Do Millennials Feel Differently About Their Organizations Than Other Workers?

by Mark Marone  |  February 7, 2021

Millennials Aren’t All That Different from Others in the Workplace

It’s understandable that workers of varying ages will have varying priorities, goals, and outlooks. Studies of Millennials (persons born between 1981 and 1996) seem to largely focus on how different they are from other generations in the workforce. But continuing research, including by Dale Carnegie, does not support the conclusion that Millennials differ so significantly.

We find that both Millennials and non-Millennials share similar views about their organization’s leadership, their managers, and their workplaces. With Millennials set to be 75% of the workforce by 2025, it’s important to understand how these factors correlate to employee engagement.

When it comes to one of the most significant factors affecting engagement—organizational pride—Millennials and non-Millennials appear to be cut from the same cloth.

Millennials Regard Their Organizations Much Like Other Generations

In our testing, we assumed that Millennials would be significantly less attached to their organizations than other workers. After all, 35% of Millennials reported that they were likely to leave their company for a better paying job compared to only 19% of Gen Xers and 9% of baby boomers.

But Millennials aren’t that different. Instead,

Both Millennials and non-Millennials take pride in their organization’s commitments to their communities (44% Millennials; 45% non) and the brand’s reputation (45% Millennials; 48% non).

Both groups see themselves as good fits with their organization’s cultures (44% Millennials; 46% non), and both strongly agree that their individual values are aligned with the values of their organizations (43% Millennials; 41% non).

Both believe they make an important contribution to their teams and organizations (58% Millennials; 60% non), and both feel a responsibility to their teammates (59% Millennials; 60% non).

Furthermore, Millennials and non-Millennials both strongly agree with their organization’s mission and goals (44% Millennials; 48% non).

All in all, Millennials and non-Millennials are on the same page when it comes to organizational affiliation and alignment. And that’s a good thing.

Organizational Pride Impacts Employee Engagement—Significantly

Our research suggests that five key emotions—feeling valued, confident, inspired, enthusiastic, and empowered—affect employee engagement either directly or indirectly. And when employees are fully engaged, stellar organizational performance follows.

Organizational pride plays a key role in sparking feelings of enthusiasm and inspiration that lead to engagement. For example, almost 75% of employees say they are more likely to work for a company that focuses on sustainability as part of their company culture. Engagement stems from a worker’s emotional willingness to commit to their organization. So, what can you do to inspire organizational pride?

Three Ways To Boost Organizational Pride

It’s not as tough as you might think. Of the three drivers of engagement—pride in organization, trust in leadership, and connectedness with immediate manager—organizational pride is the easiest set of employee engagement factors to influence. Here are three ways to make it happen:

1- Communicate constantly. To be inspired, employees need to understand and appreciate the organization’s mission and goals and see their part in realizing them. When an organization’s mission is never mentioned—or worse, if the organization’s purpose is unknown or ambiguous—not only does pride take a hit, but performance suffers, too. This is especially critical in our volatile modern world where businesses must change course quickly and have employees pivot willingly.

2- Market internally. Lots of organizations have brilliant marketing departments that make their case to potential clients, but who is touting the company’s brand, reputation, or social responsibility internally? Workers cannot have organizational pride if they are not actively informed about what’s new and going on with the company. What excites customers and shareowners will excite and inspire employees, too.

3- Hire smartly. You’ll be light years ahead if you hire employees who already understand and believe in your organization’s culture and values. While you don’t want a workforce of clones (i.e. choosing people with similar backgrounds and experiences), round pegs in square holes won’t cut it in the long run either.

These actions will ring equally genuine with Millennials and non-Millennials. After all, they aren’t as different as we think.


Written By

Mark Marone

Mark Marone, PhD. is the director of research and thought leadership for Dale Carnegie and Associates where he is responsible for ongoing research into current issues facing leaders, employees and organizations world-wide. He publishes frequently on various topics including leadership, the employee/customer experience and sales. Mark can be reached at