The majority of managers find Gen Z employees to be the most difficult to work with, according to a recent Resume Builder survey.
- Many employers are having difficulty handling their Gen Z employees, with 49% saying they found the younger workers difficult most or all of the time, Fortune reports.
- A slim minority, just 4%, say they never have issues working with Gen Z employees.
- While employers have historically had difficulty adjusting to the attitude of younger generations, Gen Z poses a particular challenge as they have entered the workforce during COVID.
- For the most part, managers are frustrated with these young workers’ lack of tech skills and perceived poor work ethic.
Why it’s news
Due to COVID shutdowns, Gen Z may be less prepared to enter the workforce than their older counterparts. Many finished the last years of their education online, and others started their first post-graduate job in a completely remote environment. These workers have not had the experience to learn how to navigate a work environment or collaborate with coworkers.
Resume Builder’s chief career advisor Stacie Haller points out that many Gen Zers may have missed out on crucial communication skill development that in-person work provides.
Older workers may view Gen Z as more technically savvy than they are, but that is not necessarily the case. Around 39% of managers expressed frustration with Gen Z’s poor tech skills.
“There’s a glaring gap in accessibility and application of tech education resources between lower-income and affluent students—a gap that was widened by the pandemic,” Verizon’s chief corporate social responsibility officer Rose Stuckey Kirk told Fortune. “And we know this gap is more than an academic or social justice issue.”
While this lack of technical knowledge is frustrating for managers, it can be equally disappointing for Gen Z workers who feel pressured to have a comprehensive understanding of all new tech.
Perhaps employers’ most widely discussed complaint with their younger employees is the supposed lack of effort and productivity. However, while Gen Z may be the generation known for quiet quitting—not working outside the job description—they are more likely than older coworkers to work multiple jobs and more frequently go to the office in person, Fortune reports.
These misconceptions about Gen Z give them several disadvantages. Around 65% of managers report that Gen Z employees are the first to go if the company needs to reduce headcount. More than half of managers say they have fired a Gen Z employee, and 12% say they have fired one within a week of their start date.
However, there is hope for Gen Z. Millennials were once regarded similarly to Gen Z. Older generations blamed millennials for killing various industries like department stores or napkins. This group was characterized as being lazy and generally selfish, but now millennials are among employers’ favorite age groups to hire.
Around 34% of managers said they like hiring millennials for their tech knowledge and their productivity. Gen X is highly regarded among managers for their honesty and productivity, Fortune reports.
Perhaps it just takes time for managers to see the merit of younger workers, or maybe Gen Z needs time to learn how to work alongside their coworkers. Either way, if manager preferences follow historical trends, Gen Z will be the preferred worker in a few years.