Younger Employees are 20x More Likely to Stay If They Have This

In doing some professional research recently, I stumbled upon an article that referred to a Gallup study with some interesting findings. The article said the demographic of 21 to 37 year old employees are 20 times more likely to stay and not change jobs if they have they have this one thing. As someone who regularly helps company leaders get better at employee retention, that statistic grabbed my attention. Here’s what those employees want…

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Younger Employees are 20x More Likely to Stay If They Have a Great Workplace Experience

Retention Trends for Younger Employees

1. 3x More Likely to Change Jobs

This particular study focused on employees ages 21 to 37. Even more specifically, the study found those employees were 3 times more likely to change jobs than their older counterparts. (Here are some tips for spotting dissatisfied employees.) 

That didn’t shock me. I’ve been in organizations and around organizations all my professional career and most of the time the ones that are most likely to change jobs are the younger employees there.

It may be their first job, or maybe they’re looking to move up, or they get enticed away for something else. When it said that younger workers, 21 to 37, are three times more likely to change than their older counterpart, I didn’t think much about it.

2. 20x More Likely to Stay If…

But the same study then said those same demographics, those 21 to 37 year old employees are 20 times more likely to stay and not change jobs if they have “a great workplace experience.”

That’s what got me thinking. First of all, 20 times more likely to stay than employers that are older than them? That’s an interesting statistic. But then to say 20 times more likely to stay if they have a great workplace experience — what does that mean?

Components of a Great Workplace Experience

First of all, the study said it meant that:

  1. …they were working in a high-trust culture.
  2. …they were doing meaningful work.
  3. …they had great leadership.

So, I buy all of those things. If you, if I work in a high trust culture, it’s hard to think about leaving. When we’re doing meaningful work, it’s hard to think about leaving it.  And if we have a great leader, why would we want to leave?

How to Define a “Great Workplace Experience”

But let me go back to that phrase, a great workplace experience for just a minute.

A great workplace experience may mean something to me but may mean something very different to you. The only way we can really figure out if an employee is having a great workplace experience or not is to ask an interview. 

Sit down and simply ask questions like:

“What are you looking for from your work, your job, your workplace experience? Are you looking to be promoted?

Do you want to dig deep into what you’re already doing and become the expert in that particular field?

Are you looking to work with a team and have that team experience or are you more interested in doing individual work?

Are you interested in learning and learning and growing or are you interested in serving and staying?”

There is no right answer to this question. Every one of us, at different stages of our careers, have different workplace experiences. But we all want them to be great!

For those of us who are truly interested and focused on being the best leader that we can be, we should be focused on trying to build the best workplace experience possible for those that we’re attempting to lead. 

If we do so, the opportunities I think will be much greater and chances are you’ll be working with your team a whole lot longer. They’ll have no reason to leave!

If you want to improve your employee retention through better leadership trust, let’s talk about how to make that happen. Call me now.


Phillip Van Hooser
Author: Phillip Van Hooser
Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by building engaged employee relationships. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on leadership, service and communication. His popular book, “Willie's Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty” recently hit #1 in Customer Relations on the Kindle store. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.