Updated: Feb 19, 2020
Gen Z—and to a somewhat lesser extent, Millennials—have grown up in a world where virtually everything is available immediately on demand at their fingertips. Accordingly, in the workplace as elsewhere, these age groups want what they want, when they want it, and where they want it—and they expect to get it.
For employers, this might seem scary—but "on demand" does not mean demanding. Gen Z and Millennial employees are not looking to be coddled, they just expect things to happen fast, especially in three key areas:
Immediate access. Having never known a world where information is more than a few clicks away, Gen Z in particular has a built-in expectation that technology will provide instant access to data. A recent Dell Technologies survey found that 80% of Gen Zers aspire to work with cutting-edge technology, and a whopping 91% say technology would influence their choice among similar job offers.
Immediate feedback. This expectation of information carries over into the feedback Gen Z and Millennials anticipate receiving from employers. A study by the Center for Generational Kinetics found that 60% of younger workers want multiple check-ins from managers during the week, and a full 40% want interaction with their boss on a daily basis. Do not assume that this is overly time-consuming—these are quick check-ins, so they know that they are doing a good job and are on track, or where they need to course correct.
Immediate impact. The instantaneousness of social media has taught Gen Z and Millennials to expect fast results—and when new hires arrive wanting to have an immediate impact, it can obviously be a huge boon for employers, if these energies are properly channeled with targeted training. Young workers want to be challenged to grow professionally so they will feel fulfilled. Find ways to put them in the center of the action, or they will leave the job behind!