A common refrain during the ongoing pandemic has been that younger workers are naturally ready to work remotely since they were born into a digital age. As businesses reopen and offices begin staggered onsite staffing, is that really the case?
A recent study from Engine Insights showed 75% of the American workforce felt less connected while working from home during the recent shutdown. But those numbers jumped to 81% for Millennials and 82% for Generation Z. They were also 15-20% more likely to feel less informed about what was happening in their company than their Generation X and Boomer co-workers.
I experienced a bit of this firsthand as the Marquette University course I teach was forced online for the final seven weeks of the semester. Students completed their work, but the lack of face-to-face interaction with classmates and teachers, and having to work off-campus, was a tougher transition for many than they or administrators anticipated.
What does this mean? Like everything else we have seen and experienced in 2020, more information is better than less. Do not assume that your younger workers – and customers – do not need as much information and communication as other audiences. Just as many have looked in recent months to overcommunicate to keep specific groups engaged, continue to do the same for those age 30 and younger.
So open that bag of communication tools and talk to people. Ask them how they want to be communicated with (chances are it is not always via Zoom and Microsoft Teams) and what they want and need to know to be successful. And don’t assume that just because they were born with a smartphone that they’ve “got this.”