Letter to the Editor by Bethany Durbin to “Multigenerational Challenges: Team-Building for Positive Clinical Workforce Outcomes”

Organizational Outcomes for Providers and Patients

April 22, 2017

Response by Bethany Durbin to “Multigenerational Challenges: Team-Building for Positive Clinical Workforce Outcomes” by Jill Moore and colleagues (May 31, 2016).

With Reply from Authors 

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the May 2016 article “Multigenerational Challenges: Team-Building for Positive Clinical Workforce Outcomes” (Moore, Everly, & Bauer, 2016). I found linking multi-generational differences to team-building in the interest of improved clinical outcomes a refreshing perspective that I have not before considered. I have spent my nursing career in organ transplant where teamwork across disciplines and generations is the norm and where a lack of robust teamwork can result in far-reaching poor outcomes. I chose to respond to this writing as I think there may be more we should consider.

While the article focused upon the values and priorities of the generations presented (i.e., Veteran, Baby Boomer, Generation Xer, and Millennial), further questions regarding teams, their function, and purpose came to my mind as specifically defined by each generational group. Do the multi generations have differing perceptions of the functions of teams? Do differing generations have varying ideas of what their role in a team looks like? Are those ideas influenced by age, title, experience, or other factors? Hill, (2004) relates that multi-generational teams need savvy leadership in order accomplish a cohesive team, which seems to assume a group could not accomplish the task on its own. 

It appears additional research is warranted to further inquire as to differences in these ideas. If so, to what degree they impact team formation, cohesiveness and function (or dysfunction)? As the mix of generations contributing to the workforce changes over time, and with a projected 75% to be Millennials, it would be important to glean whether other generational nuances are at play in the success or failure of teams, as they ultimately affect outcomes at all levels within an organization.

Thank you for the thought-provoking read.


Bethany Durbin, RN, BSN, CCTC
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center


Hill, K. (2004). Defy the decades with multigenerational teams: Learn what motivates veteran, baby boomer, generation X, and generation Y employees. Nursing Management35(1), 32-35 4p.

Moore, J. M., Everly, M., & Bauer, R. (2016). Multigenerational challenges: Team-building for positive clinical workforce outcomes. Online Journal of Issues In Nursing21(2). doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol21No02Man03. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-21-2016/No2-May-2016/Multigenerational-Challenges.html