Working with Gen Z — Tough for Everyone

Generation Z — those born between 1997 and 2012 — aren’t getting a lot of positive feedback from their supervisors for their work habits and attitude.

Resume Builder is a company that helps people get employed. Company spokeswoman  — and chief career advisor — Stacie Haller said they did a survey that found quite a bit of negativity surrounding the work habits of the Zoomers who have the shortest time in the workforce of any generation.

  • 49% of supervisors say they’re difficult to work with all or most of the time
  • 74% think they’re the hardest of all generations to work with
  • That same 74% would rather work with the much-maligned millennials

“We should put a little context around it,” she said. “People didn’t want to work with the millennials after the Great Recession because people thought they were entitled, and now everybody wants to work with them because they have 10-plus years experience. So this is not new, but I do think that Gen Z are coming into the workforce with some different challenges than other generations.”

Many of the 1,000 responding to Resume Builder’s survey found Gen Z hard to work with because of a lack of effort, a lack of motivation and not many technical skills. That said, Haller thinks a big part of the problem is that many in the Gen Z workforce started work during the COVID pandemic. A lot of them were hired, trained online, and had to work online instead of at an office.

Working from home may have contributed to the disconnect they now experience with their supervisors.

“[Offices] are really where you learn how to interact with people in a professional environment,” Haller noted. “What was striking to hiring managers about Gen Z was their lack of professional skills — how to take feedback, share information and handle face to face interactions. And what was so interesting is that on the flip side, Gen Z understands that they need a mentor, and they need to understand how to do it, but nobody is really meeting each other halfway in the middle to make this work better.”

The surprising part for many is their general lack of technological skills. This is supposed to be a generation that is super tech savvy.

“The technology they’re using [in their private lives] is not the same found in a work environment,” Haller pointed out. “When you start a job, employers want to know that you understand MS Office like Word or Excel. You need to know how to use certain technologies to function in the workplace, you can’t get on like Teams or Slack like you are tweeting with your friends.”

  • 65% of managers say they have fired Gen Z employees more than other generations
  • 12% say they’ve fired a Gen Z employee less than a week after starting the job
  • The top reason they’re fired — no surprise — is that they’re too easily offended

Surprisingly, Haller says this isn’t as much of a problem with Generation Z employees as it is broken hiring practices.

“In my experience all these years as a hiring manager and in staffing, if you keep hiring and firing people you have an issue in your hiring process,” she added. “In this case it’s almost like they’re hiring aliens that they don’t know how to interact with, so they just fire them instead.”

Haller notes that this disconnect will eventually work itself out. Right now Generation Z is 30% of the world’s population. By 2025 they’ll be 27% of the workforce. Eventually, hiring managers won’t be able to avoid hiring them.

She suggests several fixes:

  • Acknowledge the generational divide
  • Put formal programs in place to open up conversation
  • Work on conflict resolution
  • Be honest, ethical and innovative when dealing with Generation Z

“We can’t ignore a whole generation of workers,” Haller concludes. “Refrain from sweeping judgments and stereotyping a whole generation because clearly, it’s not the whole generation. It’s just a matter of smoothing out the rough edges.”

Source link: Employee Benefit News —

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