The Millennials Have Arrived, Especially in Healthcare!

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

Much has been made of the growing impact of the millennial generation on healthcare and especially the healthcare workforce. The 73 million millennials in the U.S are part of a larger group that now makes up a quarter of the global population. This cohort, born between 1981 and 1996, already became the largest generation in the workforce in 2016. They will make up a dominant 75% of the workforce by 2030. As members of a digitally focused generation that is the most urbanized in history, these employees are already inspiring new efforts among healthcare providers to attract and retain them. Organizations are making people-focused investments in better communications, competitive salaries, more advanced technology and programs for mentoring, work flexibility, and career development to be more attractive as employers. There are lots of opportunities for healthcare learning and workforce development to innovate to meet the needs of these staffers.  

Common negative stereotypes about millennials in the workforce have proliferated, but a 2013 PWC study revealed the extent to which these are inaccurate or should be examined more closely (Finn et al, 2013). A better way to look at the situation is that millennials feel much the same about their work environment as other generations, desiring more flexibility, greater work/life balance, and especially meaning. It’s just that they may be more likely to act on the need for a better situation, leaving “if their needs for support, appreciation and flexibility are not met, while non-Millennials are more likely to leave if they feel they are not being paid competitively, or due to a perceived lack of development opportunities” (Finn et al, 2013). 




Finn, D. and Donovan, A., “PwC’s NextGen: A global generational study,” PwC, 2013, Retrieved at 

This blog post is an excerpt from the longer HealthStream article, Trends That Will Shape the Next Decade in Healthcare. Focused on the people providing healthcare, HealthStream is committed to helping customers address and solve big problems in our industry. From hospitals to long-term care and across the care continuum, there are challenges stemming from demographic changes, governmental mandates, and the need for higher care quality. Download the webinar, Ten Healthcare Trends for 2020, where Robin Rose, Vice President, Healthcare Resources Group, HealthStream discusses this information in detail. HealthStream is dedicated to improving patient outcomes through the development of healthcare organizations' greatest asset: their people. Learn more about our healthcare workforce development solutions