Employee Engagement: The Path to Understanding Public Sector Silent Heroes - Millennial Accountants

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Millennials are the fastest growing generational cohort to enter the professional workforce. The workplace is changing, and public sector leaders need tools to attract, motivate, and retain the talent to fill the void left by baby boomers who are retiring in massive numbers. Engaging employees has been shown to increase productivity, efficiency, morale, and retention, and millennials indicated that they need and want to be engaged within their organizations. This research study explores the topic of millennial employee engagement by conducting a qualitative study using phenomenology to understand how millennials define employee engagement, their lived experiences, and the antecedents that influence their level of employee engagement. Twenty local public sector accountants were interviewed and confirmed that a universal definition of employee engagement would remain elusive. Drawing on relevant literature, individual and organizational employee engagement antecedents were selected and analyzed to determine if there is an impact on millennial public sector accountants. This study revealed that millennial public sector accountants were most influenced by management support, work/life balance, professional growth and development, having a voice, and providing technical expertise in order to help their organization serve the greater good. When millennials perceive that they will receive a benefit from their organization, they will then reciprocate with increased commitment and productivity. The results of this study may enable public sector leaders to understand how to engage millennials to bring out their greatest potential, and in turn, organizations will have the tools and resources to meet their organizational goals and mission and to provide the highest level of services to their citizens.
Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Public Administration
Management, Accounting