Report: Over a Third of Gen-Z and Millennial Workers are Looking for a New Job

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

 New research from Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services, reveals employee loyalty is at risk among younger generations, with one in three Gen-Z and Millennial workers actively looking for a new job, as employers experience what has been termed "The Great Resignation." This survey was conducted in partnership with Future Workplace, an HR research and advisory firm.

According to the research, older generations including Boomers and Gen Xers tend to be more content with their current employment. Only 11 percent of Boomers (born 1946-1964) and 27 percent of Gen Xers (born 1965-1980) are actively seeking a new job, compared to 35 percent of Millennials (born 1981-1996) and 44 percent of Gen Zers (born 1997-2012).

"The COVID-19 pandemic gave many workers the opportunity to reflect on what is most important to them in a job and an employer and assess their priorities for future roles," said Alison Stevens, director of HR Services, Paychex. "For many, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that their current position or company was not serving them. If companies are not adeptly responding to the rapidly evolving and expanding needs of their employees, they are likely falling behind in the race to recruit and retain top talent."

Incentivizing Employee Loyalty
As today's employees look for new opportunities, their priorities are shifting. According to the research, all generations of employees are looking for the following to remain loyal:  

  • Increase in pay (61 percent)
  • A stay bonus (39 percent)
  • More paid time off (39 percent)
  • Flexible working hours (35 percent)

The research showed that remote work also plays a key role across generations. Employee loyalty is at significantly higher risk among employees working in a hybrid environment than those working in a fully remote environment (73 percent vs. 58 percent).

Furthermore, of those employees surveyed who are actively looking for a new job, 42 percent indicated a 10 to 15 percent salary increase would motivate them to stay in their current role, whereas a 3 to 10 percent salary increase would be unlikely to make an impact. 

Retaining the Younger Generation of Workers
Different generations weigh benefits and incentives differently. The research revealed that employees from younger generations prioritize other key benefits above a pay increase. Flexible work hours, mental and wellness benefits, and familial care benefits all outrank a pay increase when asked what changes their employer could make to increase their loyalty. Forty-three percent of Millennials and 44 percent of Gen Zers agreed that flexibility in work hours would increase their loyalty to their employer.

"The way employers approach workplace flexibility and embrace both the lessons learned and the challenges of the past 18 months may have a lasting impact on who stays, who exits, and who builds their skills to prepare for a new role at their company," said Meister.

For more insights from this research, including employees' top concerns about a potential future return to the office, read more here.