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Most satisfied are also most likely to leave

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Younger staff are the most satisfied with their jobs, according to a survey by Mercer, yet they are also the most likely to be considering leaving.

Satisfaction scores were higher among the 16 to 24-year-olds in 14 of the 17 markets that were surveyed by five percentage points on average.

A similar trend continued in the next age range up with a two percentage point higher than average satisfaction score in 11 markets.

These are both in comparison with the response given by the overall workforce – an average worked out based on 30,000 workers who were surveyed.

Paradoxically the younger the employees the more likely they were to agree with the statement, ‘at the present time, I am seriously considering leaving my organisation.’
The average among 16 to 24-year-olds for this was ten percentage points higher than for overall workers and five percentage points higher among 25 to 34-year-olds.

These two age groups also reported to be satisfied in specific key areas, including pay, career development and performance management.

In this way the traditional ideas of staff loyalty are being flouted among the young, who despite being happy where they are, also consider what other options may be open to them.

Chris Johnson, partner at Mercer, said: “These findings present a real dilemma for employers. Do they simply accept that young talent is going to leave, no matter what the organisation has to offer, or do they invest time and resources in an attempt to change the views and employment habits of their younger workers?”

A recent report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development warned that companies who did not address the issue of staff satisfaction could see the top talents within their organisations leave.

Mr Johnson said: “It is essential to first have a clear understanding of an employer’s value proposition and then analyse what steps can or should be taken to increase the tenure of young workers.”