Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Cassandra Caldwell


Public administrators and civil servants working with vulnerable youth have the challenging yet critical job of supporting their young clients in overcoming adversity and achieving optimal life outcomes. Public administrators and civil servants work with vulnerable youth to help shift their trajectories toward positive life outcomes; however, if these professionals are not thriving in the workplace, they may not have the best possible positive influence on youth. Little was known about how to support the ability of professionals to experience professional thriving, defined as the experience of feeling energized at work and motivated toward professional growth and success. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand the experiences that youth-serving professionals, employed by the Bermuda Government, have in transformational coaching as a first step in understanding its potential to enhance individuals' experiences of thriving at work. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with 8 individuals working in public education, a subset of youth-serving public sector employees. Data were subjected to Thomas's 5-step data analysis procedure, including inductive coding and categorization of codes into themes. Findings indicated 5 common themes experienced by participants: perspective taking, responsibility and commitment, better relationships and results, personal well-being, and risk taking and growth. These themes have all previously been linked to thriving, indicating the potential for transformational coaching to positively affect workplace thriving. The positive social change implication is to provide public administration leadership with an effective professional development strategy to boost employees' potential to thrive and maximize their influence on youth.