Wondering how to prevent employees from joining the “Great Resignation”? Higher wages and office perks may not be enough.
Young workers are looking for growth within the company, and the freedom to be entrepreneurs – outside of their day jobs.
That’s according to Microsoft’s latest report, which included 20,000 employees from 11 countries.
Earlier this year, Microsoft found that 52% of young people surveyed, Gen Z and Millennials, said they were likely to consider changing employers this year.
But for companies hoping to retain these employees, all hope is not lost.
According to Microsoft, 73% of Generation Z and Millennials said they would stay longer in their jobs if it were easier to switch roles internally.
Microsoft said younger workers are also more likely to stay if their companies give them the flexibility to pursue “side business” or businesses for additional income.
Microsoft defines Generation Z as those between the ages of 18 and 26, and Millennials as those between the ages of 27 and 41.
“With the big adjustment, companies are trying to hold on to the people who have them,” Colette Stallbaumer, general manager of Microsoft 365 and the future of work, told CNBC Make It in a virtual interview.
The Great Resignation – also known as the “Great Cabinet Reshuffle” – refers to the exodus of workers during the pandemic. Employees quit their jobs for higher pay or what they saw as greener pastures.
“Now we are seeing a bit of stability [down]However the job market is still really tight.”
“Learning requires leaving”
The Microsoft report stated that one of the reasons employees change jobs is that they believe that “learning requires leaving”.
The survey found that 55% of respondents change companies because they believe it is the “best way” to develop their skills.
“Organizations and business leaders need to think about using learning as a retention tool. Because if people learn and grow, let’s face it — they stay,” Stallbaumer said.
Two out of three employees indicated their willingness [they were willing] Stay if it’s easier to take a side step into a role that introduces new skills.
Specifically, 73% of Generation Z and Millennials said they would, compared to 65% of Generation X (42-55 years old).
According to LinkedIn, learning and growth opportunities are also seen as the number one driver of a great work culture in 2022, compared to 2019, when it was in ninth place.
According to Stallbaumer, employee growth has been “deprioritized” during the pandemic, as companies have focused on “trying to keep the doors open.”
“If you think about the experience we’ve all had collectively in the past several years, there’s no doubt that people are working more,” she added.
“Now is the time… for organizations to really stop, pause and think about how to help people grow and learn new skills?”
This requires a shift in mindset for companies — to start thinking about the internal workforce as a market, Stallbaumer added.
“How to help people think about internal mobility… [to be] More like a career playground, not a career ladder you’re just climbing up? “
Make room for aspirations
The pandemic has also changed what employees want from work and life, Stallbaumer said.
“We’ve seen their values change, and we’ve seen people prioritize well-being and a sense of purpose…and how work fits into their lives.”
According to Stallbaumer, this is why younger employees are increasingly pursuing aspirations outside of work, such as side business, creative economics, and entrepreneurship.
The Microsoft report found that younger generations are more likely to aspire to be its boss — 76% of millennials and millennials said that is the goal, compared to 63% of Generation X and above.
This is why flexibility remains an important consideration for young workers.
Among Generation Z and Millennials surveyed, 77% said they were more likely to stay in their current jobs if they were given the flexibility to pursue side projects for additional income, Microsoft said.