Small businesses that employ younger workers may have a satisfied workforce but they’re also more likely to consider leaving your company, according to the latest What’s Working survey from global HR firm Mercer.

The study analyzed nearly 30,000 employees in 17 countries worldwide, and found very contradicting insights into the minds of the youngest workers (ages 16 to 34).

Compared to the overall workforce, employees between the ages 16 and 34 were more satisfied with their jobs, and even more likely to recommend their organization as a good place to work. But the youngest employees (16 to 24) were 10 percentage points more likely to presently be considering leaving the company. And the next age group up (25 to 34) was 5 percentage points more likely, compared to the rest of the workforce.

Patrick Glibert, PhD Global Leader for the Drake Business Review, said the findings indicated that Millennials have a very different perspective of work and loyalty than older generations.

“They see work as a mutually beneficial exchange with their employer and, when it’s no longer working for them, they plan to move on,” Gilbert said. “Their allegiance is primarily to themselves and their careers, and that has major implications for how employers manage this youngest segment of their workforce.”

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The survey also found that employees younger than 34 were almost universally more interested in greater benefits choices than the overall workforce, and were also more willing to pay more for new or improved benefits.

Two factors seemed to have the biggest impact on how employees responded to the survey: age and geography. But Mercer’s latest survey found that employees younger than 24 were much more likely to share the same perspective of their same-age counterparts than they are to share the views of people from their own country. Age groups 25 and older were much more likely to behave within their established cultural norms.

According to Mercer, future studies are being conducted to determine whether these new findings will become an ongoing trend. But they certainly illustrate a unique view held consistently among the newest workforce.

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Sarah Jordan

Sarah Jordan

Sarah Jordan is the VP of Marketing for PaySimple, the leading provider of service commerce solutions for SMBs. At PaySimple, Sarah leads the company's brand, acquisition, lifecycle, and product marketing strategies, and has been an integral player in growing the company from a fledgling startup to a leading SaaS platform, serving over 15,000 businesses across the country. She loves live music, being outside, great food, and hanging out with her husband, little boy, and dog.

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