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Gen Z communication gap impacts workplace success: LinkedIn Study

The majority of Gen Z values learning from other generations but fears appearing foolish and have a negative perception of older colleagues

Gen Z communication gap impacts workplace success: LinkedIn Study
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

A recent study conducted by LinkedIn unveils a surprising disconnect between Gen Z and older colleagues in the UAE and KSA. The research suggests that “career echo chambers” may be the underlying reason, as both struggle to bridge the communication gap despite its potential advantages. 

Although 75% of Gen Z individuals in the region recognize improved communication as essential for enhancing productivity, learning, and morale, only half actively pursue interaction with older colleagues.

Contrary to stereotypes, 76% of Gen Z respondents said they value learning from other generations. However, fear of looking foolish (34%) and a perception that older colleagues “always know more” (34%) act as barriers. 51% of Gen Z find corporate jargon isolating, highlighting a communication breakdown.

Despite their reputation for seeking work-life balance, 74% of Gen Z prioritize stable careers, and nearly half value opportunities for growth when choosing a company.

The pandemic’s shift to remote work is seen as a disadvantage, with 72% of professionals believing it hinders soft skill development in younger colleagues. Gen Z desires more company support for intergenerational collaboration, with 73% calling for initiatives to bridge the gap.

Najat Abdelhadi, a LinkedIn career expert, emphasizes fostering diverse, well-connected workforces. “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.”

Abdelhadi offers valuable advice for young professionals to overcome communication barriers. She suggests seeking communication opportunities with colleagues of different generations, emphasizing active listening and open dialogue. Additionally, she recommends finding a mentor for guidance in skill development and networking, highlighting the benefits of “reverse mentoring” for both parties. 

Lastly, she advises leveraging online networks to connect with diverse age groups and industry leaders for continuous learning and growth. These strategies empower young professionals to improve their communication skills and excel in the workplace.

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