Resolve to Evolve by Embracing Generational Differences

We Are All Immigrants To The Other Generations!

The more generations on your team, the more the Generational Friction Factor becomes a reality. If we get customized communication right, we can create a harmonious, highly productive team. This also results in higher treatment case acceptance from our patients!

Having four, and possibly five, generations working side-by-side is not a new concept. It began when Gen Y, aka the Millennials, entered the workforce. The outstanding beliefs and values of each generation are VERY different! Understanding and respecting each generation’s expectations will significantly impact our practice success in all aspects.

Workforce and Patient Snapshot

Traditionalists (1927-1945) Small percentage of the workforce

Baby boomers (1946-1964) Retiring

Gen X (1965-1977) Currently holding leadership roles

Millennials (Gen Y 1978-1999) Largest % in the workforce in the next 5 years

Gen Z (Globals 2000-2016) Largest, fastest-growing cohort beginning to enter the workforce

Clinical Practice Impact of Gen Z

Gen Z, the youngest generation entering the workforce, is the future of our dental practices.  They are the patients and employees that will contribute to practice growth. COVID-19 has impacted them significantly.

Gen Z has not reached critical mass as patients or employees. They are already disproportionately driving changes in dentistry. Their ability to connect instantly and disseminate information globally is impacting us all at an accelerating rate.

Understanding who they are and what they want NOW gives us insight into what to expect in the future. For any practice leader, the pandemic creates a critical opportunity to understand and respect how all generations are experiencing this challenging time through their own generational lens.

If you’d like to learn more about Gen Z and the influence they are having on dentistry, let’s chat.  I designed a new team workshop:  Embracing Gen Z in Dentistry Today.

Who Are Gen Z?

Adam Piore wrote an article in Newsweek that revealed interesting qualities of Gen Z. They are often thought of as idealists or dreamers, but their top concerns and priorities are both global and “local” in nature.

By the way, Newsweek has published cover stories about every generation since Traditionalists. The common topics may sound familiar,  “They are so entitled”, “They don’t have any work ethics”.

Gen Z worry about the future, specifically their own, including:

  • Money (67%)
  • Getting a job (64%)
  • Paying for college (59%)

When it comes to being an employee, they want to truly embrace the practice brand. Their expectations are that companies and brands will go beyond marketing to truly measurable impact.

Feedback or Coaching: Which is More Effective?

The younger the generation, the higher the expectation for ongoing coaching and mentorship.

Feedback focuses on the past; Mistakes that have already occurred and cannot be fixed. To put it simply, traditional feedback is one direction and typically a negative experience.

  • Manager to employee
  • Episodic (i.e., infrequent, and isolated)

What you really want is an open, honest, two-way conversation to strengthen relationships rather than a one-sided dialogue and criticism. Coaching conversations are collaborative and create mutual solutions that focus on the employee’s strengths and future potential.

In many professional situations, a successful outcome is based on emotional factors:

  • How a person feels after interacting with you
  • How a team feels about a new initiative or product implementation

Consider being a coach and a mentor vs a boss or a senior colleague.

Generational Dress Code

Enjoy this short video recorded for the Seattle Study Club: Dental Tips for Generational Dress Codes

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