Here Come the Digital Natives: Their Workplace Habits

Designing Your Business Communication

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Who are digital natives? They’re the incoming workforce who’ve been submerged in digital technology since the day they were born. Their childhood birthday parties were streamed via Facebook Live for friends and family to enjoy. Their toy boxes included touch screen tablets. They’ve never used a phone that couldn’t take pictures, and shopping usually means going online, not going out.

As this generation of digital savvy folk start applying for jobs, your office needs to be ready to woo and accommodate their expectations if you want to land the best-of-the-best in their fields. Consider implementing these office practices into your workplace based on the everyday habits of digital natives.

  1. They expect constant, real-time feedback. Weekly brainstorming meetings won’t cut it for these folks. Instead, start a cloud-based document that everyone on a specific project or team can access to add ideas. Then, use your weekly meeting to finalize plans and offer direction.
  1. They crave public display. Don’t be surprised to see a digital native live stream their thoughts on social media after a workplace seminar. Harness this enthusiasm and work with the young staff members to create marketing pieces to live stream on the business social media accounts. They can explain the benefits of a new service you’re developing or show off how to use a new product without being camera-shy.
  1. They see technology as an extension of themselves. If your current employee handbook dictates no personal phone calls or Internet browsing, think again. Digital natives use technology for both personal use and work. Instead, revise your rules to explain what the use of office computers is for (like creating work documents, answering work emails) and when personal communication on smartphones is appropriate (such as quick texts).
  1. They’re good with words and photos. Digital natives have figured out a way to be succinct and expressive in 140 characters or less, thanks to Twitter. Leverage this skill for writing workplace copy that needs to be direct and potent. And those selfie skills? They’ve learned a thing or two about lighting and angles, which can be used to take workplace photos for presentations and social media updates.
  1. They want to work remotely. Gabbing about traffic jams is so 1990s. With the help of cloud-based software, email, video conferencing and smartphone apps – it’s possible that your staff can work from home or even a coffee shop. This entrepreneurial spirit keeps employees happier and cuts down on office expenses. Think of this: If your entire staff is remote, you eliminate brick-and-mortar rent and utility bills.
  1. They need public validation. We all like to get a compliment every now and then, but the incoming workforce is even more performance driven. Set visible goals and reward them. For example, create a physical wall chart that shows growth toward a weekly sales goal or the completion of a project. When goals are achieved, take group selfies behind Instagram cutout frames by the chart or with fun achievement certificates and post about it to social media!

Get ready for the new recruits by stocking up on paper certificates and awards at PaperDirect. Take a page from your digital native’s book and shop online to have everything sent directly to your office!