Even as the health care field undergoes a dramatic transformation, the people managing that transformation are beginning to change, as well. A new survey by Ernst & Young shows people born after 1965 — Gen Xers and milliennials — have made a "significant shift" into management ranks in U.S. businesses in the last five years. As Hospitals & Health Networks' yearlong Generations in the Workplace series has made clear, hospitals are certainly part of that trend.

Ernst & Young surveyed 1,200 managers and nonmanagers from three generations: Gen Y (millennials), ages 18–31; Gen Xers, ages 33–48; and baby boomers, ages 49–67. It found that 87 percent of Gen Y managers had moved into their roles between 2008 and 2013, compared with 38 percent of Gen Xers and 19 percent of boomers. When asked if the different generations would be ready to manage effectively by 2020, 65 percent of respondents said Gen Xers would be ready and 51 percent said millennials would be up to the task.

"As management shifts to younger generations, the research reveals areas companies can focus on to enhance skill sets, address the challenges of managing multiple generations, and retain and engage employees by understanding which workplace perks they may value most," said Karyn Twaronite, the EY Americas inclusiveness officer and a partner of Ernst & Young LLP. "While it's encouraging that millennials are expected to significantly grow their managerial skills by 2020, the onus is on companies to also give them equitable opportunities to gain the right mentors, sponsors, career experiences and training to capitalize on this optimism."

The latest Generations in the Workplace installment, which appears in the current issue of H&HN, is called "The March of the Millennials." In the article, writer Laura Putre posits two questions for today's hospital leaders: Do you understand how significantly staffing will change in your organization over the next 10 to 12 years? And are you doing anything to prepare for the change?

It turns out, leading-edge hospital leaders do recognize that staffing models will have to change to accommodate the many new forces now at play: the shift from fee for service to pay for performance, the emphasis on population health, the need to strengthen the continuum of care with other providers in the community, the aging of the nation's population, and the advances in technology and treatments that will continue to emerge at a head-spinning pace.

And these leaders, most of whom are baby boomers, are alert to the challenge of bringing younger folks into management ranks. They understand that Gen Xers and millennials have different work and lifestyle expectations than boomers, and that employers will have to consider everything from flexible work schedules to new formulas for pay and perks.

To learn how Lawrence (Kan.) Memorial Hospital; All Children's Hospital in Tampa, Fla.; University Hospitals in Ohio and others are preparing for the next generations of managers, read Laura's article.