Retention and Turnover of Millennials in the Workplace: A Qualitative and Phenomenological Methodology

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The purpose of this study was to conduct qualitative phenomenological research (a) considering the impact of a good jobs strategy (GJS) on retention intentions of millennial employees while (b) seeking to understand any significant motivation and hygiene factors influencing millennial retention and turnover, and (c) understanding any significant change management efforts required for implementation of a GJS. This study was based on Herzberg’s (1964) motivation-hygiene theory with specific application for the millennial generation. Using a phenomenological approach, semistructured interviews were conducted using 13 random millennial participants who volunteered and responded to a flyer posted on a bulletin board in Starbucks and posted on the principle investigator’s LinkedIn social media page. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for the purposes of this study. Three themes emerged from the data including individual factors, organizational factors, and environmental factors. Ten subthemes also emerged from the data, which included recognition and praise, pay, feedback, career opportunities, time off, flexibility, management, culture, job elements, and team. The overall findings in this study, related to the factors that serve as motivation and hygiene factors for the millennial generation, closely align to Herzberg’s two-factory theory. As the number of millennial generation workers continues to grow in the workplace over the next few years, this study may assist organizations and managers in understanding the motivation and hygiene (de-motivation) factors of the millennial generation in an effort to reduce millennial turnover and increase millennial retention.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Business Administration
Business Administration, Organizational Psychology