3 things to know about millennials in healthcare leadership roles

Despite commonly associating work-life balance with millennial values, a survey from executive search firm Witt/Kieffer finds millennial leaders in healthcare are focused primarily on opportunity and growth.

"As millennials surpass baby boomers and Generation X as the largest share of our nation's workforce, we need to examine how this generation will influence industries — especially healthcare — as they move into leadership roles in top organizations," Rachel Polhemus, senior partner in Witt/Kieffer's healthcare practice, said in a statement.

For the survey, Witt/Kieffer polled 100 healthcare executives, director level and above, who were 40 years old or younger at the time of the survey. Here are their three top findings.

1. Millennials are primarily focused on career growth and opportunities for advancement. When asked what would be the most important factor when considering a new job, 51 percent of respondents said opportunities for career advancement or to take on more responsibility ranked No. 1. Culture and value alignment came second (25 percent of respondents said this was the most important factor), followed by work-life balance (9 percent). However, more than a third of millennials (36 percent) felt their current employer was not actively helping them develop leadership skills.

2. Culture and support are also of the utmost importance to millennial leaders. More than half noted they were concerned about burnout in their roles. Forty percent indicated they would leave their organization due to poor work environment and culture, and 20 percent named lack of organizational support or mentoring as a top reason to leave a company. Comparatively, only 3 percent of respondents said compensation and benefits would drive them to look for new roles.

3. Millennials expect to job hop — even into another industry or geographic region. Most respondents expected to hold three or more positions over the course of their career, with 45 percent expecting to hold more than five jobs. In fact, half of respondents said they plan to find new opportunities in the next six months. The majority would even leave healthcare (77 percent) or move to another region (63 percent) if it meant they could advance their careers.

For more information and strategies on how to recruit and retain millennial leaders, read the full report here.


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