Business owners find Gen Z workers ‘difficult,’ study says; they respond

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

A new study says older business owners and managers find workers in Generation Z “difficult,” but why is that?

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2013, is the youngest in the workforce right now. A survey through asked managers and business leaders about the group. Those who responded said Gen Z falls short on effort, motivation and productivity. It went on to claim they’re easily distracted, easily offended and dishonest.

WINK asked Gen Z members of the workforce in Southwest Florida to respond to these accusations.

“I like making money,” said Iris Cavin.

“I find myself not wanting to work, but I’ve got to work, so I do what I gotta do,” said 27-year-old Kyle Wilson, “but when I do, I’d rather do anything else.”

“No, this is not what I want to be doing at all, to be honest, no,” said 21-year-old Donald Yopp.

“I love working,” said 24-year-old Austin Kimball. “I get up every day and do what I have to do.”

“You need money, so I just… I don’t care at work,” said Jason Pierre-Louis. “At work, you just gotta do it.”

“Oh, man, you don’t want to know about my friends; my friends don’t like to do nothing,” Wilson said.

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Some said it isn’t that they don’t want to work, but they don’t enjoy the careers they are in, and they aren’t alone: according to a new report from LinkedIn, more than half of American workers are considering leaving their jobs in 2023.

What is the root of their dissatisfaction?

“I don’t think it’s that people don’t want to work, I just think people don’t want to be doing what they’re forced to be doing,” Yopp said.

“They like to get up and go, but don’t like to stay there very long,” Kimball said. “Their attention span just isn’t there, as it should be.”

“I feel like it has to do with just… how they were brought up, what they do as hobbies and what they see themselves doing in life,” Wilson said. “But I think most of it’s just people want to go out and party and do all that sort of stuff and not have to worry about bills or working or nothing like that.”

WINK also asked older generations, from employers to parents, to weigh in on what they have seen from Gen Z.

“They don’t have the drive. They don’t want to work,” said 50-year-old Sean Wilson. “They think everything’s gonna be handed to them.”

“I just think, for whatever reason, they feel like it’s all about quality of life and doing fun things, but I’m not sure if they figured out that doing fun things cost money,” said Frank Ferreri.

“Get a job,” said Steve Cox.

“Just different work ethics,” said Linda Husz. “Maybe they’ve had it made too easy for them too long, maybe? Maybe that’s all they’ve known since they’ve been born.”

“I’m still hopeful for the generation,” said Susan Ferreri. “Maybe they’ve got balance. Maybe they’re gonna figure it out and teach some of us that are too much workaholics that, you know, somewhere in the between, it’s the perfect lifestyle.”

A lot of Gen Z respondents, indeed, said they feel burnt out and are prioritizing other things, like mental health.

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