Millennial Management Case Study: How To Unlock Employee Engagement

Are some of your new Millennial hires driving you crazy? Are you impressed by a few of them, yet not sure how to encourage their autonomy?  Many supervisors feel they are not getting the most out of their young professional talent.  And it’s costing them.  As their supervisor, your ability to bring out a Millennial’s potential is actually key to reaching yours.  But how?

Here’s how we helped a Senior Vice President, like you:

The real estate financing division of this large bank had similar issues to a lot of organizations: how to have more productive and effective Millennial team members.

A young bright well-educated employee performed transactional tasks when asked, but didn’t seem to exhibit a real interest in his work.  To him, he was doing the work although admittedly bored by his projects.  Charming with many interests and not shy, what was stopping him from asking questions and exhibiting curiosity?

Constantly managing and prompting the young professional, rather than spending time on his job, frustrated the division’s Senior Vice President to the breaking point.  A natural teacher, listener and problem solver, the SVP took it personally that the new addition didn’t seem to be working out, on top of his own work was taking a back seat because of it.  Had he lost his leadership ability?

In desperation, the usually patient SVP, along with the department head, brought us in to deliver insights and results.  Listen in.


We were hired by a division of a bank which had recently merged combining two cultures together.  It was a productive and energetic division which 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. Problem: The division was having challenges with its current rotational training member; why wasn’t the trainee more engaged and proactive? This was their second experience with the program, the previous trainee was more of a self-starter. 


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. Then discussed his current position, digging to discover what he was expecting and hoping from this work that he somehow 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 directly impact the type and number of deals which were brought to the bank and how they were handled. He was then able to be an integral part of the team and apply his skills.

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


Each trainee expressed a genuine appreciation for the exercise and felt the entire bank could benefit from a similar process.  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 eagerness 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, question how they will 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.

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.