When I speak to companies and business professionals (I'm talking all-experienced professionals here), I am always met with the question “Why should we give into young professionals’ demands? We had to put in the work and they should too!”
It’s a great question and one I think about a lot. My parents have always shared their early career working experiences with me. They put in the hard work, paid their dues, spent time building their careers.
Then come in the young professionals, specifically GenZ. It’s a little different now, but why?
I think you already know the answers. Technology, exposure to what others are doing, and the list goes on.
It's important to remember these young professionals are not that different from my parents' generation. I’m sure there were times when our parents felt the same thing, but they didn’t have the same resources we do. In other words, they didn’t know everyone else was feeling the same way.
I won’t disagree and say that some young professionals are not making demands. I heard recently from someone in HR who said some younger professionals are asking for $80-90k in first jobs! However, most young professionals aren’t actually making “demands” like you think they are. They have grown up under different circumstances and through life events that have made it less taboo to ask for things to make their life easier. In other words, taking more time off to support their mental health. They aren’t making demands, but rather focusing on themselves, which is a new trend that isn’t going anywhere.
As business leaders, how do you adjust? You can’t “give in” to these “demands” because your experienced professionals will surely notice and it’s not fair, right?
As leaders, it’s critical that you identify what your young professionals actually want. Then, it’s up to you to decipher what is more important for you to adapt to (for example, like modifying work from home policy) and what can you do to alter the other asks (PTO, etc). You should not do everything your young professionals want - we do have to pay our dues after all! However, if you don’t do anything at all, you will risk losing them for good.
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