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Young staff ‘dilemma’ for employers

9 November 2011

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Despite claiming to be more “satisfied” at work, young people are more likely to want to leave a company than their older colleagues, it is claimed.

A study of nearly 30,000 workers found workers aged 16-34 are more likely to be pondering an exit from their company in all 17 countries studied.

An average of 10% more of the youngest workers (age 16-24) said they were considering leaving an organisation when compared with older colleagues.

This likelihood halved among workers aged 25-34.

In the UK, 36% of respondents said they were considering leaving their organisation – of these, 46% were aged 16-24.

Yet younger workers registered higher satisfaction scores than the overall workforce in most markets.

Scores for employees age 16-24 were higher in 14 of the 17 markets worldwide by an average of 5% and scores for employees age 25-34 were higher in 11 of the 17 markets by an average of 2%. 

“This pattern of higher satisfaction among younger workers held true for many other key issues addressed in our survey, including pay, performance management and careers, making their desire to leave their organisations all the more at odds with the traditional views of loyalty, retention and engagement,” said Chris Johnson, Partner in Mercer’s Human Capital business.

“These findings present a real dilemma for employers.”