Gen Z are more concerned by getting better at their actual jobs than they are with improving the office soft skills their bosses say they lack, survey finds

70% of Gen Z want to climb up the corporate ladder to the C-suite, an Adobe Survey found.

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A new Adobe survey found that almost half of Gen Z workers want more training on hard skills. On the contrary, only a third were keen on polishing up their soft skills like communication. Meanwhile firms like Deloitte and KPMG have been raising concerns about Gen Z’s lack of workplace etiquette.

Gen Z have caught a bad reputation for having poor communication skills at work but they’re more focused on amping up their technical prowess, according to a new Adobe survey.

Adobe’s Future Workforce Study surveyed over 1,000 Gen Z workers in the US in early September to explore their career motivations and workplace expectations. The respondents had been working full-time for a medium to large-sized company for up to three years. 

Respondents were asked about the type of training they want more of at work. The survey found that 48% of Gen Z wanted more training on hard skills related to their job whilst only a third said they wanted to build on their soft skills. 

A spokesperson for Adobe said that respondents were given a definition for hard skills and soft skills. They were informed that hard skills refer to job-related or technical knowledge and abilities, while soft skills were classed as interpersonal skills and traits that shape how you work.

This is reflected in their attitudes towards AI with almost half saying they feel prepared for their employer to adopt the technology in everyday work.

Adobe also said that “half of the respondents admitted to having used the technology to aid their work.”

70% of Gen Z are eager to climb up the corporate ladder to the C-suite and grow in terms of their impact in the workplace, Adobe’s survey found.

Contrary to Gen Z’s perceptions of themselves, managers are more concerned about their lack of communication and interpersonal skills in the workplace. 

Major companies including Deloitte and PWC have noted a deficiency in soft skills in pandemic-era graduates including teamwork and collaboration, this is often linked to the fact that most Gen Z workers had to study and work remotely, the Financial Times reported in May. 

“This means that there is a greater need for employers to provide training on basic professional and working skills, that wasn’t necessary in prior years,” Jackie Henry, Deloitte’s UK managing partner for people and purpose, told the FT. 

Companies like KPMG and Protiviti are even teaching their Gen Z hires how to send emails, what to wear in the office, and how to maintain the appropriate level of eye contact during a conversation.

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