Survey: Managers Find Gen Z Difficult to Work With

A picture of two Gen Z co-workers at computers one make and one female

A new survey released by said managers and business leaders find Gen Z the most difficult of the current generations with which to work.

Generation Z includes people born from 1997 to about 2012. Generation Z today encompasses people ages 11 to 26. surveyed 1,344 managers and business leaders and received 1,000 responses. The headline finding, the company said, is 74% of managers reported Gen Z workers were the most challenging with which to work.

Among the reasons cited is a lack of technological skills (39%) followed by a lack of effort (37%) and a lack of motivation (37%).

Half of respondents said it is difficult to work with Gen Z employees either all (11%) or most (39%) of the time.

Of respondents who said they found Gen Z employees difficult to work with, 59% said they fired a Gen Z employee. Of those who fired Gen Z employees, 20% said they were fired within a week of the employee’s start date and 27% said the firing came within a month of starting.

“GenZ needs to work to understand what professional skills are needed to succeed in today’s workforce,” Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller said. “However, the responsibility goes beyond GenZ. Educational institutions need to properly prepare students, and managers and business leaders need to learn to work with GenZ.”

Respondents who said Gen Z employees were difficult to work with said millennials (34%) and Gen X employees (30%) were preferred working partners. Only 4% preferred working with baby boomers.

Millennials were cited for being productive (44%) and having the best technological skills (42%). Gen X employees were said to be the most honest (46%) and productive (42%).

“As a result of COVID-19 and remote education, it is possible that GenZers lack the foundation to be more successful than older generations in entry-level positions,” Haller said. “We know that with remote work and education, communication skills do not develop as well, and people tend to work more independently. Hiring managers need to be cognizant of this when interviewing GenZers for positions. This generation may need more training when it comes to professional skills.”

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