Take Time to Translate.
When different cultures collide, we need to take time for translation. 5 generations, each with their own culture, working together in the same space can offer many opportunities for misunderstanding. Recently, as I was working with a group of hospital administrators, the Nursing Director in charge of the ER stopped me and shared a quick story. They had received a patient into the ER who was covered in tattoos. As they were about to get to work on the patient, a Boomer nurse stated that the patient was on drugs and they needed to act accordingly. A Millennial nurse (working on the same patient) rolled up her sleeves and proudly showed her tats and made it more than clear that just because someone has tattoos does not mean they are a drug addict. Tempers flared. The Nursing Director immediately had to step in and help translate the reality of what was occurring between the two nurses and help them remember that their primary focus was patient care. Bridging the Generational Gap is something we cannot ignore. We need to remember the more our employees have context for the shift that is occurring, the less the culture collide will hinder the real heart and purpose behind what our organization is trying to accomplish.