Multigenerational Team Dynamics In Nursing

1591 Words 6 Pages
Generational diversity within the nursing workforce is a unique situation for health care organizations today. Having three distinct generations working together to provide safe and effective patient care presents many challenges. Each generation possesses their own characteristics, values, beliefs, communication styles, and commitment to team work (American Hospital Association [AHA], 2014). The three generations were influenced by the collective experiences of their generation, both socially and culturally. This has shaped the way each generation views the work they do, their attitudes towards team work, and communicating with others (Hendricks & Cope, 2012). This paper will discuss the multigenerational workforce in nursing today, the conflicts …show more content…
Misunderstandings and poor communication between the generations cause the most conflict for nursing teams. Baby boomers have less tolerance for younger Generation X nurses, and are bothered by their arrogance. While generation X nurses do not understand the baby boomer’s authoritative behavior on a team. Millennials enjoy working on teams and are committed to their organization, but don’t understand why the baby boomers are so negative, or why generation X can get along with anyone on the team (Murray, 2013).
When there is conflict on a nursing team there are inherent risks to patient safety and poor patient outcomes. Nursing team must be able to collaborate and to provide high quality patient care. Teams that are unable to work through their generational differences become dysfunctional. Dysfunctional teams in nursing demonstrate impaired communication, poor patient outcomes, staff dissatisfaction, and increased staff turnover rates (Douglas et al., 2015). Effective leadership is key to assuring that multigenerational teams function well. Special attention needs to be given to each generations needs as it relates to communication, commitment to the team, and recognition. Nurse leaders are responsible for the performance of nursing teams. Valuing the differences on a team and leveraging each generations strengths will help to reduce conflict, build collaboration,
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Three very different generational groups make up the nursing workforce today. Becoming generationally competent is an essential skill for organizations and for nursing teams. Understanding generational differences and preferences for communication will improve team collaboration. High functioning nursing teams despite generational differences who work well together have a high level of trust, commitment, and accountability. This reduces conflict and improves outcomes for patients, increased job satisfaction, and staff retention (Douglas et al., 2015). Generational differences will always be a concern for nursing teams and health care organizations. Assuring generational competence is an essential strategy to stay competitive and survive in the highly complex world of health care (AHA, 2014). As the baby boomers transition to retirement, the next generation is waiting to join the work force. Generation Z will be the first truly global generation. They are said to be self-confident and optimistic. They are interested in career advancement and lifelong learning (Iorgulescu, 2016). These qualities make generation Z a perfect fit for health care, and well suited to join the nursing work

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