The workforce demographic is changing, and the culture is shifting with it. As older generations pursue retirement and younger generations enter the workforce, a new trend in what motivates employees has emerged. The Generation Y workforce, also known as Millennials, has proven to be more attracted to flexibility and variety in their work than previous generations. Millennials strive for work/life balance, ensuring they are devoting quality time to their personal interests while excelling in their career.
This workforce trend also extends to healthcare. Millennial nurses are drawn to a flexible schedule that accommodates their personal life. The routine and familiarity of being core to a specific unit doesn’t necessarily meet the desires of the new generation of nurses. Rather, contingency resources such as enterprise resource pools are an ideal fit for nurses looking for flexibility and variety. With the right scheduling tools and staffing practices, nurses can proactively sign up for shifts when it fits into their schedule – allowing them to feel in control of their work life.
Enterprise resource pools are a valuable staffing strategy for a large health system with multiple facilities in the same metro area, and speak to the adventurous spirit of millennials. Resource pool RNs have multiple competencies to be deployed to a variety of units and facilities. They also have the ability to flex up and down with demand.
It may seem puzzling to utilize new graduates or less experienced RNs as resource pool staff given the need to be highly skilled in multiple areas and able to hit the ground running. But it is a viable option with the right program in place. A clear timeline and extensive training prepares new staff to be competent to float to multiple units and facilities at a moment’s notice.
The flexibility of resource pool staff is redefining the way nursing staff is utilized. Leveraging this type of labor helps shift staff and leadership from unit-centric thinking to an enterprise mentality – using resources in a manner that is best for the entire organization.
Millennials are changing the landscape of the labor force. Not necessarily motivated by money, the new generation of nurses likes having choices and variety in their work, finding their niche somewhere they can balance work with their personal life. Resource pools are a staffing practice that offers the flexibility and variety that this younger generation desires.
As provider organizations are concerned with the growing labor shortage, focusing on strategies to improve the recruitment and retention of the new generation of nurses should be a top priority. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials make up approximately 25 percent of the workforce, increasing substantially over the next decade. Organizations that implement programs and schedules that attract the younger workforce are able to tap into the potential of exceptional nurses who seek a strong work/life balance.