Generational Issues

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At dinner with members of a prominent radiology group this evening, the conversation turned to generational differences and how they impact management and corporate culture. This was something of a hot topic at this year's RBMA conference, where it seemed like everyone had an opinion about the younger generations -- specifically, Gen Y (my own crowd) and the so-called "millennials" -- and how we're impossible to work with. (Oh, really? Say it to my face, already!)

Interestingly enough, it was the opinion of some of the seasoned managers and administrators at the table that Gen Y'ers like myself have more in common with Baby Boomers than we do with the Gen X'ers who preceded us. Shared characteristics include the desire for a flexible work schedule and the need to feel as if we're doing something good for the world. Someone mentioned practices who recruit folks of my generation by promising them a good job on the homefront when they return from a year or two with the Peace Corps or other humanitarian programs. "People have to be managed differently according to their generation," said one dining companion. "Those are just the facts."

Do you manage multiple generations in your imaging center or department? Have you noticed any generational differences, and if so, how do you deal with them?