Millennials – Why all the Fuss? Part I

Part I: Firsthand Research

With so much hype about millennials, we set out to determine if they truly behave in the workforce differently than other generations. Like any good scientists, we needed facts and data. We turned to our own client research. We’ve conducted roughly five studies in the past six months to determine if the millennial population differs from the rest of the employee base across various organizations.

Engagement Drivers
In an analysis of the drivers of engagement by generations (baby boomers, Generation Xers, and millennials), we found the following:

  • The top five statistically significant drivers of Engagement were the same across all three generations.
  • The top two drivers for each generation were the same and in the same order of strength of relationship (largest beta weights). Those were Senior Management and Mission.
  • The remaining three drivers were the same for each generation, but with a slightly different priority order when examining size of beta weights from largest to smallest.
  • One notable difference was that in this specific sample, management was the least important factor in millennials’ level of engagement among these five factors, whereas it was the third most important for Boomers and Gen X.

Turnover Drivers
In another series of analyses, we examined the key factors of voluntary turnover among employees across three different clients. For each organization, we found the same top key driver of turnover regardless of generation, meaning although the key driver differed by client, the key driver was the same for all generations within each organization. Millennials did not differ in the reasons they stayed or left the organization from other employees.

New Hire Experiences
We also recently examined whether new hires differed in their initial experiences based on their generational cohort. Here, we looked to see whether millennials scored significantly differently than their older generational counterpoints. We found that although there were slight differences in some scores, they were not large enough to be significant – with the exception of the Onboarding category. It seems that new hires largely had the same expectations and evaluations of their initial tenure in the organization.


The bottom line? None of these studies revealed any real differences between the millennials and all others. Stay tuned for part II on this subject where we examine the secondary research, and for more information on millennials read our white paper.

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