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In the midst of the Great Resignation, here’s what keeps Gen Z and millennial workers in their seats

May 18, 2022, 1:56 PM UTC

Millions of U.S. workers said “I quit” to their employers last year amid the Great Resignation. And more than half are open to leaving their employers this year.  

Like older generations, the top reasons that Gen Z and millennial workers cited for quitting included pay, burnout, and mental health concerns, according to Deloitte’s 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey released Wednesday. The report is based off a survey of 14,808 Gen Z and 8,412 millennial responses across 46 countries.

But what keeps these younger workers engaged and more likely to stay with an employer? It mostly comes down to providing opportunities for personal and professional growth. 

They’re looking for good work/life balance, says Michele Parmelee, Deloitte’s global deputy CEO and chief people and purpose officer, “as well as learning and development opportunities.”  

Gen Z and millennial workers are also drawn to companies that align with their values. Over a third said they have turned down a job offer because the company didn’t align with their personal ethics. “The values and purpose of their employer really matters,” Parmelee says. Younger workers not only want businesses to help drive change, they want to be engaged in how that change is enacted.

The importance of a company’s values only becomes more important as these young workers move up the career ladder. Nearly half of Gen Z and millennial workers in senior positions say they’ve rejected jobs because the role didn’t match their personal values. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are also big components to keeping younger generations of workers satisfied long-term. While an inclusive work environment may not be a top priority when choosing a job, it's a significant driver of retention. 

“They want to better understand the choices that their employers are making in terms of who they serve, who they align with. And they want to be in a place that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Parmelee says, adding that many times, it comes down to executives and managers having transparent conversations with their employees about their decisions. 

Of course, creating an inclusive workplace can be a difficult, especially as so many Gen Z and millennial workers want a hybrid or remote work setting. “It is a challenge for employers but something that's very important,” Parmelee says. 

Yet the payoff is there: Gen Z and millennial workers who are satisfied with their employers’ values, larger societal impact, and diversity initiatives are more likely to stay with that company for five or more years. 

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