What gives fire and what kills passion at work among the Generation Y?
Marttinen, Kitte; Kostamo, Tuukka (2016)
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
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Marttinen K., Kostamo T., (2016). What gives fire and what kills passion at work among the Generation Y?. , Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. URN:ISBN:978-952-6619-93-4
In the future working life, employees’ creativity and social skills are going to be the organisations’ key to success. We argue that with this development, employees’ engagement is of utmost importance as engaged employees have been shown to be consistently more creative, innovative, and emotionally invested in their work. However, there is a relative lack in understanding how engagement can be led. In this study, we approach engagement through the concept of passion at work in order to highlight the role of emotions in this phenomenon. We tentatively define passion at work as consciously accessible, intense positive feelings experienced by engagement in work activities that people love or like, or find important, and in which they invest time and energy We study passion in the context of Generation Y, whose members are going to represent the majority of the work force within a decade. In order to uncover the ways to successfully lead the passion of Generation Y, we seek to understand what its members hold important: How they themselves construct the meanings of passion and leadership in their work? To this end, we conduct a preliminary analysis of 30 pilot interviews in four Finnish organisations. Through qualitative content analysis, we study how the members of Generation Y themselves construct the meaning of passion and what enhances or kills their passion at work. Through our results, we gained some tentative confirmation for our initial definition of passion. Our results highlighted the role of meaningfulness, autonomy, and the community in enhancing passion at work. In addition to the lack of enhancers of passion, our results show how the lack of feedback as well as micro-management can kill passion at work. We conclude by giving some tentative ideas on how to lead the passion of the Generation Y.