Understanding and Learning Multigenerational, Culturally Diverse Healthcare Teams

Different people, including policymakers, academicians, and the public, acknowledge the importance of preventing patient harm in healthcare settings. According to Rosen et al. (2018), creating high performing teams is crucial in eradicating or minimizing the errors that manifest in healthcare. Hence, it is vital to develop teams that integrate open communication, inclusivity, trust, and those that can quickly solve conflicts.

Communication failures serve as a considerable setback to many teamwork operations. However, as Moore et al. (2016) elucidate, effective communication is the cornerstone of intergenerational and culturally diverse teams. Effective team leaders strive to ensure that the communication approaches employed represent everybody (Moore et al., 2016). For a nurse leader to ensure open communication, it is vital to assimilate different modes of communication. As Moore et al. (2016) inform, utilizing various communication methods shows respect for all team members. Thus, using different communication channels offers diverse and productive team communication.

Multigenerational and culturally diverse teams should be more inclusive. As Moore et al. (2016) posit, inclusive teams allow team members to appreciate and recognize the knowledge and skills that others have to offer, as well as boosts the members’ self-esteem and keeps them engaged. A crucial strategy for improving team inclusiveness is to identify the team commonalities and utilize them to promote recognition among team members.

Teams comprising intergenerational and culturally diverse individuals work well together when their work is founded on trust. With trust, team members can acknowledge their mistakes, air their concerns, and table their weaknesses without fear of being reprised (Moore et al., 2016). A team that has nurtured trust is also able to integrate competence and integrity in its operations. An effective strategy to build trust among team members is through the “Mine Field” activity, which incorporates communication, cooperation, and trust, by helping a team member to navigate through a room filled with obstacles.

Finally, when team members have managed to incorporate open communication, inclusivity, and trust, they can easily solve their conflicts. For a nurse leader to effectively resolve team conflicts, it is crucial to establish a guiding principle that identifies conflict as an essential aspect of teamwork (Moore et al., 2016). An appropriate strategy for resolving disputes is coaching or mentoring, which plays an indispensable role in helping team members focus on their strengths and boosts accountability.




Moore, J. M., Everly, M., & Bauer, R. (2016). Multigenerational Challenges: Team-Building for Positive Clinical Workforce Outcomes. Online journal of issues in nursing21(2), 3. https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol21No02Man03

Rosen, M. A., DiazGranados, D., Dietz, A. S., Benishek, L. E., Thompson, D., Pronovost, P. J., & Weaver, S. J. (2018). Teamwork in healthcare: Key discoveries enabling safer, high-quality care. The American psychologist, 73(4), 433–450. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000298

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