What does having a multigenerational workforce have to do with marketing your medical practice, creating a positive office culture and improving the overall patient experience?
Whether it’s getting buy-in and engagement from your employees or providing the best quality services to your multigenerational patients, marketing is now a team sport where everyone on your team (regardless of when they grew up) plays a critical role.
People are increasingly working past age 60 or even 65, creating generational mixes in the office never seen before; and the characteristics of each generation can vary broadly in terms of:
- Communication and learning styles
- Values and expectations
- Definitions of success
- Interpersonal skills
As a practice manager, you need to understand what makes each generation tick to create a harmonious and efficient working environment to serve patients. Each generation brings incredible value to your office, and it’s essential for you to understand how those different generational groups can function together in the workplace and best meet the needs of your multigenerational patients.
Join us as we describe how you can employ the unique traits of each generation to strengthen employee retention, enhance patient customer care, and minimize conflicts in the workplace.
Tune in to discover:
- The current makeup of the U.S. workforce and how it will evolve over the next 10-15 years
- A breakdown of the dominant characteristics of the five generational groups that may be present in your office and how they need to be treated
- How you can harness the strengths of each generational segment to better market your practice and serve your patients
Free Healthcare Awareness 2023 Calendar
Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.
Free Healthcare Awareness 2023 Calendar
Nearly every month of the year has a health holiday or observance, and there are also a number of awareness months that your patients and staff would love to know about. You also don’t want to miss chances to celebrate with your practice’s followers.
Speaker 1: Dr Marketing Tips, pagging Dr Marketing Tips, Dr. Marketing Tips you’re needed in the marketing department. Welcome to the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast. Your prescription to the answers you seek to grow your medical practice easier, better, and faster. This show is all about connecting practice administrators and medical marketing professionals with peers, working in practices, learning from experiences, making mistakes and sharing successes. Let’s get started.
Jennifer: Hey there. Welcome to the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast. I’m Jennifer.
Susan: And I’m Susan.
Jennifer: We’re here today to continue our conversation on the overall patient experience, the new approach to customer service. So let’s get started. And we are here today to talk about multi generational workforces. And so as we were getting prepped for this week’s episode of the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast, I started thinking to myself, our listeners may be like, what does multi generational workforce have to do with marketing of my medical practice? And I think that what I’m going to do is after you and I did this episode, I’m actually going to get Corey and we’re going to do an episode specifically on the multi generational patient because I think from a marketing standpoint, understanding the different generations, whether it is the employees that you’re marketing to or the patients that you are providing services to, it’s just a benefit all around. And I think that really goes into our theme of this year of it being marketing, being a team sport, and that everybody plays a role in marketing the medical practice. And so, I think that it’s equally important to understand the people that we’re working with across generations, as it is to understand our patients across generations. In fact, there’s some really interesting statistics out there that we’re in a recent Harvard business review article, HBR article, talks about the median age of workers currently is 42 years old. So I guess I’m a little older than the median. And 39% of all workers are expecting to work as part of their retirement, mainly because there’s the financial insecurity, especially for those individuals that were affected by the recession back in 2008. We’ve got the elderly population of 65 and plus, and every time I see a commercial where it refers to the elderly population and they say that 65 years old is elderly, it makes my heart sink because we’re all getting closer and closer to that number. And I know so many people that are upward of 65, and I do not reference them as elderly. But I will say this, sometimes in the office, it’s fun because there’ll be creating an ad or coming up with some digital campaign and they’ll get this photo and Danielle is notorious for this and she’ll create like some social campaign and it’ll be geared towards an older audience, and I’ll look at that audience and I’m like, that lady is not old enough, that woman cannot be even close to 60 and it just cracks me up sometimes their definition of old and my definition of old are completely different. But elderly population is actually going to double between now and 2050 with one in five Americans or 20% of Americans being over age 65 by 2030. And remember folks, next year is 2020, so, that’s only about 10 years away that 20% of the population is going to be over 65. by 2035 Americans of retirement age are actually going to eclipse the number of people that are aged 18 and younger. And by 2020, that’s next year, 25 percent of our entire workforce in the United States is going to be made up of people that are 55 and older. So, right now is a critical time in all of our practices for really understanding the different layers and the different multigenerational folks that we’ve got working in our practice. And then understanding how we can work together across generations, whether it’s internally or whether it’s with our patients down the road. So, with that, Sue, why don’t you walk us through what these different generations are comprised of, and then let’s have a conversation about that.
Susan: So as you stated, there are more people working past retirement age between that 62, 67 plus age group and that creates several generations within the workplace that we have never had before. And right now, today, we have five generations in the workplace. First time ever in the US. And let’s go ahead and write down what those five generations are. The oldest being what they termed the traditionalist. And those right now their age group is 70s, 80s plus, and they were called the silent generation. And then you have the baby boomers. And they are about through their 50s, through their 60s, born post World War II up to 1964. So you’ve got even a generation within that generation. Your third group is generation X and those are your 40 to 50 year olds. And then have generation Y which people term as the millennials and they are in their 20s and 30s. And then you have the newest group coming, which is generation Z, which are the post-millennials and they are about ready to enter the workforce and they are anywhere from 19 years of age and down to five. Of course the five year olds aren’t going into workplace. However, the 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 year olds are. So, it’s really important to understand how all of those generations can function at the same time in the workplace.
Jennifer: It absolutely is and I think it’s something that we’re seeing more and more of and you just see such a difference amongst the generations. I think it’s life experience that comes into play and of course life experience makes us either easier or harder to work with, or it gives us skills that make us each unique in our own way, but you really see it from a standpoint of technology and the way that the younger generation, from a communication standpoint, just the younger generation and their communication styles are very different. So, the different segments of the workforce are very different and unique in and of themselves. So let’s get started. Let’s talk about the traditionalists first.
Susan: Okay, traditionalist. They are two percent of the workforce and they were raised during the depression, and they’re hardworking, they’re loyal, they cherish their jobs, and they’re team players, and obviously they prefer person to person interaction because that’s how they grew up, that was every generation prior to them. And they’re the ones that are going to sit through a meeting and not complain and not be looking at their phone, right? [crosstalk 00:07:59].
Jennifer: Yeah, they’d still own phones, but they’re not owning a smartphone probably. It’s interesting, I mean, who do you think those two percent is? I’m thinking from our listener’s perspective, there may be some doctors out there that are traditionalist that might be still in practice that are of this age group, and I think of like the folks that might be at Walmart and doing some greeting or somebody that’s just really helpful, I wish these poor traditionalist would retire and enjoy their retirement, but chances are I’m thinking that they stay in the workforce so that they can stay as young as possible and keep their mind as sharp as possible, wouldn’t you?
Susan: I agree. And in sometimes it truly is also a matter of economics for them. And they there was, for instance, my mom is in an assisted living facility, and one of the ladies who works in housekeeping and she is in her 70S, And I was walking down the hall the other day visiting with my mom and the lady was outside, the housekeeper was outside, and she was taking care of some things for one of the apartments next door to my mom’s. And I said, I noticed that there was an empty apartment and you rarely see empty apartments in this facility, It’s a great place. And I thought maybe someone passed away and she said, “no, they moved out, moved down the hall. And I said, well, I never see availability. And she said, “I agree.” And she said, “I could only hope to pay for a place like this at her age. And she was not far in age from my mom, not that much. And I felt really bad because it made me think about how fortunate that my parents are that they can afford a place like that, whereas this lady is still working and she may be part time, but she’s still working qnd even in her mind, she couldn’t afford a place that she’s even working at.
Jennifer: Wow, that’s a really powerful story and I think you’re right. And that’s that two percent of the workforce. And so, if you have somebody in your practice that you’re working with that’s a traditionalist, just probably give them a little bit more time to understand the newer things that are going on. But I think from our listener’s standpoint, probably they have a lot of traditionalist patients out there and they’re just are of a different generation and have a different mindset and need to be treated differently than you would obviously a baby boomer or generation X individual. So let’s go into baby boomers. Give us a background on the boomers. I think you’re a boomer, aren’t you?
Susan: I am proud to say I am born in 1964, which puts me in the very end of baby boomers.
Susan: So these are your individuals who are in their 50s and in their 60s and they make up a very large percentage. They make up 25% of the workforce. Not as much as generation X, but they are second and we, I can say, are loyal, we’re work eccentric, and we equate our salaries and long hours with success, which is interesting because as the younger generations donate quite that they’re there long hours with success. They equate their purpose and what they’re doing as their success. We do value face time in the office. And They prefer a high level of responsibility, and we care more about meaningful contribution than self advancement.
Jennifer: I wanted to point out that you’re a baby boomer and I’m a gen X and our listeners don’t know that we worked together for seven years with the government who actually ran my office when I was a county commissioner in Orange County in Florida, which is one of the largest counties in the country. And she and I at times, that’s when we had the opportunity to work together, years before then we worked together in some nonprofit work in our community, but Sue and I at times would clash and I think some of those clashes, in a good way, but some of those clashes were related to the differences in our generation and how quickly I’m a multitasker, I’m very forward and direct and I got a lot going on in my brain, and poor Sue, I remember I would give you a hard time sometimes about, you don’t have to be in the office at 8:30 AM to unlock the door. And Sue would be like, I’ve got to be at the office at 8:30 AM to unlock the door. And when I’m looking at the notes for this episode, it’s really making me think about how that was just how you were and these things that you are, these traits for baby boomers that you’re describing describe you to a teeth. And then I look at the traits for the Gen Xers and I’m like, that describes me to a teeth. And these things are so dead on and I think it’s so important to understand what the people that you’re working within an office of which generation that they are, and it really helps when you can create that association. It really does change the way that you communicate with people. And I think that’s why that new training that you’re doing for medical practices, the one where you’re doing on the multi generational communication styles, I think that’s great stuff because training people about how they can approach a boomer versus a gen X versus a Gen Y just pays dividends in the practices. But I just think that you have a spot on approach to your description of the boomers to me is you, didn’t you have a conversation with somebody recently that was thrown back into the job market and she’s a boomer too?
Susan: Yes. She’s just in her early 50s and her concern is that she’s looking for another job, and her concern is the technology. And her concern is that the younger generation, the so called millennials and the generation Xers are going to earn these jobs and get these jobs ahead of her because there so well advanced with technology and the baby boomers aren’t so much. We may have created the Internet, we may have created the cell phone, however, they’re not an extension of us. And so, I had to help her understand that, sure, we may not be the best at technology, however, our age group, baby boomers, what we bring to the workforce is what also is lacking from a younger generation. And we bring 25 plus years of experience into the workforce. We’re ready to go. You don’t need to train us. We bring mentorships. We bring that face to face interaction and the critical thinking skills that are being a missed right now with the younger generation because they count on their technology for all of that.
Jennifer: Absolutely. And we’re just wrapping up the new book that we’re working on that focuses on social customer service, and we’ve gone back and done some revisions to the book based on these new trainings and having you on board. And so I was working on the summary of the book this past weekend and was incorporating that and how we’ve come full circle from a standpoint of customer service, a couple years ago, it was all about we got to automate this, we’re going to have artificial intelligence, we’re going to automate jobs, we’re going to automate this, we’re going to automate that, but we’ve really come full circle to the real need now is back in those soft skills. And the soft skills are the things like you were just describing. Being able to have face to face conversations, being able to manage a challenge that’s put in front of you and being able to think on your feet. And there’s so much value in those soft skills that I think boomers really bring to the table. And in fact, Sue is relatively new to the insight team and Sue is our one boomer, then we’ve got two Gen Xers, and then everybody else is millennials. And I didn’t realize it until our corporate retreat this year, but our boomers and our Xers bring so much to the table, and you’re right Sue, you bring this level of mentorship, it’s just that different perspective, even from a marketing standpoint we were going through and maybe Justin from Ventura ENT is listening to this one, so he’ll love it. But we were having our meeting to go over the new client and doing our client onboarding and getting everything to come up with their marketing plan, and having older generation folks be able to, from their perspective, give us feedback, pays dividends so much because we’re only seeing it one way because we look through that lens every single day. But having somebody new from the outside, that comes from a different generation, that feedback is invaluable in us coming up with a plan. And I think it makes from a standpoint of our company, it makes us so much better now that we’ve crossed over different generations. It’s going to make us so much better into this new year, and it’s really exciting I think. So let’s talk a little bit about the Gen Xers. I’m a Gen Xer, I think Taggart is a Gen Xers. So how are the exerpts? If you like what you’re hearing and need some help marketing your medical practice this year, be sure and check us out at insightmg.com. That’s insight M as in marketing, G as in group.com. Don’t think you’ve got a budget for this stuff, think again, we’ve got you covered. Make sure you schedule a free consult today.
Susan: You were looking at those who are in their from 40s up to fifties, you guys make up 33% of the workforce, which is the most of what [crosstalk]
Jennifer: It’s the second most. It’s the second most, I think.
Susan: Baby boomers is 25%, you guys are 33%.
Jennifer: Millennials are 35%.
Susan: Okay. Yes, sorry about that. You grew up with a parent who has lost a job despite loyalty, you are ambitious, hardworking, entrepreneur, work alone, you value flex work schedules, you dislike meetings about meetings, and you value life outside of work and that is you to teeth.
Jennifer: I would say you’re looking at this and I’m like, seriously? Sue is 110% a baby boomer and Jen is 110% Gen X and now looking at it in retrospect of those seven years we’ve worked together, I wish I had known this going into it because I think that would have helped us so much. [crosstalk] So to a team, this is us.
Susan: It is. And you used to give me a hard time about opening the door at 8:30 because you’re into flex time. However, you have to look at, and this is part of the training for multigenerational, that has to be incorporated into this, is that you function a certain way, I function a certain way, but then we have to look at who we’re serving. Baby boomers and traditionalists who are going to call into the office at 8:30 in the morning and expect someone there. So, it’s good to have those cross generations in your office because they will understand then all of those generations they have to deal with.
Jennifer: I couldn’t agree more and I think this is so valuable and I wish I had known this. I wish I had just had this little chart in front of me for seven years in that office because I think it would’ve mattered so much. I remember getting calls. I mean, we’ve all been there, but especially in an office, if you have a customer service complaint and you’re working with a traditionalist and it’s their complaint, remember we used to get handwritten letters all the time because that was a way that they would communicate. They would send hand written letters to the office to tell us that they were unhappy with something or needed help. And I think that you’d probably, from a customer service standpoint, still get handwritten letters and it’s great because you can see the age in the shaky hand that is writing the letter and it warms my heart every time I get something like that. I never got compliments from them, but I always got the complaints and that was the traditionalist generation. So, yeah, these are spot on. Let’s talk about Gen Y. And think millennials, I’m going to say this, I think millennials sometimes really get a bad rap. I’ve got a team of millennials that work for me. They are fantastic. I love them so much. And at one point we talked about having Danielle pop on this podcast and offer a millennial point of view. And Corey and I had talked through it, he’s a millennial, like the tail or the very beginning millennial. He could almost be an extra. We talked about it. We said, well, Danielle wouldn’t be a good person to offer a millennial perspective because she is so not a millennial. She actually seems more like a Gen Xer, but she just happens to be born in those timeframes, so I don’t know that any of my employees, I hate to put them in the millennial bucket because they do not come across as millennials to me. So, I think that millennials just get a bad rap sometimes. And I know that I had thrown the stat and last, but pew research just did a big research and you can research it yourself and check it out, but just did an article that says millennials became the largest generation in the US labor market back in 2016. And millennials now actually make up 35% of the entire workforce. So, why don’t you tell us a little bit about millennials Sue.
Susan: They represent a quarter of the US population and they are smart, creative, optimistic, tech savvy, achievement oriented. And I have to say, the millennials that are in your office are exactly that.
Jennifer: No, I agree with you. I just think that they’re not the ones that get the bad rap because they are great.
Susan: Correct. They don’t bring that negative stereotype with them as a millennial. It’s interesting that 43% leave a job within two years and that’s if the workplace has a lack of diversity, if the workplace is inflexible, if they lacked on the job education, and since unemployment is so low, they can afford to say, you know what, this job doesn’t offer what I want, I’m going to move on. Whereas the baby boomers are loyal and they would think twice about, moving on, why would I do that? I’m loyal to this company. They also seek managers and mentors that are engaged in their professional development. And I have to say that in your political office as Orange County commissioner, we had a slew of millennials come through as interns, and I will say that they do appreciate feedback and very good about listening to what a higher level professional or someone at a higher level than they are because they seek that guidance and that help. And whereas some others, such as the generation X may not listen to a baby boomer. However, I’m not looking at you. However, the millennials, the generation Y, they do appreciate feedback and want that mentoring. And they like frequent communication and they like immediate feedback, which I see that’s interesting too. And because with my job, if I’m getting my paycheck, I know I’m doing my job. I don’t need any instant feedback, I just know if I’m collecting my paycheck, then that means I have a job and you’re not firing me and I’m doing well.
Jennifer: You’re right. Except, so in my business, Korean, Danielle, Josh, all millennials, right, and I give them instant feedback because the pace of the business changes so much that if I have a problem, I do not wait until the annual review, I go right in there and I’m like, Hey, I don’t like what you’ve done, or we need to change this, I try to give that instant feedback and I think that’s partly what you’re referring to, that they prefer it instead, but I also think it’s, at least in my business, change so fast that I don’t want to wait an entire year and tell them, I don’t like that you’re showing up at 9:05 AM, I want your ass in here earlier. And Josh, that’s directly at you. They value that feedback and they take it all in stride. And I think that working with millennials, just understanding how they work is enormous. And taking these couple of bullet points of they’re creative, so you have to fuel that creativity. They want professional development. You have to fuel that professional development. You have to give them feedback. You’re right. You got to give them a star to say, hey, things are good, whereas you’re so darn independent, you just go out there and make things happen and you don’t need anybody telling you that you’re good because you already know you’re good. I think that understanding millennials is important to all of us especially since they’re the largest generation out there right now.
Susan: Their preferred communication style being email and text over face to face, I had to understand that because I’m one of those that I’m going to pick up the phone and call you, especially because [crosstalk] I do the job. And so I’ll pick up the phone and call you about something, whereas now I have to text and say, can you talk instead of, Hey, let’s chat real quick, can you talk, which means talk by the phone. So I know when somebody from the office calls me, then I know it’s something important that, it can’t be discussed by text or by email, but I’m one of those that wants to talk about stuff. But I’m getting used to that. So, before I need help from the office, I will text Josh, or Corey, or Danielle and text them what I need, and then they’ll text me back, and that’s fine. [crosstalk] how everybody has a different learning style, different communication style.
Jennifer: Hey there, replacing an employee can be expensive, upward of 50% of that employee’s annual salary. Did you know that only 33% of your employees are actually engaged at work? What if you could invest in engaging and training your employees for as little as $8 per month with training that’s specific to the challenges you face in your medical practice, like customer service, patient experience, communicating across generations, tust to name a few? Well, visit us at insightmg.com to find out more about how our employee engagement and training platform can help you strengthen employee retention, develop patient service mindsets, and give you peace of mind when it comes time for annual reviews all without creating any additional work for you and it’s only $8 a month. So check us out at insight M as in marketing, G as in group.com. We’ll be waiting for you. That’s exactly the case and I think sometimes I feel as if millennials come across a little passive aggressive, not passive aggressive in a negative way, but when they’re dealing with a challenge, they don’t necessarily want to deal with it head on. They would rather put it in writing based meaning they would much rather send you an email to imply that there are not happy with you or to say that in an email. And so I think you’re absolutely right. I think it’s just understanding the different traits that make up these generations and then adjusting communication based on those generations and that applies to whether they’re a potential patient and how you would market to that patient, or provide customer service to that patient, or how you would deal with challenges that come up in the workforce with your coworkers. And so I think this is really valuable stuff.
Susan: And also with the generation Y, millennials, I think it’s interesting to understand that in a meeting if there is information being discussed and they’ll have their phones with them, someone in my age group, a baby boomer, maybe we left our phone at our desk before we walked into the conference room and however, the millennial, as we’re discussing something, they may be looking at their phone and looking up some information to try and say, yes, this is what’s going on or maybe they’re looking up a previous email to surface some new information. But to someone of my generation, it looks like they’re on their phone and they’re being rude or disrespectful in the meeting. However, if you know them, they’re just trying to put forward input as they know how to do it. And I used to watch you sitting up there at the the board of County Commissioner meetings is your public elected official role and you can’t see that you’re on your Ipad looking up the location of a project, but it looks like you’re up there on your computer and working on something else. So we have to understand how everybody obtains their information. And I may have done some research, walked in to the meeting, whereas the millenials just have their phones and they know they can go right to that. And not one way is wrong, nothing is better than the other, it’s just the way that we work.
Jennifer: Absolutely. That’s a great point Sue. Absolutely. So let’s talk about generation Z.
Susan: So, there are six million of them and they are from, like I said, the age of five to 19, but we’re more concerned about the workforce today, which is our discussion. So, they going to be in their late teens and there are born from around 1996, some put that at 2001 just depends on what source you’re looking at. But basically they grew up with 911 and by 2020 they’re going to make up a third of our US population and which will be about five percent of the workforce at that point. And they may have short attention spans because they grew up with technology in hand and they’re the first generation that grew up with iphone and with the Internet. So, they live in a world with continuous updates because they have it right at their fingertips. So their attention span is short because quickly the world is changing and just like how you said about in your office with your immediate feedback is necessary because the world is changing so quickly, and they’re used to that, so their attention is here and then it goes to somewhere else in a moment. And they’re considered the first global generation. And I think that, that’s interesting because they are so well connected, more so than my generation, that they actually can hold a conversation that is at a high level because they don’t see a cultural difference in anything. They’re very multicultural oriented and they can hold a conversation at a higher level because they have world at their fingertips and all of that information that comes from that. And they’re very purpose oriented because they saw their parents experienced that 2008, the economic downturn, and so they want purpose outside of that. And they’re also comfortable with taking photos and videos because that’s what they grew up on.
Jennifer: [crosstalk] They’re the selfie generation.
Susan: When you see them on video, they do these short little videos and post them on Facebook, they are good and they are so professional.
Jennifer: The part of that cracks me up Sue because this is a definite generational thing, Gen Z is not even on Facebook. Their parents are on Facebook, you are on Facebook, I’m on Facebook, Gen Z is off somewhere else because they know that all the old people are now on social media. They are so comfortable taking selfies and putting them on Instagram and they’re okay with Snapchat and going in there and sharing their little moments and those moments going away. They are so connected and you’re right, they have short attention spans because so much of it, it starts and Poof, it’s gone. And that’s their attention span, that’s the content that they’re sharing that is, that is their comfort level of taking selfies and self videos like you just said. This is literally the generation that grew up in a time where they’ve always been connected. I mean, a three year old can figure out how to use an iphone at this point. And I think from an employer standpoint, we better all start paying attention to this generation because they are going to change the way, from an employment standpoint, they’re going to change our workforces because they are so different than all of these other generations.
Susan: Agreed. And I think all of the generations bring such value to the workplace, we just have to understand how each one of us communicates and how we learned. And because we all bring certain life experiences, and values, and journeys along our life’s path. And once we can have an open mind and understand each other, just like you and I, and we’re just one generation apart but it seems like it’s world away at times. But once we understand how we function, then it makes it a whole lot better because a lot of what seems to go wrong in the workplace is what? Miscommunication.
Jennifer: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that’s a great way to sum it up. Great conversation Sue. With that, I’m Jennifer.
Susan: I’m Susan.
Jennifer: And we’ll see you next time on the Dr. Marketing Tips podcast. Thanks a bunch.
Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to the drarketingtips.com podcast. If there’s anything from today’s show you want to learn more about, checkout drmarketingtips.com for our podcast resource center with all the notes, links and goodies we mentioned during the show. If you’re not already a subscriber to our show, please consider pressing the subscribe button on your podcast player so you never miss one of our future episodes. And if you haven’t given us a rating or review yet on Itunes, please find a spare minute and help us reach and educate even more of our medical practice peers. Thanks again for listening and we’ll catch you next time. Doctor’s orders.
Thanks for listening to the DrMarketingTips.com podcast. If there’s anything from today’s show you want to learn more about, check out DrMarketingTips.com for our podcast resource center with all the notes, links and goodies we mention during the show. If you’re not already a subscriber to our show, please consider pressing the subscribe button on your podcast player so you never miss one of our future episodes. And if you haven’t given us a rating or review yet on iTunes, please find a spare minute and help us reach and educate even more of our medical practice peers. Thanks again for listening and we’ll catch you next time. Doctor’s orders.
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