Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Ernesto Escobedo


There is an abundance of scholarly literature examining the Millennial generation's characteristics and their uniqueness in the workforce, but few studies have examined the lived experiences of Millennials and what motivates them in the public sector workplace. Given the size of the Millennial cohort, the largest and most educated in history, this generation of public servants merits more research. This phenomenological study sought to determine what factors motivate Millennial public sector workers through a criterion sample of 20 District of Columbia government employees. Data obtained from interviews were analyzed through use of NVivo10 allowing for the identification of themes, findings and recommendations for further studies. Findings revealed that these 20 workers were motivated by the same factors that impact other generations, as Herzberg delineated in his 2-factor theory. Despite these similarities, participants felt they were unique and not understood by the generations of workers that precede them. The themes obtained from this study can inform public administrators seeking to increase workforce collaboration and productivity and underscores the need for further scholarly attention. Millennial public servants need to feel engaged through increased responsibility, recognition, and the nature of work, as they will soon comprise 1/3rd of the workforce. These findings have implications for social change by educating public administrators and Millennials' coworkers to capitalize on the younger workers' ability to contribute to the overall productivity and competitiveness of government.