Woke Cry Babies? Employers Say GenZ’ers Make Difficult Employees, They Think They’re Smarter Than You But Are Hypersensitive To Anything That Offends Them

Managers say they lack motivation, productivity, have poor communication skills and short attention spans

(Yahoo) Three-quarters of bosses find Generation Z workers a trifle difficult, a corporate survey has found.

A poll of 1,344 managers and business leaders by found that 74 percent consider Gen Z employees more challenging than older staffers.


Pressed for specifics, employers did not mince words.

“They think they’re better than you, smarter than you, more capable than you, and they will tell you to your face,” said Akpan Ukeme, head of human resources at SGK Global Shipping Services.

Generation Z is the youngest cohort in the American workforce, with birth years starting around 1997. Many surveys and studies have labored to define them. The findings suggest they have not gone quietly into their cubicles.

A Gallup report termed them “Generation Disconnected,” noting that Gen Z is less likely than older generations to be actively engaged in work and more likely to suffer stress and burnout.

A study by McKinsey & Company, the management consultancy, found Gen Zers restless in their jobs, more likely to report hostile work environments and health problems both physical and mental. Three-quarters of Gen Z employees said they were actively seeking other jobs.

In the new survey, taken in April by the survey platform Pollfish, half of employers said they find it difficult to work with Generation Z most or all of the time. Two-thirds said they are more likely to fire Gen Z workers than older staffers, sometimes in the first week of employment.

The top reason for the firings? Generation Z is “too easily offended.”

Managers said they struggle with Generation Z workers for other reasons: Lack of motivation. Lack of productivity. Poor communication skills. Short attention span. An excessive sense of entitlement. Occasional dishonesty. Too few technological skills, or too many.

“I’ve butted heads more than once with a Gen Z employee,” Ukeme said in the survey. “Since our company is online-based, they think they know everything about the digital world, and that they can teach me.”

Many Gen Zers entered the workforce at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. They lacked facetime and human contact at a foundational moment in their careers. The COVID disconnect may have left them stunted, at least in professional terms.

“These were the folks who never got the foundation that other generations had coming to work, because they were remote,” said Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at

“You learn a lot by being onsite in the early years of your career. What you learn is how to interact on a team, how to accept positive criticism, how to give positive feedback. This generation didn’t get any of that, and then they were thrown into a job without any of those skills.”

On the brighter side, employers have found that Gen Z staffers report to work brimming with ideals and ambitions.

“Compared to other generations, I find Gen Z to be highly innovative and adaptable,” said Adam Garfield, marketing director at Hairbro. “They are not afraid to challenge the status quo and bring new ideas to the table. They also value authenticity and transparency and expect companies to be socially responsible and ethical.”

Garfield faults the next generation only on interpersonal relations.

“While they are proficient in using digital communication tools,” he said, “they may lack some of the interpersonal skills required for face-to-face interactions.”

Research by Deloitte has found a divide between Generation Z workers and their employers around sharing feelings. Gen Zers ranked empathy as a crucial quality in a boss. Bosses did not agree. Nearly three-tenths of Gen Z workers said they had struggled with mental health because of their boss.

Haller said the new survey points to a need for employers to coach and mentor Gen Z hires and for a more nuanced interview process.

“The big takeaway is, obviously we need to fix this,” she said. “Gen Z, they don’t want to get fired. They’re very stressed out.”

The survey asked employers which generation they would prefer to hire, given their misgivings about Generation Z. Management’s response: We prefer millennials.

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