Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

Dale Carnegie Training Uncovers What Drives Engagement for Millennials at Work


86% of Millennials are Significantly More Likely to be Engaged at Work Compared to Baby Boomers

Hauppauge, NY (Feb 12, 2015) – Dale Carnegie Training®, the worldwide leader in professional development, performance improvement, leadership training and employee engagement, unveils new findings on how to motivate millennials at work, as well as how to lessen the differences between millennials and baby boomers.The study reveals that millennials feel less valued, less confident and not as connected to their work compared to their older colleagues.  Research findings also show that what motivates millennials may not motivate older employees. By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. and Canadian workforces, which is why Dale Carnegie Training decided to focus on understanding the major factors that motivate and engage this generation of workers.
For the purpose of this study, conducted in 2014, Dale Carnegie Training concentrated on millennials, defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34, to better understand how they perceive themselves in the workforce compared to older-non millennials, defined as those between the ages of 50 and 65, otherwise known as baby boomers.  Furthermore, the study aimed to uncover the major factors that engage millennials at work, and found that this generation of workers places a significant value on a number of attributes that they find are missing from their workplace, such as:
  • Doing work that is varied and interesting
  • Honest and open communication with senior management
  • The ability to learn and develop beyond their current job
"We conducted this study with the hope of discovering a solution to the problem of the widening generation gap in the workplace," said Piera Palazzolo, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Dale Carnegie Training.  "Pinpointing what makes millennials engaged and more efficient workers is crucial for managers to understand so they can emphasize these elements in the workplace, and successfully motivate this generation of workers."
Key Survey Results
For Millennials, certain functional and emotional attributes were found to be above average in importance and below average in presence at work.
·         Functional attributes:
o    The study found that millennials significantly valued doing work that varies, honest senior management, open communication between employees and senior management, and the ability to learn and develop beyond their current job, but did not find these elements to be part of their workplace.
o    Millennials also found value in flexible work schedules, as well as getting help when they find it is needed.
·         Emotional attributes:
o    Millennials said that the following emotional attributes were all of high importance but were missing from their jobs: having confidence in the leadership abilities of an immediate supervisor, having an immediate supervisor who cares about their personal life and the effects its has on their job, and being satisfied with the amount of input they themselves have in the decisions that effect their work.
While engaged millennials found a number of functional attributes that were above average in importance and below average in presence at work, the only attribute that was above average in both importance and presence was being given help or support when needed.
The study found differences between millennials and baby boomers when questioning certain functional and emotional attributes.
  • Millennials did not find that their jobs provided enough work that is varied, and interesting and immediate supervisors that set good examples, compared to older employees who found these attributes to be part of their workplaces.
  • Study findings revealed that compared to baby boomers, millennials had a less than average level of confidence in the leadership abilities of immediate supervisors, less than average amount of pride in the contributions their company makes to the community, and a less than average feeling of being energized by going to work.
While the study found a number of disconnects between millennials and their older colleagues, findings did show certain similarities between both demographics.
  • Both generations said they needed better communication, more honest senior leaders, supervisors that have more of a personal interest in them, and more praise recognition for a job well done.
  • The study also found that both demographics said that communication, incentives/perks, and pay/compensation were considerable drivers of engagement.
Millennials showed a significantly higher interest than older non-millennials in taking courses related to leadership, public speaking, building self confidence, and team work and team management.
  • 24% of millennials showed an interest in leadership compared to 16% of older non-millennials
  • 23% of the younger generation reported a significant interest in establishing team work and team management skills, compared to 13% of the older generation
This survey of employees was conducted in May 2014 by MSW/ARS Research on behalf of Dale Carnegie Training. Participants included 150 employees ages 18 to 34 years old and 150 employees ages 50 to 65 years old.



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