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Report: Over a Third of Gen-Z and Millennial Workers are Looking for a New Job

September 21, 2021

Remote worker on virtual meeting.
Younger generation of workers prioritize flexible work hours, mental health and wellness benefits, and familial care benefits above a pay increase

New research from Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services, reveals employee loyalty is at risk among younger generations, with one in three Gen-Z and Millennial workers actively looking for a new job, as employers experience what has been termed "The Great Resignation." This survey was conducted in partnership with Future Workplace, an HR research and advisory firm.

According to the research, older generations including Boomers and Gen Xers tend to be more content with their current employment. Only 11 percent of Boomers (born 1946-1964) and 27 percent of Gen Xers (born 1965-1980) are actively seeking a new job, compared to 35 percent of Millennials (born 1981-1996) and 44 percent of Gen Zers (born 1997-2012).

“The COVID-19 pandemic gave many workers the opportunity to reflect on what is most important to them in a job and an employer and assess their priorities for future roles,” said Alison Stevens, director of HR Services, Paychex. “For many, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that their current position or company was not serving them. If companies are not adeptly responding to the rapidly evolving and expanding needs of their employees, they are likely falling behind in the race to recruit and retain top talent.”

Incentivizing Employee Loyalty

As today’s employees look for new opportunities, their priorities are shifting. According to the research, all generations of employees are looking for the following to remain loyal:  

  • Increase in pay (61 percent)
  • A stay bonus (39 percent)
  • More paid time off (39 percent)
  • Flexible working hours (35 percent)

The research showed that remote work also plays a key role across generations. Employee loyalty is at significantly higher risk among employees working in a hybrid environment than those working in a fully remote environment (73 percent vs. 58 percent).

Furthermore, of those employees surveyed who are actively looking for a new job, 42 percent indicated a 10 to 15 percent salary increase would motivate them to stay in their current role, whereas a 3 to 10 percent salary increase would be unlikely to make an impact. 

Retaining the Younger Generation of Workers

Different generations weigh benefits and incentives differently. The research revealed that employees from younger generations prioritize other key benefits above a pay increase. Flexible work hours, mental and wellness benefits, and familial care benefits all outrank a pay increase when asked what changes their employer could make to increase their loyalty. Forty-three percent of Millennials and 44 percent of Gen Zers agreed that flexibility in work hours would increase their loyalty to their employer.

“The way employers approach workplace flexibility and embrace both the lessons learned and the challenges of the past 18 months may have a lasting impact on who stays, who exits, and who builds their skills to prepare for a new role at their company,” said Meister.

For more insights from this research, including employees’ top concerns about a potential future return to the office, read more here.

About the Research

This data is the result of an online survey of 630 full-time employees at small to mid-size businesses in the U.S fielded from June 30, 2021 through July 10, 2021. This is the first survey in a series of research reports administered by Future Workplace that will focus on the employee point of view and pinpoint top concerns, priorities, and trends facing the modern workforce.

About Paychex

Paychex, Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 50 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves more than 710,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2021 across more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Emily DePerrior

Emily DePerrior

Emily DePerrior joined Paychex in October 2019 and serves as public relations program lead. In this role, she is responsible for advancing the company’s reputation as an HR outsourcing leader, providing PR support for the Paychex Insurance Agency, overseeing media monitoring, reporting and measurement initiatives, and supporting the overall goals of the public relations department. Emily is a graduate of University of Rochester where she studied English with a concentration in language, media and communications. Prior to joining Paychex, she worked at University of Rochester Medical Center and the global PR agency, Text100.

(585) 387-6432

PR Program Lead