Flexible working and good work-life is highly important to Gen Zs. In fact, 14 per cent dislike 9 to 5.30 office based routines, and 27 per cent hate being told what to do, or having to follow instructions (especially if they aren’t clear), showing that an element of freedom and flexibility to work as and how they please, is critical to their motivation.

However, Gen Zs do expect managers to guide and mentor with 26 per cent describing bosses that don’t spend time training and developing, as ‘irritating.’ 35 per cent are eager to develop new skills, which they consider a strength, 45 per cent prefer to learn these skills via regular training and mentoring by a line manager or mentor and 17 per cent are attracted by employers that offer a variety of work, which will help them to expand their abilities. However, 26 per cent of leaders feel that meeting the training and development needs of this generation will be challenging.



What the bosses think

A combined 55 per cent of leaders are highly and moderately concerned with Gen Zs entering the workplace. However, as many as 36 per cent of managers have had no training and 42 per cent have been prepared ‘to some extent’ for the possible challenges of managing this new generation of workforce, which 20 per cent of managers expect to be things such as an increase in conflict and workplace tension between generations.

26 per cent are worried by Gen Zs inadequate face-to-face communications with a further 30 per cent worried about their resistance to being told what to do and ‘thinking they know it all.’ Lack of basic literacy and maths skills, general appearance and manners are also worries.

The number one anxiety for leaders however, is the speed at which Gen Zs expect things to happen.  Thirty-nine per cent cited Gen Zs need for instant gratification and 24 per cent highlighted their expectation

for quick promotion as challenges and their concerns appear correct. Over a quarter of Gen Zs admit to having a short attention span and wanting information and everything done instantly with 20 per cent put off by a manager that is slow to respond. Yet despite these findings, only 12 per cent of leaders rated  ‘a quick response’ as important when managing these workers, also indicating a need for better understanding when leading Gen Zs.

“Industries worldwide are suffering a shortage of skills,” said Cynthia Stuckey, Managing Director of Forum. “Organisations must be flexible to change and equip leaders with the knowledge they need to successfully manage multi–generational workforces in a way that attracts, develops and retains a robust pipeline of talent.”

Cindy continues, “Ensure your leaders have a deep understanding of this generation including how they work, and what motivates and engages them compared to the rest of the team. Only then can the business prepare effectively; working out changes to policies, work structures, management styles, and what new skills are needed to acquire and retain Gen Zs. For example, our findings show a thirst for learning so support Gen Zs in their speedy development by exposing them to new projects or roles. Respond to their needs and you’ll be a magnet for this new wave of talent.”