Is it just me or is the workforce getting younger? Right now, my company is in heavy growth mode. Just last year, we hired just under 250 new people. As I met with each of these new employees, I was impressed by their skills and smarts, but I was also surprised by how young they were. (I refuse to admit to that this has anything to do with me getting older.)
For decades, baby boomers accounted for the largest portion of the workforce. But now millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, are the largest generation of workers.
That’s good news for employers.
Millennials sometimes get a bad rap for being entitled or disloyal employees. But the reality is that they can bring a lot of value to your practice.
Here are a few reasons to hire young professionals:
1. They’re tech savvy.
Because millennials grew up with technology, they have no problems with electronic health records, data entry, or digital scheduling. With fingers that were made for smart phones, they can help you reach out to patients in ways you may have never tried before—whether that’s texting appointment reminders, sharing test results electronically, or answering questions via email.
2. They’re used to multitasking.
If you’re looking for someone who can juggle various assignments, a millennial may be the best choice. More than any other generation, millennials are used to switching their attention from one activity to another.
3. They can become advocates for your company.
We all know that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising. If you create a great work environment for your millennial employees, they’ll not only tell their friends and family but to share it on their social networks as well. What better way to get the word out about your practice? Once you decide that millennial staff members are right for you, make sure your practice is right for them.
4. They Are Here to Stay
As the most recent generation to come into adulthood, millennial buying power is still in its infancy. As your elderly customer base dwindles, gaining repeat business from millennials will become increasingly important. Not only will this generation be here for the long haul, but the number of millennials in your pharmacy will continue to grow exponentially over the next 25 years.
Here are a few things that young employees are looking for in a job:
1. Current technology and equipment.
Millennials are used to having the latest computers and devices. While you don’t have to buy iPads for every employee, you’ll find that millennials get frustrated with out-of-date or slow equipment and will push for streamlined, modern technology to make processes more efficient. They also expect to have access to social media while they’re at work.
2. A good work/life balance.
Though it’s not always easy to do in a busy practice, it’s important to help your employees achieve a healthy balance between work and home. Young workers want scheduling flexibility so they can pay attention to other parts of their lives. Because they’re always plugged in, they’re usually willing to finish up work outside of business hours.
One of the quickest ways to lose employees is to keep them in the dark about important news or big decisions. Millennials are used to having information at their fingertips and want to feel they have a voice at work, too.
4. Training and development.
A study by Intelligence Group found that 79 percent of millennials want their bosses to serve more as coaches or mentors (and 72 percent would like to be their own bosses). Make sure your young employees have the opportunity to learn and grow in their position by giving them new opportunities and pairing them with someone who will push them to the next level.
I love working with so many great millennials. They’re eager and optimistic and enthusiastic. They’re fun and smart and challenge us to find new ways to improve our organization. And that makes all of us feel a bit younger.
By Melissa Byington