As the youngest members of the workforce, millennials (employees born between 1980 and 2000) are the future of your facility. And like every generation that has come before them, they may be a little misunderstood. But the work ethic and contributions of your millennial staff are just as valuable as any other generation — and if you understand them, you can take steps to harness the contributions millennials can offer.
Millennial generation values
Millennials have grown up in a technology-driven world where answers have always been at their fingertips. They rely on “techie” devices and electronic communications. They also place great value on meaningful work — they want to feel that what they do makes a difference in the world around them, and they are eager to contribute. But in order to contribute, they also seek feedback and praise, to help ensure they’re on the right track. They also seek decision-making capabilities and the chance for upward mobility. Millennials don’t want to wait a long time before they see their hard work begin to pay off.
In some ways, millennials have higher expectations of their employers than the generations that came before them. Past generations had more experience with delayed gratification and didn’t necessarily expect their employment to provide opportunities for emotional and physical well-being. The mindset of putting up with a difficult job because it pays the rent and finding satisfaction outside of my job is disappearing. Technology plays a big role in this transition, as millennials have very little separation between their work and their play. Millennials take their phones and social media with them wherever they go – their “work” blends throughout their whole life, not just the 8 -5 of yesterday.
How to manage your Millennials
Millennials are a hard-working, driven generation, and this can certainly benefit your facility. So to maximize your relationship with your millennial workers, try any of the following:
- Let them in on the big picture. Millennials want to understand the mission and vision of your business, what its plans are for the future and how they fit in. Increasing your transparency and sharing actual numbers that explain your company’s performance will increase your employee engagement. Hold regular staff meetings and provide updates on the facility overall — its successes, its challenges and how your employees are making an impact.
- Give regular feedback. Freedom to think and problem solve on their own is good for the millennial generation, but they also seek guidance. Many human resource experts suggest getting rid of ineffective yearly reviews. Instead of yearly performance reviews, meet with your employees in weekly or biweekly 15 minute, 1:1 meetings where you can set goals together and deal with problems while they are still small. Although this change will upset your routine, and require an ongoing commitment from supervisors, the benefits of increased communication make this change invaluable to the millennial workforce.
- Incorporate electronics. Since they’re pro-technology, your millennial staff will be on board with Electronic Health Records, text reminders to patients, email communications, incorporating video into treatments and other ways to embrace technology in your therapy practice. They’ll be eager to work with you to help your facility become tech-savvy.
- Give back to the community. Millennials are a very cause-driven bunch. They want to work for a company that gives back and makes a difference. Create connections with nonprofits that extend your company’s mission and vision. Participation in local charity events, running or walking fundraisers, and donating to charitable causes, builds the kind of culture where millennials want to work.
- Promote from within. Since your internal employees are already familiar with your policies and case load, they are usually a first choice for promotion. Be proactive in communicating to your employees the possibilities for advancement in your facility. The opportunity to advance gives the hardworking millennial generation something to aim for — and they have a tendency to aim high!
Round out your therapy staff
Millennials comprise one in every three workers in the United States — the largest percentage of today’s workforce — and therefore give employers a large source for therapy talent. Although change is never easy, especially in large organizations, implementing new human resource strategies to meet the needs of your youngest employees, will actually benefit your whole staff. Increased transparency, frequent communication, and participation in causes that make a difference build a great company culture. Once you have these features in place, they will help you attract new talent of all ages.
Looking for new therapy staff?
PT Solutions can help. We place physical and occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists, and their assistants in positions across the country. To learn more, contact one of our experienced therapy employment specialists today.