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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Great Resignation isn’t just for workers tired of their dead-end careers. A new study reveals that younger workers are actually more likely to quit and look for greener pastures than their older co-workers.

In a poll of 1,200 full-time employees, commissioned by Lever and conducted by Pollfish, two in five say they only plan to stay at their current job for a year or less. However, a staggering 65 percent of Gen Z respondents are planning to do this.

It’s not all bad news for employers — as long as they’re willing to pay up! The survey finds the biggest motivating factors which get workers to stay are salary or potential bonuses (46%), generous paid time off plans (21%), and opportunities for internal mobility (13%).

Time for a change

Even among the employees who choose to stay at their companies, many believe they need to do something different within the organization. Nearly half the poll (41%) plan to ask for some sort of role change in 2022. One in three claim they would actually take a pay cut just to change positions.

If they don’t get this opportunity to re-invent themselves, the Great Resignation may be in their future too! Two in three employees say they’ll start looking for another job if their current boss won’t help them switch roles.

“As we enter another year of the Great Resignation, our report found employees are asking for a few simple things in order to stay at their companies,” says Lever CEO Nate Smith in a statement. “Through much of the pandemic there was an immense focus on culture and perks, but as we navigate today’s normal, companies should focus on competitive compensation, more personalized working plans, and PTO that can provide needed flexibility. These focuses will define employers with top retention in 2022.”

Communication problems leading to more people quitting

For many employers, it can seem like a worker’s shocking resignation came out of nowhere. However, researchers found that many employees quit because they feel no one at work is helping them achieve their personal career goals.

One in five workers say they don’t feel they can openly discuss switching departments or roles with their managers. That number includes 37 percent of all Gen Z respondents. Another 13 percent of all employees don’t even know who they should discuss this topic with at work.

Additionally, one in three people think their company discourages workers from changing roles within the organization. Of the 67 percent of respondents who plan to quit if they can’t switch roles this year, more women are preparing to resign for this reason than men (73% vs. 63%).

Fortunately, 70 percent of respondents note that their current job does provide opportunities for their workers to learn new skills. Overall, this motivates about one in 10 people to stay on the job and 17 percent of Gen Z workers specifically.

I’m coming home…

For workers who have left a job in the past, saying “I quit” isn’t necessarily a permanent decision — especially for younger workers. The survey reveals 52 percent of employees would think about returning to a former employer for better benefits (29%), better growth opportunities (22%), or a chance for upskilling or re-training (16%).

For Gen Z employees, working is all about having a sense of purpose. In fact, 42 percent would rather have a job where they feel a sense of purpose rather than a job that pays more money. Millennials are also split on this issue, with only 49 percent taking the bigger paycheck over a sense of purpose.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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