Like 2021, it seems that 2022 is going to be defined by the ‘Great Resignation’. Two in five of 1,200 US employees surveyed by Lever planned to leave their current employer by the end of the year; this rises to 65% for Generation Z.
Gen Z are also keener to leave their jobs even sooner (13%), compared to millennials (5%) and Gen X (3%).
This begs the question: what can employers do to retain their employees, as well as win the war for new talent?
Lever’s research found that employees could be enticed to stay by higher salaries and bonuses (46%), good paid time off and flexibility at work (21%) and opportunities for internal mobility (13%). Upskilling and reskilling were also important to 8% of workers.
Given this, it is no surprise that workers want employers to prioritize internal mobility (20%) and flexibility (35%) in 2022. Internal mobility was the top priority for millennials (25%), while flexibility was most important to Gen Z (38%).
Offer internal mobility options
While there has been a lot of talk about offering financial incentives to keep employees in their jobs and to attract new talent, there has been less discussion about the role of career development and learning in the ‘Great Resignation’.
Lever’s research found that 41% of employees are planning to ask for a role change in 2022 – in fact 13% would take a pay cut to change roles.
Millennials are particularly keen to ask for a new role (43%), compared to 40% for Gen X and 36% for Gen Z.
Employees are also interested in learning and development to prepare them for future roles – while 61% had taken courses to grow in their current role, only 23% were empowered to upskill in order to grow in a new role.
Worryingly, 67% told Lever they would quit altogether if their employer did not allow internal mobility.
An interesting trend is that 52% would consider rejoining old employers, primarily because of more room for growth (22%) and more opportunities for reskilling and upskilling (16%). Baby boomers were the most likely to boomerang back to old employers (24%), compared to 19% for Gen Z and 14% for millennials.
Despite this, many employees do not feel empowered to discuss a new role or a role change. 21% don’t feel they can discuss a role change with managers, and 13% aren’t sure who they would go to speak about internal mobility opportunities.
Given how important career development is to workers at the moment, now is the time for employers, HR teams and managers to initiate conversations around internal mobility and learning. Find out precisely what your workers want if you want to keep them.
They also need to look to entice boomerang employees back with financial and learning packages.