Millennials and Leadership

We all know that the Millennial generation (also known as Generation Y) covers those born between 1981 and 1995. Those born after 1995 are part of Generation Z.

Millennials cover an age range of 24-38 so it is no surprise that many are now in management and leadership roles. This article looks at how Millennials are impacting in the Leadership arena as they bring their focus and motivations to the workplace. My expectation is that many readers of this article will be Millennials and it would be really good to have their feedback to this article

How millenials are perceived

As part of the research for this piece I pulled on articles generated by others interested in this space.

Initially some pointers about Millennials in Leadership

In a Millennials survey conducted by Virtuali and Work Place Trends, some interesting pointers showed that 91% of respondents wanted to lead and 50% said that “leadership” is the empowerment of others. The respondents believed they were strong in communication and relationship building – core Millennial features – but lacked confidence in industry experience and commercial expertise.

This throws up to me a warning that Millennials need to have greater commercial awareness on the impact their lifestyle views have on the success of the organisation which is paying them to deliver results.

The survey showed that Millennials clearly have different expectations from previous generations about what they expect to see in their leaders and the social good their organisations are doing both in the workplace and the wider environment.

A Forbes report by Kimberley Fries: 7 Ways Millennials Are Changing Traditional Leadership – highlights how Millennials are impacting on Leadership

    1. They’re showing a willingness to leave when leadership doesn’t meet standards
      Millennial are much more prepared to leave a management role where the leadership has shortcomings and demonstrates the leaders are not prepared to change. Their actions here have caused major disruption in a number of organisations leading to changes about how managers communicate and engage with the wider work force
    2. Millennials are expressing different needs regarding leadership training
      Leadership Millennials are quite demanding about having mentors and on line training facilities to build on their leadership knowledge base. Not all organisations are ready to engage with their needs
    3. They embrace a flat management structure
      Millennials are interested in lateral development as well as ladder development. Flatter structures allow them to focus and develop in both areas
    4. Millennials value leaders who seek feedback from all employees
      Feedback across the workforce is a key Millennials principle and so with the flat management structure mentioned above, Millennials expect leaders who consider everybody in their decision making
    5. They push back against policy for policy’s sake
      In principle Millennials support leadership decisions that benefit the organisation at large. However they have a questioning/challenging approach to most workplace situations. This means as leaders they are more willing to delve into previous decision making processes
    6. As leaders they seek to empower and transform
      Millennials have a cause which is the improvement of mankind and the environment. This means as leaders they will want to create structure, empowerment and engagement levels across organisations
    7. They seek and support flexibility and work-life balance
      Top of the Millennials wants list are a true work/life balance brought about by flexible hours, telecommuting, self-care and flexible workplaces. As they gain an increasing part in the leadership of organisations they have a main focus to drive change across how organisations actually work.

Where does this all take us?

The initial reaction from those I have spoken with regarding this article is that Millennials are just one age grouping amongst the age range of employees across their organisation.

Further they say that they have people policies that are aligned to organisation needs and longer term strategies.

All very nice I say but globally – and Millennials are a global issue – they will become the largest employee demographic within the next two years. Therefore they are not going away and are already well up the management ladders in organisations of all sizes

My question is what is being done in your organisation to meet the Millennial’s needs?

Are you grasping the opportunity their free thinking brings to your leadership table?

Please let me know your point of view on this issue by emailing me at

Charity Golf Day

Bob playing golf Charity Golf Day group photo

Healthskills Partner Bob Baker helped to run a Charity Golf Day in aid of Parkinsons’ UK and Motor Neurone Disease Association last month and raised over £1000 for the two charities. Healthskills sponsored a hole for Bob who is pictured with his group and teeing off at the Weald of Kent Golf Club and Hotel near Maidstone.

HSJ Top Chief Executives for 2019

The Health Services Journal recently published their Top Chief Executives list for 2019, an annual ranking of the pre-eminent leaders of NHS trusts.  Healthskills is delighted to congratulate the outstanding leaders of the following trusts, all of which we have worked with previously or currently:  Michael Wilson at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust; Rob Webster at South West Yorkshire Partnership FT; Nick Hulme at East Suffolk and North Essex FT; Alwen Williams at Barts Health Trust; Tracy Bullock at Mid Cheshire Hospitals FT; Nick Carver at East and North Herts Trust; Garrett Emmerson at London Ambulance Service Trust; Andrew Ridley at Central London Community Healthcare Trust; Roland Sinker at Cambridge University Hospitals FT; Lesley Watts at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital FT and Owen Williams at Calderdale and Huddersfield FT.  Well done to all!

HSJ Partnership Awards 2019

Had a great night at the HSJ Partnership Awards, with our peers and partners, celebrating effective partnerships with the NHS to improve patients’ lives through innovation and exceptional dedication to top quality service. We are so proud to have been shortlisted with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for the Best Educational Programme for the NHS award.

Well done to Sussex MSK Partnership (Central), Here (Care Unbound) and Sussex Community FT – a worthy winner with a great, patient centred-project.

HSJ Partnership Awards – Finalist!


What a great start to 2019! We are absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted with Chelsea & Westminster Hospital FT (CWFT) in the ‘Best Educational Programme for the NHS’ 2019 HSJ Partnership Awards for the Leadership Development programme we delivered during 2018.

In partnership with the Learning and Development team at CWFT, the Executive team and focus groups, we designed an ‘Established Leaders Development Programme’ for strategic leaders including senior clinicians.

The Trust initially commissioned 3 cohorts of up to 20 leaders and following the success of the programme, cohorts 8 and 9 will commence in 2019.

We are thrilled that the achievements and hard work of the delivery teams and the participants have been recognised. Well done to all involved.

Click here to see the full case study 

Healthskills clients in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list

In the NHS’s 70th year, we are thrilled to see that two of our Healthskills NHS clients have been recognised in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list, for their tremendous work. Paul Woodrow, Director of Operations at London Ambulance Service has been awarded the OBE for his leading role in coordinating the emergency responses for victims of the London Bridge terror attack and the Grenfell fire. Margaret Kitching, chief nurse for the North Region, NHS England was awarded the MBE for services to nursing. Healthskills sends our warmest regard to both.

2018 HSJ Awards

We are delighted to congratulate Lesley Watts, Chief Executive at Chelsea and Westminster FT on her 2018 HSJ Award as Chief Executive of the Year. The awards judgement said that “Lesley showed truly outstanding, engaging and sensitive leadership of the trust and her work with partner organisations to deliver improved performance and patient outcomes.” Lesley has been a really visible and proactive sponsor of the Healthskills leadership development programme at the Trust, where we have been successfully working with over 100 leaders since 2016. We would also like to congratulate Newham CCG on their award for Community or Primary Care Services Redesign. Healthskills has been a partner with Newham CCG since 2016, supporting talent management and succession planning with development centres, skills training and leadership programmes. We greatly value our collaboration with both organisations and look forward to continued success in the months ahead.

Shifting cultures, developing people, more than a process!

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are implementing a new Performance and Development Review (PDR) process. The Trust has developed a clear policy and Healthskills were invited to shape a development day to focus on the new approach and to enable managers to ‘re-energise’ their engagement with staff. Aligning and motivating the workforce to deliver business objectives within the challenging context of the NHS is important work. Valuing the workforce in the fast pace targeted acute environment can be forgotten unless we pay attention to ‘ourselves and relationships’.

Healthskills worked in collaboration with the senior OD staff at the Trust to provide an engaging day to develop the confidence and capabilities of more than 500 managers to undertake the PDR. We aimed to support managers to understand the process but more importantly focus their energies on the individual staff member and their work within teams and the organisation. Clarity of performance expectations and delivery but also to creatively consider how development opportunities could be explored and targeted.

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Performance and Development Review (PDR) process - MOTIVATION - ENHANCING AUTONOMY, ENHANCING BELONGING, ENHANCING COMPETENCY, ENHANCING MEANING

Source:Based on Ryan & Deci, 2000 Thomas, 2009


Our day explored how managers could refresh and develop their skills; communicating well, giving and receiving feedback, and in summary exploring how good coaching skills can help shift cultures. We created a safe and fun learning environment with a range of approaches supported by clear theoretical models. The outcomes of our work was well received:

‘Excellent standard of teaching; pitched at correct level and information well delivered’
‘Session was well run and both were engaging and interacted well with the group’
‘Training on understanding my role really helps to enable me to work efficiently’
‘Made me think of about of departmental and team goals and how this may impact on employees PDRs’

The initial outcomes of our work are positive. We hope we have left managers with ‘growth’ mindsets to begin to shift how they work as individuals and in teams at the Trust. The Trust have begun a positive journey as a result of the passion and commitment of senior OD staff at the Trust, the collaborative approach with Healthskills and the commitment from managers to change. The work in the Trust is ongoing.

Healthskills launch a new training programme to support Lambeth and Southwark CCGs

Healthskills has just launched a new multi-disciplinary training programme to support staff in the delivery of the Local Care Network (LCN) Coordination Care Pathway at Lambeth and Southwark CCGs. 120 local leaders will be undertaking a series of learning modules, action learning sets, simulations and reflective practice over the next six months to improve their confidence, skills and knowledge at implementing coordinated care. Over the last 18 months, Lambeth and Southwark LCNs have worked together to co-design and deliver this new approach to place based care coordination for adults with multiple long-term conditions. We are really looking forward to this ground-breaking and progressive partnership over the coming months.