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Employee Engagement Experiences of Millennials in the Federal Government Open Access

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Presently referred to as the “silver tsunami”, Baby Boomers are retiring from the federal government in mass volumes threatening the leadership structure and institutional knowledge of the federal workforce. Yet, Millennial workers are entering the workforce in large numbers with over 82 million members. Because of this drastic shift, organizations have spent large sums of money to recruit Millennials but are struggling to retain and engage them in the federal workplace. A basic qualitative study was used to study the employee engagement experiences of Millennial federal government employees.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirteen Millennial federal government employees to gain an understanding of their work engagement experiences within the federal workplace. Findings from this study emphasized Millennial federal government employees’ need to feel valued; have opportunities for professional and personal growth; have meaningful work; and have valuable relationships with managers. These findings were informed by the theoretical frameworks of social exchange theory and perceived organizational support. It is the researcher’s intent that these findings will stimulate future research and practice and build further knowledge on understanding the work engagement experiences of Millennial federal government employees, as a means to employ them in the workforce and address the “silver tsunami” of retirement within the federal workplace.

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