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Are Millennials Less Motivated?

Employers are concerned about the next generation of young workers.

What motivates millennials? Why do they seem so entitled? Why do so many keep switching jobs? Why do they only sometimes get along with older coworkers? How are these trends changing over time?

We have already addressed many of these questions.

But the issue of motivation keeps coming up.

Are Millennials really less motivated?

To find out, Cangrade conducted a large-scale survey of adults currently employed in the US.

We asked about a type of motivation that can make employees exceptional: willingness to go “above and beyond” the call of duty.

Psychologists call this motivation organizational citizenship. (And very importantly, organizational citizenship consistently predicts important workplace outcomes—even when employees are asked to rate themselves, like in this survey.)

Generation-Organizational-Citizenship Comparing across generations reveals two basic trends:

1. Millennials do, on average, report less motivation to go “above and beyond” than older generations.

2. Across all generations, most workers are willing to go “above and beyond” for their job.

This evidence shows that some Millennials are less motivated. But the differences aren’t dramatic.

Looking at the results a different way, only 5% of Millennials were motivated to do just the bare minimum. 95% reported that they are willing to do more. Most people were willing to go “above and beyond.” Regardless of age group.

Employers should find these results to be quite encouraging.