Young Employees Most Likely to Quit, Global Study Finds

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Young employees worldwide are more likely than their older colleagues to be weighing a move from their current employers, even though they tend to be more satisfied with their organizations.
 
That finding from a Mercer LLC survey of nearly 30,000 employees in 17 markets across Asia, Europe and the Americas illustrates a global generational workforce shift that has prompted some companies to adjust their approach to young job candidates and recruits.
 
The consulting firm, which found employee loyalty eroding in general, said workers ages 16 to 24 globally were an average of 10 percentage points more likely than the overall workforce to be seriously considering leaving their employers, while those ages 25 to 34 were 5 percentage points more likely.
 
However, employees in the two youngest age groups generally indicated higher satisfaction with their companies and were slightly more satisfied with their jobs than other workers, Mercer found in its updated What’s Working survey, conducted in late 2010 and the first half of 2011.
 
“They have different expectations for the workforce,” Mercer partner Jan Rose told SHRM Online. The youngest workers surveyed responded more like their age peers globally than like older counterparts in their countries, she said.
 
The 16-to-24 age group “is very much a cohort among themselves, less geographically oriented,” said Rose. These employees are more mobile and came of age with technology that allows them to share popular culture, she explained. “It kind of gives them a community that the older workers never had before.
 
“They see that loyalty from the employer’s perspective has eroded, and it has taught them that the employment deal isn’t about long-term loyalty,” Rose added. “They don’t expect it from the employer and they don’t give it back to them.”
 
Some employers accept that these workers will leave and try to make their experiences, and feelings about the company, positive. Others are forming career development strategies, including offering opportunities to work overseas, to encourage young employees to stay.
 
As part of its effort to engage young employees, Prudential Financial Inc. hosted a networking session for recruits from Rutgers University to meet managers and other employees who had attended the school, said Jana Fallon, Prudential’s vice president for recruiting. 
 
Workers younger than 25 “are very interested in growth and change and opportunities,” Fallon told SHRM Online. “They are quite interested in how this job will get them to their next job, and they are unapologetic. … We are motivated to have them find their next position inside our company instead of at another firm.”
 
While Chris Casazza, head of global HR at Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., doesn’t notice a disparity in job satisfaction between the company’s game-development workforce and slightly older corporate staff, he agreed that younger employees are less focused on a “career-long relationship” with the company. In response, Take-Two offers training, coaching and job-rotation opportunities, he said.
 
“You want to give people the opportunity to develop and grow as individuals and employees … so they believe that leaving the company for another opportunity may not be the best thing for their career,” Casazza said. When people do leave, “you want to do what you can to be sure they leave on a good note.”
 
Dinah Wisenberg Brin is a freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. Read the original article here.