed, people were never manageable. The fastest way to boost production in the practice is to start leading. Clear vision, collective and personal goals, and a sense of purpose are the outcome of true leadership.
3. Collaboration is king. The “my way or the highway” mentality might have worked when options were few and compliance was high. Millennials want to be part of the process and when they are, you will learn much about the needs, desires, and buying potential of your future patients. My clients build individualized employment plans that create powerful personal motivation and leadership collaboration.
To build your Profitable Practice with High Production Teams, you need to find a strategy that empowers and elevates the new worker. Do not waste time fighting them and demanding conformity. You will lose more money in the turnover and transition. Leverage the Millennials social connection, collaboration style, and expertise. This will build your practice with the least stress and greatest return.
We all want to make a good living and to have our dreams and goals met. The practice owner who learns to embrace the challenges of the Millennial is the one who will reach their dreams and achieve their desires before others figure out what happened to their practice.
Helping you build your Profitable Practice Buleprint and High Production Teams.