Lab Matters Fall 2018 | Page 6

INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH A Call to Action: Finding a New Path for the Next Generation by Lorelei Kurimski, MS, director, Institutional Research and Sara Woldehanna, MS, MA, manager, Program Evaluation 4 LAB MATTERS Fall 2018 satisfaction −3 −2 −1 0 1 2 3 4 5 Low <−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−Value providing public service−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−>High Figure 2: Perceived Value of Continuing Education and Training vs. Job Satisfaction At a minimum, we need to find the incentives that attract high performers to want to come work in the PHL community. The report provides some areas for consideration on this topic. For instance, while a key incentive for entering and/or remaining in the public health workforce might be assumed to be the value of public service, the report shows that this is true more for Baby Boomers than Millennials. Unlike Baby Boomers, the correlation between the value of public service and job satisfaction for Millennials was low (See Figure 1). Therefore, recruitment and retention strategies that highlight public service might fall short of their goal with this generation. −4 Tracking the “Brain Drain” Figure 1: Perceived Value of Providing Public Service vs. Job Satisfaction As a public health laboratory (PHL) community, we need to find creative yet practical solutions that laboratories can implement to attract, support and sustain the next generation. The most recent APHL workforce survey report underscores the importance of carefully examining the differences between generations of laboratorians, particularly the Millennials. The report highlights that more Millennials (compared to Generation X) indicated an intent to leave the PHL workforce. In fact, fully a third of Millennials intended to leave the workforce in the next five years as compared to 16% of Generation X. As younger workers continue to become a larger percentage of the workforce, traditional career tracks within a particular laboratory likely will shrink to a much shorter tenure. These shortened terms of employment and faster cycles of turnover not only put a strain on existing staff to provide training while sustaining capacity and capabilities, but also pose a risk for organizational knowledge where subject matter experts with decades of public health laboratory science experience become something from the past. −3 −2 −1 0 1 2 3 Low <−−−−−−−−−−−−Value of continuing education/training−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−>High PublicHealthLabs @APHL