Graduates’ experience of a coaching intervention and its influence on Generation Y’s job satisfaction

Ciolli, Nicole A. (2012-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


The purpose and motivation of this research study is to establish how Generation Y experiences coaching as an intervention and the influence, if any, it has on their levels of job satisfaction. Coaching’s success lies in its ability to act as a change agent, as well as a tool to develop and ensure individual as well as business success across many levels of the organisation. Generation Y graduates currently entering the workplace are a diverse community and the ideas and contributions that this group can bring are accessible and valuable to the bottom line of any business. The researcher investigated the phenomenology of the coaching experience. This is an empirical case study where the unit of analysis is the experience of seven Generation Y individuals, employed on an investment banking graduate programme in South Africa in 2011. Research data was gathered by means of observation, a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews prior to and following four coaching interventions conducted by the researcher. Content from the semistructured interviews and feedback was analysed and further coded under the most frequent themes. The findings suggest that coaching can help graduates improve their feeling of happiness at work and increase their level of job satisfaction. The extent, however, is dependent on many factors, which include but are not limited to, the relationship between the coach and coachee, the ability of the coachee to reflect and yet be able to move towards a solution, as well as the many influences found within the working environment. Coaching was found to increase levels of confidence and assist in focusing on the bigger picture to develop their long-term potential. The study is of value to those organisations considering introducing a coaching programme; as well as those who want to better understand and develop their young talent for the future. Future research could examine ways to measure increased job satisfaction amongst graduates as well as assess the effect on retention levels.

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