SINGAPORE: On Tuesday (April 2), a healthcare worker took to an online forum to share her experience with younger Gen Z interns.

She says, “They are always so chatty and do not follow the workflow.” However, instead of attributing this to typical Gen Z behaviour, the writer questioned whether it is a matter of family upbringing instead.

“Polytechnic interns at my workplace are around 18 to 20- years old…won’t mention how many of them. For context, I’m working in the healthcare sector where we deal with patients. They are always so chatty and do not follow the workflow,” she wrote.

“One of them is so lazy/tired that she sits down at every opportunity she sees, even during working hours. Another one goes to the toilet for 25 minutes every day in the morning for God knows what reason.

Disrupting the workflow affects everyone in the workplace and it has been happening for a few months now. I am so annoyed. I want to quit my job because of them. What’s so hard (about sticking) to the workflow?

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Them doing things in their own way does NOT enhance the workflow AT ALL. Makes my job even tougher. Especially when I already have to deal with patients.

Even after multiple feedbacks to my supervisor and manager, nothing has been done. They only said that the issue was noted but… NOTHING has been done.”

Surprisingly, the writer is also Gen Z, which leads them to wonder if this kind of behaviour is even something that can be dismissed as expected from anyone born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2010s.

“I’m coming to think that it’s not a Gen Z issue anymore,” she wrote.

“I think it’s the family background. Spoilt people think they can do whatever… however they like.

Does anyone face the same issue? What should I do? I don’t think confrontation works because they’re just interns. They don’t even regard us full-timers seriously. I’m just so pissed.”

Understanding Gen Z in the workplace

According to an article by Betterteam, Gen Z exhibits behaviours and attitudes quite different from those of their predecessors, the millennials.

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Whereas millennials tend to be driven by a sense of purpose, Gen Z is typically driven by money and job security.

They also need more feedback on their work and value direct communication, while millennials tend to be more fixated on ongoing conversations.

While millennials tend to be more keen on a team effort, Gen Z prefers working alone, as competition is a driving force.

Furthermore, whereas millennials tend to prioritise their careers, Gen Z tends to go after a healthier and balanced synergy between work and life.

Singaporeans weigh in 

A handful responded to the post, sharing their two cents on Gen Z in the workplace, and left suggestions to the writer.

“Are you grading the interns?” wrote one.

“If they don’t mind getting a fail mark for their internship then they can carry on behaving that way. Before doing something this drastic, make sure to communicate what you need from them and understand their perspectives too.

I have failed interns before because despite warnings some still refuse to listen.”

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“In my experience with interns, confrontation works for everyone in the equation,” another shared.

“Incorrect expectations make people frustrated after all. If you confront them and explain why their way is dumb and why the workflow works, it’s gonna be better for them.

As for you, you get an opportunity to adjust your expectations of them. Interns are a hit or miss after, if they still insist on their own ways cut them loose or send them to do admin/support work.”

Read also: Gen Z’s “soft saving” financial philosophy “makes the most of life now than waiting till retirement”