Leading a Multi-Generational Workforce Recap

On the morning of August 28, many UHE members gathered to begin the day with some top-notch food, networking and enlightening discussion. Sincere thanks go out to Intermountain Healthcare for hosting us at LDS Hospital, Logan Regional Hospital and Dixie Regional Medical Center, as well as UHE’s education committee for booking such excellent presenters.

The topic of “Leading a Successful Multi-Generational Workforce” was presented by experts in the fields of Human Resources and Human Relationships. We first heard from Dr. Dale Spartz, Chief Human Resource Officer at University of Utah Healthcare. After Dr. Spartz we heard from author, speaker, and media personality — Human Relationships Expert, Dr. Matt Townsend. Our moderator was Jeanine Wilson, Director of Human Resources at Sutter Physician Services.

Dr. Spartz began his presentation with informative data on different generations and the make-up of our current workforce: Traditionalists (1%), Baby Boomers (15%), Gen X (36%), and Millennials (48%).  He explained what motivates these groups in general and gave context regarding why each may hold different viewpoints and values. He shared data showing that it takes extra effort to gain company loyalty from Gen Xers and Millennials. He outlined many HR initiatives aimed at engaging younger generations.

Dr. Townsend spoke about synergy and the paradox of trying to build a tangible business from a workforce motivated by intangibles. He spoke on the seven basic needs outlined in his most recent book, entitled Starved Stuff: Feeding the 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships. These needs are: Safety, Trust, Appreciation, Respect, Validation, Encouragement and Dedication. These are universal needs, but Dr. Townsend expertly presented them as they relate to Organizational Culture.

Both speakers touched on the fact that we all want similar things, regardless of our generational differences. We all want to succeed, to be valued and to be appreciated. They both indicated that it is more important to hire for character than to hire for competency, because competencies can be more easily taught. They agreed that when working with people we should be aware of those people as individuals and not as their generational stereotypes. However, they said it is important to know the context in which the generations have lived so that we can better relate.

Again, we would like to thank our speakers and everyone who came out to make this event a success.


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