Just 19% of Gen Z professionals have reported that they prefer to work in a team setting – with 31% stating that they ‘work better alone.’
Nearly half of managers state that the biggest impact to Gen Z’s entering the workforce is the decline in collaborative working – with a lack of communication skills (53%), team working (21%), and critical thinking (17%) from younger workers being the primary barriers to this.
The findings – from a recent poll by global recruitment firm Robert Walters – will be a blow to many companies who are battling to bring five generations under one roof in a hybrid working world.
Martin Fox – Managing Director of Robert Walters Canada comments:
“Gen Z’s have the potential to revolutionize our ways of working and business practices, but workplaces risk standing still or going backward unless they understand how to bring the best out of this cohort.
“Every one of us has weaknesses in our professional skillset, and so it is unfair to focus on what ‘isn’t working’ with younger workers – what about their strengths?
“Young workers possess a unique set of skills and characteristics shaped by their upbringing and experiences. Understanding these strengths – and adapting to this – can ultimately lead to a more productive and successful workforce.”
When analyzing further, results show that Gen Z are highly adept at communicating through digital channels. In fact, 44% of managers have stated how impressed they were at the ease with which junior workers are comfortable using various digital communication tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and collaboration platforms.
Martin adds: “Gen Z's ability to communicate effectively in virtual environments is valuable in today's increasingly remote and digital work settings – with the emergence of AI and the potential this generation brings in teaching older workers the benefits of this.
“However, it is apparent that in-person communication and team-working needs to be built upon if we are to get the very best out of a multi-generational workforce and help Gen Z professionals to fully thrive in the workplace.”
According to a Robert Walters Diversity & Inclusion survey, intergenerational conflict is a key factor in employee turnover – with a quarter of workers stating that clashes with colleagues on ways of working is a contributor when deciding to leave the job.
Martin gives his top tips on what companies should do to help improve crucial soft skills needed by Gen Z’s:
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