Original Research

How coaching aligns the psychological contract between the young millennial professional and the organisation

Chantelle Solomon, Salome van Coller-Peter
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1146 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1146 | © 2019 Salome van Coller-Peter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 December 2018 | Published: 30 September 2019

About the author(s)

Chantelle Solomon, Management Coaching, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Salome van Coller-Peter, Management Coaching, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

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Orientation: Coaching has the potential to align the expectations between young millennial professionals and their organisations as coaching in a business context should result in mutually beneficial outcomes valued by both the coachee and the organisation.

Research purpose: The research reported in this article explored how coaching contributes to the alignment of the psychological contract between an organisation and the young millennial professional.

Motivation for the study: The work-related preferences and expectations of millennials can result in misalignment in the psychological contract between organisations and young millennial professionals, negatively affecting their level of engagement; performance and tenure. There is a paucity of research into building psychological contract mutuality and the coaching of millennials.

Research approach/design and method: A phenomenological approach within a qualitative research design was followed. This included semi-structured interviews with seven young millennial professionals who had been coached and email interviews with five coaches who had coached young millennial professionals.

Main findings: Coaching can enhance the psychological contract between young millennial professionals and their organisations, particularly with regard to career development. Alignment in expectations regarding career development may result in improved performance; enhanced affective commitment and lower turnover.

Practical/managerial implications: Coaching is a viable strategy for organisations to engage and retain their young millennial professionals by cultivating psychological contract alignment in the employer-employee relationship.

Contribution/value-add: This research supplements the limited body of knowledge on building psychological contract mutuality and coaching efficacy for young millennials.


coaching; millennials; millennial professionals; psychological contract; career development; generational differences


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