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Gen Z in the Workplace: A Shocking Revelation for Dinosaurs in Suits

In a world that’s apparently been asleep since the invention of the fax machine, the arrival of Generation Z into the workforce has been met with the kind of shock and dismay usually reserved for a surprise pop-in (I HATE the surprise pop-in). Yes, you heard it right, the youngsters are storming the gates, armed with fresh ideas and an alarming efficiency that could, heaven forbid, change the way we work!

As the CEO of a company that regularly employs these innovative Gen Zers, I find this downright perplexing. And let me tell you, they are smart, efficient, and innovative – qualities that I personally find beneficial in a work environment! Whodathunkit?

But not everyone agrees I guess? Some managers and companies are quaking in their outdated, corporate-issue boots. The mere thought of adapting to a new way of working has them breaking out in hives. I mean…why fix something that’s been broken since the 1980s?

Let’s dive into this comedic tragedy of workplace misjudgment, shall we?

Here are some eye-opening stats from the survey:

  • Hiring managers claim Gen Z asks for too much money. I mean, how dare these young folks aspire to a living wage right out of the gate?
  • 39% of hiring managers also believe Gen Z lacks communication skills, which is ironic considering this generation practically invented a new language on social media.
  • The attire and demeanor of Gen Z candidates also seem to be a point of contention. A whopping 58% of hiring managers are straight clutching pearls over inappropriate dress, and 57% lament poor eye contact. Do they expect a boardroom-ready CEO rather than a fresh graduate? Also does ANYONE remember how we used to dress?
  • Entitlement seems to be another buzzword, with 60% of hiring managers tagging Gen Z with this label.

Then there’s the alarming statistic that 30% of hiring managers have had to fire a Gen Zer within a month of their start date. One can’t help but ponder if it’s the Gen Zers who are the problem or if it’s the workplace culture that fails to integrate and understand them.

Stacie Haller of ResumeBuilder.com insightfully points out that Gen Z’s unique college and early career experiences, shaped by the pandemic, might be at the root of these perceived inadequacies. Remote learning and working have indeed been a curveball for developing traditional workplace skills.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: the 40-hour workweek. Gen Z has the audacity to question if chaining ourselves to desks for eight hours a day, five days a week, is the pinnacle of productivity. Shocking, I know. They are pushing for flexibility, and I love that look for them.

And then there’s loyalty – or, as the Old Guard calls it, ‘fealty’. This generation doesn’t seem to understand the unspoken rule of pledging your eternal soul to a single employer. Instead, they have the nerve to seek growth, development, and – wait for it – fulfillment. It’s almost as if they view themselves as individuals rather than cogs in a corporate machine. The audacity.

Maybe these folks are a tad uncomfortable with the emphasis on mental health. Imagine a workplace where discussing your well-being isn’t taboo, where taking a mental health day isn’t akin to corporate treason. Gen Z is championing this cause, forcing us to confront the uncomfortable truth that our workers are, in fact, human beings. And TBH, they’re not the only ones with mental health issues. They’re just the ones unafraid to discuss it (en masse, I know you’re all very enlightened.)

Thankfully, there’s a silver lining. A whopping 70% of employers are hiring Gen Z workers. That’s right, folks – at least some companies have managed to crawl out of the Stone Age and recognize the value these young professionals bring to the table. To these forward-thinking organizations, I tip my hat.

To the Old Guard? I say this: it’s time to wake up and smell the reality bites (see what I did there?). Gen Z isn’t just the future of the workforce; they are a much-needed breath of fresh air. So let’s embrace the change, adapt our ways, and maybe – just maybe – we’ll find that the kids are more than alright. They’re exactly what we need.