The impact of the coaching preferences and perceptions of South African millennial leaders on the success of leadership coaching
According to Stats South Africa, the majority of the leadership roles within the South African labour market falls within the millennial age group. It is therefore critical that businesses adapt and adjust their current development policies and procedures according to the needs of this generational group to ensure successful development and succession interventions. Coaching has only recently been used as a tool in the development of leaders. This study therefore looks at the preferences and perceptions of the millennial leader towards coaching and the impact this has on leadership coaching success. The generational diversity amongst managers, coaches and the millennial leader may contribute to the misunderstanding and a disconnect when it comes to the use of coaching as a tool to develop the millennial leader. It is therefore pivotal that coaches and managers understand the millennials’ perception and preference with regards to leadership coaching to assist in promoting successful coaching interventions. Both the concept of preference and perception is broad and therefore this study concentrates on the preference of how a millennial leader wishes to be coached, and the perception of the millennial leader regarding the characteristics of a coach in terms of the guidance offered, integrity of the coach and the relationship shared with the coachee. The findings of this study will therefore help both managers and coaches to adapt their approach when it comes to interacting and doing business with this generation of leaders. This was a quantitative cross-sectional study that was conducted amongst individuals born between 1981 and 1996 (i.e., the millennial generation). Primary data was collected with a sample size of 382 to identify behaviour and trends of the millennial leader towards coaching. In this study, all factors, except for the millennials’ perception regarding the relationship they share with the coach, had a positive influence on leadership coaching success. This finding is in direct conflict to the belief that the relationship shared with ii the coach is pivotal for coaching success. The study sought to provide guidance to both managers and coaches on how to approach the millennial leader when it came to adopting coaching as a leadership development tool. As a result of the findings of this study, a coaching model was developed and recommended to address the needs of the millennial leader. The study therefore aimed to contribute to the limited literature available on the millennial coachee and to assist businesses on adapting their approaches when dealing with this cohort of the workforce.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management in Digital Business to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2022
Millennials, Coaching success, Leadership coaching