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of your surgery center’s team. “We [Baby Boomers] probably need to be a little more patient with these [generational] differences because the rap on the Gen Xers has been that they’re job hoppers, they’re in it for themselves, but I don’t really see that,” Stahlman continues. “They just have a different idea of what loyalty is. We have to be the best and most favorable environment because the competition will be savage for really good people. They’re going to want a fun environment and a little more re- laxed environment. They like to work collaboratively. My generation was shooting for the corner office with windows. The younger people don’t care much about that. They really do care about results, about being part of something meaningful.” Zoch says that most friction be- tween generational groups comes

from a lack of understanding of the natural characteristics and tendencies of the different generations as well as of the individual, and efforts to change someone is likely wasted time. “Rob- ert Heinlein, a science fiction author, said, ‘Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig,’” Zoch says. “My point is that changing others is not only frustrating but also, as most of us know, unpro- ductive. Understand that what works well for one age group will absolutely not work for another.” It is important for staff members to be prepared to shift their expectations based, in part, on generational char- acteristics, including those of physi- cians, says Jacobs. “Younger doctors tend to have a different work ethic than the Baby Boomer doctors. That’s something that impacts the staff of ASCs. When you have a Baby Boom-

er doctor who is [very] productive, staff love that because it means more work hours. The Gen Xer [physician] may have more of a work/life balance. That’s a healthy way to be, but it also means you may need more doctors to fill up the ORs. It’s important to help the staff have that reasonable expecta- tion about [their physicians] as well.” “The reality is health care is a

team sport,” Zoch says. “A surgeon can’t perform surgery without a sup- port team. You have to find a way to make that team work. Most of that is through not just skills but effectively communicating so you can get the outcome that everyone wants. My ad- vice is to hire good people that know what to do, help them understand the generational differences, then let them do their jobs. Don’t get too caught up in the ‘style’ or ‘approach’ they may take. Look at the results.”



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