6 Things to Know About Your Millennial Employees
Millennials are the future of your practice, which is why it’s so important to take the time to understand them. When you do, they’ll not only be much happier in their role, they’ll also be more productive – leading to a more profitable dental practice.
So what should you, the practice CEO, know about your Millennial employees? Here are six things to keep in mind that will help you better understand this age group and their work habits.
1. They’re fast learners. Millennials grew up with technology, so they’re quick to embrace it. It doesn’t take long for them to grasp new concepts. They love to learn and expect to be provided with the training and tools they need to succeed. Remember they’re the most educated generation to enter the workplace. They’re always up for taking on new challenges and are excited by new opportunities.
2. They’re confident. Most Millennials were raised by doting, even overprotective, parents who always told them how wonderful and special they are. These employees grew up in a generation where everyone went home with a trophy, regardless of what place they came in. So while most are team players, they simply aren’t used to failing. Because of this Millennials tend to be self-assured, and in some cases overly confident. They just assume what they’ve done is right so they often don’t check their work. This could lead to problems, especially when they’re new.
3. Millennials rely on their smartphones. As you probably know, this generation has grown up using smartphones and spend a lot of time texting, posting on social media and even shopping. The problem is, many millennials think it’s OK to quickly text a friend or send out a Tweet in the middle of the work day – which could be a major source of contention with other team members.
Unless you tell them they can’t, Millennials will think nothing of looking at a YouTube video or making a quick Facebook post while sitting at the front desk. Not only will this irritate your older employees and look unprofessional to any patients in the waiting area, it also leads to concerns about cross-contamination.
I suggest you develop a cell phone policy so you don’t have to worry about this becoming an issue in your practice. Make sure employees understand they must keep their cell phones and other gadgets in their purse or in a locker during the work day.
Now some employees might protest, saying they need to have access to their cell phone in case there’s an emergency and their child’s school needs to reach them. To put these concerns to rest, tell employees to give out the office number as the emergency contact, and allow them to check their cell phones during quick breaks between patients.
4. They value a work/life balance. While Baby Boomers don’t think twice about working late or putting in a few hours over the weekend, Millennials typically would rather work their eight hour day and then enjoy their personal time. Sure, they want to be part of the team and contribute to the group, but it’s rare to see them working past 5 p.m.
Millennials want to enjoy life, and trust me, they won’t stick around if they’re not happy with the work environment for any reason. They’ll start looking for a new job and won’t hesitate to leave when they find something that seems like a better fit, whether they want more money or a more flexible schedule.
5. Millennials want feedback. This is true of everyone in your dental practice, but especially Millennials. Your team members, no matter their age, want to know what they’re doing right and where they can improve. Be sure to provide continual feedback, both positive and negative, and develop detailed job descriptions. Let employees know how performance will be measured. This will make your team more efficient and much more likely to excel in their roles, boosting practice production and your bottom line.
6. They want to be fairly compensated. Not only that, Millennials believe they should receive the same compensation as their more experienced co-workers. From the beginning make sure Millennials (as well as everyone else on your team) understand under what circumstances raises will be discussed and how promotions will be awarded.
If you want to create a thriving dental practice, you and your team members have to work together. That means overcoming the many generational differences that exist in the workplace. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort and will lead to a more efficient practice and a more robust bottom line.
Need more guidance on how to bridge the generation gap? Feel free to contact me. I’ll help you build a strong, cohesive team that will move your practice toward true success and profitability.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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