Soft skills training needed for socially anxious Gen Z: report

Nine out of 10 Gen Z employees feel social discomfort at work

Soft skills training needed for socially anxious Gen Z: report

Employers need to prioritise soft skills training to help socially anxious Gen Z employees thrive in the workplace, according to a new report.

The ZetaPulse Gen Z Workforce Study from Kahoot!, which involved over a thousand Gen Z respondents, revealed that 90% face social discomfort or anxiety while at work.

Among them, 35% said they experience social anxiety in the workplace on a near-daily basis.

According to the report, 44% feel uneasy or nervous to deliver presentations at work, including 38% who don't feel comfortable voicing their opinion during a meeting.

The most affected sectors of this concerning trend include the Education, Finance, and Construction industries, according to the report.

Soft skills training needed

Having a non-judgmental and safe workspace can help alleviate the problem of social anxiety among Gen Zs, with 53% viewing it as a "strong incentive for active participation," according to the report.

Gen Zs also identified the following measures that employers need to prioritise:

  • Soft skills advancement (communication, leadership, and negotiation skills) [42%]
  • Peer-based learning (36%)
  • Providing dedicated work time for self-directed learning (34%)

"Employers need to place soft skills advancement at the top of their priorities list while also experimenting with innovative, quick, and real approaches to communication and training which are mindful of their social discomfort," said James Micklethwait, VP of Kahoot! At Work, in a media release.

How to get training right

As the newest generation of employees enter the workforce, changes must also be made within the organisation to accommodate a new pattern of behaviour. In terms of training, Gen Z employees said the following measures could help them more engaged:

  • Showcasing authentic experiences through employee-generated content to foster community (31%)
  • Incorporating humour and comedy into learning (31%)
  • Delivering bite-sized microlearning opportunities (29%)
  • Leveraging popular memes for shareable, humorous content (28%)
  • Offering immersive offline experiences, bridging the online-offline gap (27%)
  • Utilising platforms like TikTok and real influencers for relatable, authentic messaging (27% - notably crucial among Black respondents)

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