Gen Z at the workplace: Here's what you should know
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Gen Z at the workplace: Key insights for better communication

Gen Z at the workplace: Key insights for better communication

More than half of Gen Z professionals say that corporate jargon is incomprehensible and makes them feel isolated, according to a recent LinkedIn survey

Gulf Business
Gen Z at the workplace insights from Linkedin GettyImages-507420230-1

Diverse generations collaborate, communicate and co-exist in today’s dynamic workplace. However, a new challenge, the generation gap has been creating a disconnect, as people grapple daily to understand the values, behaviours and nuances perceived as typical of each generation.

According to recent research from a LinkedIn survey, Gen Z, in particular, is experiencing a disconnect from their older counterparts, leading to missed opportunities and potential hindrances to career growth.

Dubbed as the generation poised to make up more than a quarter of the global workforce by 2025, Gen Z professionals are eager to learn from older generations but often find themselves hesitating to bridge the gap.

Willingness to learn

The survey revealed that 76 per cent of Gen Z respondents expressed a willingness to learn from other generations, recognising the value of diverse perspectives and experiences in the workplace. However, only half of them actively seek out interactions with older colleagues.

Najat Abdelhadi, a LinkedIn career expert, said: “Multigenerational workforces provide access to diverse perspectives, knowledge, and insights that can help young professionals in particular make sense of the world of work and gain confidence.”

One of the primary barriers hindering intergenerational collaboration is the perceived knowledge gap.

Many Gen Z professionals feel intimidated by their older counterparts, fearing they might appear foolish or inexperienced. This hesitancy to engage with older colleagues stems partly from a lack of understanding of corporate jargon, which contributes to feelings of isolation and disconnection.

Moreover, as digital natives accustomed to hybrid and remote work environments, Gen Z professionals may miss out on informal learning opportunities and vital cues that traditionally guide behaviour and networking.

This lack of exposure to face-to-face interactions can impede their professional development, particularly in terms of soft skills such as communication, leadership, and empathy.

Bridging the gap

“The world of work is undergoing change at an unprecedented rate, with the skills needed for the same job expected to change by 65 per cent by 2030. This is the time to build a resilient workforce that is well-connected and generationally diverse,” said Abdelhadi.

According to the survey, Gen Z professionals are calling for more efforts to foster intergenerational collaboration in the workplace.

They believe that better communication and opportunities for mentorship can enhance workplace productivity, learning, and team morale. Moreover, they prioritise stability and growth in their careers, emphasising the importance of companies providing avenues for professional development and learning.

As the workplace continues to evolve rapidly, organisations must embrace multigenerational diversity and create inclusive environments where all generations can thrive.

By facilitating communication, mentorship, and learning opportunities, companies can harness the collective wisdom and experiences of diverse generations to build resilient and interconnected workforces.

In numbers: Highlights of the survey

  • 75 per cent of Gen Z professionals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia  say that better communication between generations can improve productivity, learning opportunities, and team morale
  • 51 per cent of Gen Zers consciously make an effort to speak to different generations. More than one in three say they are worried about looking foolish and 34 per cent avoid interacting with older generations as “they always seem to know more” than they do
  • Almost 8 in 10 professionals of all ages in the UAE and Saudi Arabia believe they can learn a lot from other generations
  • More than half of Gen Z professionals say that corporate jargon is incomprehensible and makes them feel isolated
  • Asked about the priorities when evaluating a company’s culture and values, almost half (46 per cent) of the respondents said opportunities for growth and learning top the list

The numbers above are based on the research conducted by Censuswide and based on 1,021 respondents from all groups over 18, as well as 1,001 respondents from Gen Z in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Najat Abdelhadi offers the following tips to improve communication with Gen Z colleagues

  • Leave your preconceptions at the door and encourage yourself to engage with other generations in the workplace.
  • Actively listening to colleagues outside of your cohort can help avoid assumptions about different generations and their attitudes to work, build trust and rapport and allow you to learn from each others’ experiences.
  • Think of asking your manager for a mentor from an older generation. A good mentor can further your professional growth by helping you develop specific skills, set career goals, and connect you to people and opportunities. Mentoring can help bridge generational differences in the workplace and help generations who are decades apart better understand each other. More experienced professionals should also consider reverse mentoring to connect with younger generations.

Read: How to attract and retain talent in 2024, according to a LinkedIn executive

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