Gen Z employees are being taught crucial social skills they missed out on learning while working and learning virtually during the pandemic.
A recent Wall Street Journal report says that Deloitte and PwC are among many other major firms that are offering specialized classes for their young adult workers. The programs will focus soft skills like teamwork, public speaking, presentations and face-to-face communication.
“If I think back to my own time at the University of Nottingham it’s hard to imagine how my experiences—including the friendships I formed—might have been affected by lockdowns,” said KPMG U.K. CEO Jon Holt in a statement offered to Fortune. “I admire their resilience, and it’s important that as a business we support them as they begin their training and careers with us. This includes offering additional courses to help them build soft skills.”
As ESSENCE previously pointed out, unlike older generations, shelter-in-place mandates forced a large portion of Gen Z to graduate from college, intern, and start their careers while fully remote. This has caused a huge chasm in experiencing cultural workplace milestones, and a slight delay in young professionals learning social norms and even some key soft skills.
According to a recent Harris Poll survey results, two-thirds of respondents said that understanding corporate office culture is essential to their career, and 57% agreed that face time with coworkers is important as reported by Bloomberg. Another 37% of fully remote or hybrid workers said they feel like they’re lagging behind their counterparts who work in offices full time.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called out that the pandemic lockdowns had a devastating and lasting impact on young people.
“The pandemic era’s…forced physical distancing from loved ones, friends, and communities have exacerbated the unprecedented stresses young people already faced,” he highlighted in an advisory note in 2021. He went on to call the challenges young people face “unprecedented and uniquely hard to navigate.”