Overwhelming majority of Gen Z workers would quit their jobs over company values, LinkedIn data says

Company values are increasingly important to employees, and can be deciding factors for those considering quitting, or choosing a new job, LinkedIn says.
Richiesd | E+ | Getty Images

Company culture is increasingly important to employees – and can be a deciding factor for those considering quitting or choosing a new job.

A survey from LinkedIn found the vast majority, 87%, of Gen Z professionals would be prepared to quit their jobs to work elsewhere if the values of the new company were more closely aligned.

Millennials were found to feel similarly, according to the jobs and networking platform. When taking both groups into account, almost 9 in 10 professionals would do so, but the figure falls to 7 in 10 for Gen X.

LinkedIn defines Gen Z as those born between 1997 and 2012, those who are currently in their late teens or early twenties, and millennials as individuals who were born between 1981 and 1996 and are now in their late twenties to early forties. Gen X covers those in their forties to late fifties born between 1965 and 1980.

"Younger generations, in particular, want to work for companies where they can, where they can evoke change where they can make a difference," Josh Graff, managing director for EMEA and LATAM at LinkedIn, told CNBC Make It.

When exploring whether to move to a new job or company, 60% of millennials and Gen Zers said values could be a dealbreaker, according to LinkedIn's data.

The survey, which is based on 7,317 respondents in the U.K., France, Germany and Ireland, also found that 59% of European professionals would not work for a company if its values did not align with their personal ones. For 55% of those surveyed, a pay rise would not be enough to convince them to stay.

At a time when many are bearing the brunt of a cost-of-living crisis, Graff said the survey's findings underscore the importance of company values to an employee.

This shift has been a recent trend, Graff says, explaining that there are two key driving factors behind it. The coronavirus pandemic is one of them, he says, as it prompted many people to question where, why and how they work.

"And at the same time, certainly over the last few years, I think all of us, but in particular younger generations, are more politically and socially aware," he added.

Companies have been responding to the changing priorities of job seekers, LinkedIn's data shows. Over the past two years, there has been a 154% increase in entry-level job postings that mention company values, the platform says.

This includes topics like career development, learning opportunities, diversity and work-life balance. The latter is now mentioned 65% more often, according to the data.

The change is paying off for companies — job ads that talk about values receive almost double the amount of applications compared to two years ago, LinkedIn says.

This is especially important in the context of high demand for skilled workers and continuously tight labor markets, which have made it difficult for some companies to find and retain employees.

"Values will be a survival issue for many companies over the next decade," Graff said.