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Challenges arise in working with UAE Gen Z

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and remote education on Gen Z's readiness for entry-level positions emerged as key factors influencing this perception.

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Gen Z employees in the UAE are perceived as challenging to work with.
Arab world has one of the youngest workforces globally.
34 % of managers finding Gen Z challenging preferred working with Millennials.

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According to a recent report by ResumeBuilder, which surveyed 1,344 American managers and business leaders, Gen Z employees in the UAE are perceived as challenging to work with, with 49% of respondents expressing this sentiment. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and remote education on Gen Z’s readiness for entry-level positions emerged as key factors influencing this perception.

The report identified several reasons contributing to the perceived difficulty in working with Gen Z employees. Among these were perceived deficiencies in technological skills (39%), effort (37%), and motivation (37%). The report also underscored the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and remote education on Gen Z’s ability to succeed in entry-level roles.

Behavioural coach and Hawksby Founder, Justin Kent, highlighted the unique upbringing of Gen Z, marked by factors such as social media and the pandemic. Kent explained that social media, while narrowing exposure to individual interests, also contributes to the emergence of new career paths. The report noted that 65% of respondents claimed a higher likelihood of terminating Gen Z employees compared to other generations, with 12% admitting to firing a Gen Z employee within the first week.

65% of respondents claimed a higher likelihood of terminating Gen Z employees compared to other generations

Concerns were raised about Gen Z’s communication skill development, independence, and the pressure stemming from external factors, such as social media influencers advocating for non-traditional career paths like affiliate marketing.

The challenges are not limited to the U.S., extending to the GCC region, according to David Jones, Founder and CEO of The Talent Enterprise. He noted that Gen Z employees in the GCC face challenges dealing with managers whose technical experience and leadership skills were established in the 20th century.

Jones expressed concern about the persisting trend, as the Arab world has one of the youngest workforces globally, with senior employees extending their careers. The report also indicated a preference among business leaders and managers for working with Millennials over Gen Z, citing reasons such as superior technological skills, effort, and motivation.

Moreover, 34 % of managers finding Gen Z challenging preferred working with Millennials, while 30 % favoured Gen X, and 4 % opted for Baby Boomers. The report highlighted a preference among respondents for working with Millennials, citing their perceived strengths.

Arabian Business interviewed Eleanor Roche, a Gen Z member in Australia, who expressed concerns about the lack of resilience in today’s workforce, attributing it to an abundance of over-validation and a reluctance to face challenges. Roche emphasised the need to balance self-expression on social media with challenges and resilience, criticising the culture of glorifying leaving relationships and jobs as self-care.

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