Creating a Millennial-Friendly Healthcare Workplace

eye-766166_640Millennials will account for about half of the workforce by 2020 – only a few years from now – and 75% by 2030. Their impact is already being felt in the workplace, and that includes the healthcare industry. In fact, Millennials may have a disproportionate impact on healthcare because surveys show they have a strong interest in working in the field. Since healthcare is attracting these younger employees, companies need to understand what motivates them in order to succeed in hiring and retention.

2016 Deloitte Millennial survey found that the group believes that “businesses should put employees first, and they should have a solid foundation of trust and integrity. Customer care and high-quality, reliable products also ranked relatively high in importance.” Corporate social responsibility also is very important to Millennial workers.

The Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, which conducted a Gen Y survey focusing on women in the workplace, stated it more dramatically: Millennials will “revolutionize the workplace” because they’re tech savvy, they have multicultural perspectives, and they have an “insatiable desire for making a difference.”

Because Millennials grew up using the Internet and mobile devices, they expect integrated, interconnected technology. Companies that cling to outmoded technology or are slow to adopt new technology may find themselves unpopular.

Flexibility in work hours is important, even more so than salary and benefits among many Millennials. Flexible schedules enhance work/life balance, which is valued by the Millennial worker cohort.  A good workplace environment is also vital, so a friendly, collegial atmosphere might need to be cultivated. In addition, competition among peers takes a back seat to a cooperative spirit and team-based approach. This could be particularly meaningful in healthcare, where there is growing emphasis on team-based care. Millennials also expect diversity in the workplace; they are more comfortable being surrounded by people of all backgrounds.

Developing skill sets is another important factor. Millennials expect to gain skills in the workplace to advance in their careers, which might require training and mentoring opportunities.

The key to attracting and retaining Millennial workers is not to simply offer a series of enticements. Instead, it’s to make the workforce environment an attractive place for the new generation of workers. To accomplish that, healthcare organizations may need to:

  • Put employees first (after patient care, of course)
  • Establish organizational integrity
  • Adopt effective technology
  • Implement flexible work hours where possible
  • Develop a congenial, collegial atmosphere
  • Create a team-based approach
  • Offer career development opportunities

For healthcare organizations pondering whether to implement such changes, you might want to listen to Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global: “The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and its contribution to society as they are in its products and profits. These findings should be viewed as a valuable alarm to the business community… they need to change the way they engage Millennial talent or risk being left behind.”

Kerry Sirkka
Kerry Sirkka is division vice president of travel nurse recruitment at AMN Healthcare.

Share This Post


Related Articles

Powered by ·