Millennial Management Case Study: How To Unlock Employee Engagement

Are you doing all that you should to get the best from your young professional talent?
As their supervisor, do you realize that bringing out their potential allows you to reach yours?
Are you not sure how to encourage their autonomy?
You’re not alone.

The real estate financing division of this large financial services company had similar issues to a lot of organizations: how to have more productive and effective Millennial team members. A young employee performed transactional tasks when asked, but didn’t seem to exhibit a real interest in their work.  Constantly managing, prompting and pushing the young professional, rather than spending time on what he needed to do for his job, frustrated the division’s Senior Vice President and pushed him to the breaking point to look for a solution.

In desperation, the SVP, along with the department head, hired us to consult on the situation.  Here’s how we solved their problem.


We were engaged by a division of a bank which had recently merged combining two cultures together.  It was a productive and energetic division which despite the merger, worked well as an ensemble, and stood out from other areas of the organization.  The company had a training program for recent college grads, who were rotated through different departments gaining them access and an introduction to many areas of banking. 12 people were in the program. The division was having challenges engaging its current temporary member who was enrolled in the rotational training; the group questioned what they were doing wrong, to understand why the trainee wasn’t more engaged and proactive.  The previous trainee had been more of a self-starter and more drawn to the work of the department.


What We Did

We held detailed discussions with the Senior Vice President and each of the two trainees separately: the current and the former, as a comparison.  Each young professional was willing to put in the time to talk about their career aspirations. The main focus was on the current trainee. We led our conversation toward examining his previous work experiences along with how he understood his current position and dig at what he was looking for (expecting and hoping) from his work that he hadn’t been able to express. Through listening and asking questions that would resonate with him, we were able to diagnose the stumbling blocks getting in the way of a better functioning team.  We pulled out his skills (researching, software adeptness, decisiveness) in addition to the resources, his personal connections, he had been holding back on, reminding him of his own capabilities. We enabled him to see how much he could do and add to the department. Rather than complain about his current projects, he could impact directly the type and number of deals which were brought to the bank/department and how they were handled. He was then able to be an integral part of the team and apply his skills.

Periodic follow-up communication with the SVP was included and necessary to follow the success of the young professional and answer any questions. 


Immediately afterward, each trainee expressed a genuine appreciation for the exercise and felt the entire bank could benefit from a similar process.  And, the result?

Within two weeks after our meeting, the temporary addition to the real estate team, had proactively scheduled meetings with friends along with their senior colleagues at large potential client companies for business development.  Two months later, the team has become dependent on their temporary team member: between his front-end deal analysis, willingness to visit properties for initial assessments, ability to access information quickly, and his overall willingness to pitch in when needed, his input has allowed the division to function more efficiently and win more deals. Potential real estate deals are being assessed faster allowing the bank to pursue more business and yet skip the deals that aren’t worth it. Our clients, the SVP and department head, are not sure how they will be able to function as well without him and have asked Human Resources if they could keep him in the department.  It’s a 180-degree turnaround in two months and the department’s output, particularly our client, the SVP, because of him.

Could your Millennial team members be missing the communication they need to be more productive and could it be affecting your entire department?

Susan Goldberg Leadership Consulting gives Millennials the soft skill sets they need to better execute in business and ultimately step into leadership roles. We provide a range of consulting services to organizations, focused on emerging leadership and working with emerging leadership with a goal toward greater results and retention. We work for CEO’s, Division Heads, HR executives, team leaders, and Managing Directors/Partners.