The No 1 Reason Talented Young Employees Quit Their Jobs

The biggest reason young, talented workers leave for new jobs? They’re not learning enough.

Employers often complain that their young workers jump ship quickly. A study published this summer in the Harvard Business Review confirmed that young top performers - the workers that organizations would most like to stick around - are leaving in droves.

Researchers found that high achievers, who are 30 years old on average with great school and work credentials, are leaving their employers after an average of 28 months. Furthermore, three-quarters admit to sending out CV’s, contacting recruitment firms and interviewing for jobs at least once a year during their first employment. And 95% said they regularly watch for potential employers.

Multiple studies find that today’s younger workers have absolutely no intention of sticking around if they don’t feel like they’re learning, growing and being valued. Beth Carver, a consultant who has 12 years’ experience researching exit interviews, finds that a loss of training opportunities and a lack of mentors in the workplace are two of the biggest reasons why young workers leave.

“Companies need to recognize that young workers are very mobile,” Carver said. “They have to understand that they want a personal and clearly articulated career path." With their social media skills and easy access to job postings on the internet, they don’t have to work hard at all to find new opportunities. Carver said. “Sometimes changing jobs is about money,” her exit interview research reveals. ‘Sometimes it’s because the job isn’t what they thought it was going to be. More often, they weren’t getting the personal attention, the mentoring, the coaching and the training they wanted.”

Learning new skills is what people want and expect from work these days, and employers who would like to hire and retain the best talent would be wise to create an environment in which learning is fostered.