When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its 2010-20 employment projections, health care and related services dominated the list. According to BLS employment projections, health care support occupations are projected to grow 34.5 percent overall in this decade. Personal care related service occupations at 26.8 percent with health care practitioners and technicians at 25.9 percent. This is due to the large aging Baby Boomer population and health care reform.
For the medical equipment service industry, the higher demand for diagnostics means more equipment has to be serviced and maintained. To cover this staffing demand, there is a larger number of very diverse generations working together.
Surveys state that there are major differences in what each generation is looking for in careers. This hot issue was covered at the ACHE Conferences, in mainstream publications/books, to corporations even changing their career ladders.
Here is a look at the workforce population’s generational differences:
Silent Generation: Born 1925-1945: 38 million people who make up 5 percent of the workforce. Known as Traditionalist that grew up during the Great Depression, these people are very hard working and remain loyal to the same company. They are used to specific direction and support.
Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964: 78 to 80 million people who make up 40 percent of the workforce. These individuals grew up during prosperity and applied a strong work ethic toward their careers rather than a company. They want two-way interaction and to be involved in the decision-making process.
Generation X: Born 1965 to 1979: 46 to 60 million people who make up 40 percent of the workforce. They grew up with their parents living to work with little time for family. Consequently work/life balance is more valued. Sometimes called the “Squeeze” generation, because they are trying to find the most efficient way to handle work, meet financials needs, and still have quality family time. They value education and independence more than direction.
Generation Y: Born 1980 to 2001: 76 to 90 million people who make up 15 percent of the workforce. Known as the Millennials, they are ethnically more diverse than any other generation in our nation’s history. They are the “connect me” generation because of their need to communicate through texting, Twitter, Facebook and email.
The Value of Understanding These Differences
Whether it be interviewing or working with these different generations, you can communicate and engage more effectively if you understand their values and work ethics. To be a successful manager in today’s workforce reality you need to have an understanding and sensitivity of these differences as well as be open to mentor and “share your experiences.”
For personal career advancement, this will be beneficial in obtaining a position and career advancement. Remember, more people get selected or advance in their careers due to their interpersonal skills rather than their tactical skills.
Jenifer Brown is the President/Owner of Health Tech Talent Management LLC. She has more than 20 years of experience in talent acquisition and placement in technical fields.
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