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It’s been a wild couple of years. The job market has seen plenty of upheaval and a very high job mobility rate. Younger people in particular are more restless and tend to move jobs more frequently – which is something that the pandemic has only exacerbated.

So is this because they are flaky and unappreciative? Or are their reasons for leaving totally valid? Here are some of the key reasons young people cite for departing – and what companies should be doing to combat this.

  1. No career pathway

Companies don’t have to promise people the world – nor do you even have to fast-track their career progression in an effort to keep them happy. But you do have to show them a path. Talk to them about where their role might lead in the future. What are the stepping stones if they perform well? What kind of alternate paths might there be (paths they may not even have considered)? Just show them that you’ve thought about it and that you’re interested in their development.

  1. No recognition

Acknowledging when people have done good work is important – and this should be done both in public forums (group meetings) and private one-on-ones. It counts for a lot and people appreciate it. There’s nothing worse than working your butt off in a job but still feeling invisible to your superiors. A few kind words can go a long way – particularly with young employees who are still finding their feet and might be able to use a confidence boost.

  1. No flexibility or trust

This is a big one. Don’t micromanage people. They were hired because they were trusted to do the job. Let them do it and empower them to manage their own time. If they’re good, they will flourish. If not, they will soon be found out. But one thing’s for sure – if you don’t grant them flexible working hours and show them respect, they’ll be out the door before you know it.

  1. They’re not paid properly

Benchmarking is important here. Obviously it makes sense for a junior role to receive a junior salary, but too often young people are grossly underpaid just because of their age alone. If you have a rising star in a mid-level role but you’re still paying them a much lower salary than their older counterparts, then you’re making a mistake. 

People that aren’t remunerated in line with what their role is worth in the broader market will resign. Simple as that.

  1. Poor culture

There’s a reason why culture is such a big focus for businesses of all shapes and sizes these days. People simply won’t put up with toxic workplaces like they might have used to. There are so many jobs out there and unemployment is so low that people aren’t afraid to just pull up stumps and move on if a company isn’t making a concerted effort to foster and maintain a great culture.

Above all, it’s about showing employees that you care. Spend time asking them how they are going, listen to them (don’t just talk at them) and show them the same respect you’d wish your superiors would show you.