How long can work productively without promoting? For the best employees, the answer is days, even weeks, or months. This is the benefit of contractors, you give them a goal and a deadline, then you don’t need to manage them throughout the process.
For new employees, it makes sense there would be more need for collaboration, but the prompting would still be outbound, the employee asking questions, rather than inbound, the manager asking them to do something.
The goal when working with youth on employability is to increase their default time to work on something without being prompted. Whether it’s making a flyer, filling out a survey or developing interview questions, the more productive time they can spend without management the better.
Don’t wait for the next task. If you have idle time, find a way to be productive and add value. Your managers will thank you later and you will continue to advance in your career.