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Health Care Is a Team Sport

The different generations at work in ASCs today do things differently, but all are working for the same result. BY ROBERT KURTZ


SC management experts agree that while unfair stereotypes

need to be avoided, developing an un- derstanding of the different genera- tions working at your ASC can put you in a better position to recognize pos- sible conflicts—before they develop. Taking generational traits into account can also help you take action that will help build a better workplace, improve staff and patient satisfaction and help ensure that your surgery center deliv- ers the highest quality care and best surgical experience.

Who Are the People in your ASC? Primarily, three different generations work in ASCs today, says Greg Zoch, managing director and partner with Kaye/Bassman, an executive search and recruitment firm based in Dallas, Texas. There are the Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964), Generation X (born


1965–1979) and Generation Y (born 1980–1995). Some ASCs even have a few veterans from the “Silent Genera- tion,” the pre-1946 babies. “Depending on who you talk to,” adds Zoch, “there’s a slight argument about when one gen- eration starts.” “Four generations now working in the same place at the same time means that 20-year-old new hires can find themselves working side-by-side with colleagues who are older than they are by 50 years (or even more) for the first time in history,” says Marcus William- son, president of the spine division, managed network and business devel- opment for Symbion Healthcare. Since most individuals from the Silent Generation are no longer in the work force, this article focuses pri- marily on the other three groups. With the understanding that these are broad generalizations and “there’s always go-

ing to be outliers,” says Zoch, he de- scribes the groups as follows: Baby Boomers: “They’re the larg-

est population of any generation alive today. When they were young, they were open-minded and rebellious and questioned the status quo, but they be- came more conservative as they aged. Generally speaking, job status and social standing are important to Baby Boomers. They created the concept of ‘workaholic.’ They tend to be optimis- tic, loyal and ambitious, and they tend to have very few job/career changes over the course of their career.” Generation Xers: “Most Gen Xers

grew up with both parents working outside the home. They were the day- care kids—the latchkey kids. They’re generally well-educated, and they also tend to be very resourceful, self-reliant and independent. They enjoy informal- ity, they tend to be entrepreneurial and have a healthy skepticism of authority. Unlike the Baby Boomers, they’re not interested in long-term employment, a one-company career, corporate loyalty or status symbols. In the workplace,

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