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Study shows Millennials view support, access to information as key to staying with an employer

Photo of Justin Walden


Conventional wisdom says the era of the long-term company employee is over and that members of the Millennial Generation job hop.

A new study by researchers at NDSU and the National University of Singapore tells a different story. They found members of the Millennial Generation may be interested in long-term employment with an organization when employee communication is open, thorough and applicable to their work.

The paper, “Employee communication, job engagement, and organizational commitment: A study of members of the Millennial Generation,” appears online in the Journal of Public Relations Research ahead of the journal’s next print edition. The research was conducted by Justin Walden, assistant professor of communication at NDSU, Eun Hwa Jung, assistant professor of communication at National University of Singapore, and Catherine Kingsley Westerman, assistant professor of communication at NDSU.

The researchers surveyed 539 early and mid-career workers born between 1982 and 2004. This group, known as Millennials, now has 75 million members, making them the largest living generation, according to some estimates.

Survey results showed that Millennials were more engaged, or absorbed in their work, with an increase in the quality of information flow, information adequacy and supportiveness. Those three elements also were positively associated with organizational commitment. Millennials who experienced good communication in the workplace were engaged in their work and ultimately felt a stronger connection with their employer.

“If you give Millennials access to information and ensure their communication needs are met, they will throw themselves into their work and remain committed to their employer,” Walden said. “This was important to study since this generation, collectively, has a lot of power to shape our economy for years to come.”

Employers that want to retain talented young employees will benefit from investing in quality strategic employee communication that is tailored to their needs, the authors concluded.

Walden received initial funding for the research from the College at Brockport, State University of New York.

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