Knowing that Millennials and parents are under increasing pressure, EY, a company that provides professional services,conducted a survey to understand what employees seek in a job—why they quit, why they stay, and how this differs by generation.

    The study consisted of approximately 9700 adults aged 18 through 67—who are full time employees—across a variety of companies in the US, UK, India, Japan, China, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil.

    Key highlights of the survey include:

    • Work-life balance is harder worldwide. Approximately half (46%) of managers globally are working more than 40 hour weeks, and four in 10 say their hours have increased over the past 5 years.
    • Why people are quitting their Jobs. The top five reasons people quit their jobs are: minimal wage growth, lack of opportunity to advance, excessive overtime hours, a work environment that does not encourage teamwork, and a boss that doesn’t allow you to work flexibly.
    • People want flexibility. Being able to work flexibly and still be on track for promotion is very important.
    • Managing work and family responsibilities for US Millennials is proving difficult. Millennials (78%) are almost twice as likely to have a spouse/partner working at least full-time than Boomers (47%). Consequently, “Finding time for me” is the most prevalent challenge faced by Millennial parents who are managers in the US (76%) followed by “getting enough sleep,” and “managing personal and professional life” (67%).

    Managing work-life is getting harder across the world

    One-third of full-time employees, globally, say it has gotten more difficult to manage work/family in the last 5 years. The most common reasons cited are that “my salary has not increased much, but my expenses have,” which was about tied with “my responsibilities at work have increased.” The other top reasons include increased responsibility at home, working longer hours, and having children.

    • Approximately half (46%) of managers, globally, are working more than 40 hour weeks, and four in 10 say their hours have increased over the past 5 years.
    • Globally, younger generations are seeing their hours increase more in the last 5 years at a time when many are moving into management and starting families. (47% of Millennial managers reported an increase in hours versus 38% for Gen X and 28% for Boomers.)
    • Of managers, full-time working parents (41%) have seen their hours increase more in the last 5 years than nonparents (37%).
    • Full-time employees in Germany and Japan are the most likely to indicate that it has gotten tougher to manage work-life.
    • Countries where parents found it most difficult to manage work-life than nonparents were Germany, the UK, India, and the US.

    Why people are quitting their jobs

    While “stagnant wages” were cited as the top reason full-time workers quit their jobs, globally, three out of the top six factors were due to work-life management challenges.

    • The top five reasons were: minimal wage growth, lack of opportunity to advance, excessive overtime hours, a work environment that does not encourage teamwork, and a boss that doesn’t allow you to work flexibly.
    • Parents are more likely than nonparents to mention a lack of opportunity to advance as a reason to quit, demonstrating continued career ambition after having children.
    • While they are still ambitious after having children, flexibility issues are considerably more important to parents than nonparents as a factor in quitting. Perhaps seeking work-life role models, the biggest gap, is tied to seeing “few senior colleagues who are working parents or in dual-career families” (60% for parents, 43% for nonparents).
    Top 5 reasons Millennials quit by country
    US UK Brazil Germany India Japan Mexico China
    1.)Minimal wage growth (78%) Minimal wage growth (71%) Minimal wage growth (86%) Excessive overtime hours (75%) Lack of opportunity to advance (78%) Excessive overtime hours (73%) Lack of opportunity to advance (84%) Minimal wage growth (82%)
    2.)Lack of opportunity to advance (75%) Lack of opportunity to advance (71%) Lack of opportunity to advance (85%) Minimal wage growth (73%) A work environment that doesn’t encourage teamwork (77%) Limited access to mentors/sponsors (71%) A boss that doesn’t allow you flexibility (83%) Lack of opportunity to advance (78%)
    3.)Excessive overtime hours (72%) Excessive overtime hours (69%) A boss that doesn’t allow you flexibility (85%) Flexibility stigma (72%) Excessive overtime hours (77%) A work environment that does not encourage teamwork (71%) Flexibility stigma (82%) Flexibility stigma (67%)
    4.)A work environment that doesn’t encourage teamwork (66%) Too much overnight travel (67%) A work environment that doesn’t encourage teamwork (80%) Lack of opportunity to advance (71%) Minimal wage growth (76%) Minimal wage growth (69%) Excessive overtime (82%) A work environment that doesn’t encourage teamwork (67%)
    5.)A boss that doesn’t allow you flexibility (66%) Flexibility stigma (66%) Flexibility stigma (79%) A boss that doesn’t allow you flexibility (68%) Too much overnight travel (76%) Lack of opportunity to advance (66%) Lack of workplace flexibility (80%) Excessive overtime (65%)

    Workers around the world want the option to work flexibly—without penalty

    After competitive pay and benefits, the top things employees say are very important in a potential job are: “being able to work flexibly and still be on track for a promotion” which was tied at 74% with “working with colleagues, including my boss, who support my efforts to work flexibly.” Other flex perks full-time employees seek are: the ability to work flexibly—informally when needed, receiving paid parental leave, and not working excessive overtime.

    • Millennials, globally, are more likely than other generations to say it is important to receive paid parental leave, onsite or subsidized child care, and be able to telecommute 1 to 2 days a week.
    • Interestingly, two-thirds of full-time employees would prefer being able to relocate closer to family over reducing overnight business travel, receiving onsite or subsidized childcare, an ability to shut off emails and calls when needed, and telecommuting.
    • In the US, the research shows that about one in 10 US workers say they have “suffered a negative consequence as a result of having a flexible work schedule.” The rate is even higher for Millennials, nearly one in six.

    A majority of full-time employees (62%) in the US had a spouse/partner who worked roughly 9 to 5 for 5 days a week. Another 19% said their spouse/partner worked full-time but flexible hours.

    Over half (57%) of full-time employees in the US indicate that their spouse/partner works 35 hours or more a week, but for Millennials and Gen X, the likelihood that their partner works full-time is much higher than it is for Boomers. Also, parents (70%) are much more likely than nonparents (57%) to have a partner that works at least full-time.

    • Millennials (78%) are almost twice as likely to have a spouse/partner working at least full-time than Boomers (47%).
    • Millennials (64%) and Gen X (68%) were also much more likely to have a spouse/partner working 35 hours or more a week than Boomers (44%).
    • Over a quarter of Boomers (27%) said their spouse/partner does not work outside the home or works part-time flexible hours (10%).
    • Millennials (13%) and Gen X (14%) were much less likely to have a spouse/partner who did not work outside the home or who worked part-time but flexible hours (5% and 4% for Millennials and Gen X, respectively ).
    • “Finding time for me” is the most prevalent challenge faced by Millennial parents who are managers in the US (76%) followed by “getting enough sleep” and “managing personal and professional life” (67%).

    For more information on this survey, view the EY website.

    EY has provided some tips, on how to keep the Millennial generation from leaving your company, in the infographic below.

    Tips on keeping Millennials employed at your company