Work motivation among millennial employees with different life goals: Case of Serbian companies

Ivana Kovačević, Jelena Anđelković Labrović


Millennials constitute the majority of today’s workforce in global market as well as in Serbia. One of the main challenges of contemporary Human resource management is how to create environment where their abilities can be empowered and their potentials used. In that sense the purpose of this paper is to depict the motivational goals among Serbian millennials, to understand what motivates them, what are their most important needs that have to be satisfied in work environment. We questioned 363 employees from five different companies in Serbia using three questionnaires adapted according to the self-determination theory, considering goal orientations, level of motivation and need satisfaction in the working environment. It is shown that Serbian millennials are relatively similar to their peers in other countries. They mostly strive toward intrinsic goals, but include monetary aspect as well. Their type of motivation gravitate toward more autonomous extrinsic motivation, respectively toward motivation through identification. Regarding their need satisfaction, they are more satisfied with affiliative needs and needs for competency and least satisfied with existential needs. Also, results show that the main differences were not always defined by the opposition between intrinsic and extrinsic goals but rather, by the contrast formed between those who, almost unselectively strive toward goals, and those who did not expressed strong orientation toward either of goals. It is emphasized that Serbian millennials are not quite integrated category regarding their motivating profile; they differ according to the factor of their goal orientation, but most important is the level of strength of their goal orientation.


Work motivation. Millennials. Need satisfaction. Intrinsic/extrinsic goals.

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