2022 Great Resignation

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2022 Great Resignation:
The State of Internal Mobility and Employee Retention Report

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Over the past two years, we’ve experienced an event unlike any other we’ve seen before in the world of recruiting: the Great Resignation, characterized by a mass exodus of employees, an intense competition for talent, and the need to source the best candidates to fill a rapidly growing number of open roles. While no longer shiny and new, the Great Resignation has forced organizations of all sizes to rethink how they approach hiring and retention.

In our “2022 Great Resignation: The State of Internal Mobility and Employee Retention Report,” we uncover how organizations can best attract and retain employees during the Great Resignation, specifically looking at the impacts of internal mobility.

Quick Take

  • While two in five (40%) of employees plan to stay at their current jobs for less than a year, attrition rates for Gen Z are much higher—with 65% of employees planning to stay for less than a year.
  • The report revealed that the biggest motivator for employees planning to stay in their position is salary and/or potential bonuses (46%), followed by good paid time off and flexibility (21%), and internal mobility (13%).
  • Of the employees staying at their company, nearly half (41%) will ask for some sort of role change in 2022.
  • Employees are so invested in creating a new role that nearly a third (31%) would take a pay cut to change positions, and three in five (61%) would start searching for new jobs if their company didn’t allow them to switch roles.

Read on to explore all of the insights from our “2022 Great Resignation: The State of Internal Mobility and Employee Retention Report.”

How do employees feel right now?

Culture and perks are often considered top contenders for attracting and retaining talent—however, our report finds that, while employees are happy in their current roles (64%) and plan to remain with their companies for more than a year (59%), they also want more opportunities for internal mobility (13%), flexible work arrangements (20%), upskilling (8%), and competitive compensation (45%).

When breaking down the data by gender and generation, our report found that:

  • More women (64%) than men (56%) are likely to stay at their current job for more than a year.
  • Gen Zs (13%) are more than twice as likely to leave their current job in the next month, compared to Millennials (5%), Gen X (3%), or Baby Boomers (6%).
  • Gen Zs (40%) and Millennials (62%) are also more likely than other generations to ask for role changes.
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Gen Z are twice as likely to leave their current job in the next month.

As our Report found, women (28%) are nearly twice as likely as men (15%) to stay at their current company due to good PTO and flexibility offerings. 

Meanwhile, Gen Zs (17%) are the most likely to stay at their current job because of upskilling/reskilling opportunities compared to Millennials (9%), Gen X (7%), or Baby Boomers (4%).

Internal mobility is a crucial factor for retaining talent in 2022

The desire for more internal mobility is a key factor in driving talent retention this year. Our report found that many employees don’t feel encouraged to pursue new roles internally (33%), nor do they feel they can openly discuss internal opportunities with their managers (21%). Additionally, many employees aren’t sure who to speak to within their organization about internal mobility opportunities (13%).

More than three in five (61%) employees say they’d search for a new role if their company didn’t allow role changes, while over two-thirds (67%) would leave their organizations altogether if they didn’t allow internal mobility.

More men (53%) than women (40%) say their company would allow them to create their own role within the organization.

Millennials (43%) are the most likely to ask for their role to change within their company, compared to Gen Zs (36%), Gen Xs (40%), and Baby Boomers (29%).

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of men are more likely than women (32%) to ask for their role to change within their company in 2022.

Millennials (43%) are the most likely to ask for their role to change within their company, compared to Gen Zs (36%), Gen Xs (40%), and Baby Boomers (29%).

Upskilling can help employers retain talent while empowering employees to petition for role changes

Ensuring employees have the tools, resources, and opportunities to upskill or reskill benefits both employers and their teams. For example, our report shows that, at companies that provide upskilling or reskilling, 61% of employees have taken courses to grow in their current role while 23% have taken courses to grow into a new role.

We also found that over two-thirds (70%) of employees say their company provides opportunities for upskilling or reskilling—an offering that motivates nearly one in 10 employees (and nearly one in five Gen Zs) to stay at their company.

Our report indicates that men (72%) are more likely than women (64%) to say their company provides the opportunity for upskilling or reskilling. We also found that Gen Zs (56%) are the least likely to say their company provides the opportunity for upskilling and reskilling, compared to Millennials (73%), Gen Xs (62%), or Baby Boomers (61%).

More men (25%) than women (21%) have taken courses at their company to grow into a new role. 

Millennials (62%) are the most likely to have taken courses to grow in their current role, but Gen Zs (24%) are the most likely to have taken courses to grow into a new role.

Boomerang employees may be recruiters’ best chance at attracting talent—if they can leverage their companies’ key differentiators

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of employees would consider returning to a former employer, with most returning for better benefits


Employees are willing to rejoin or return to previous employers based on shifting priorities around compensation and benefits. For instance, as our report shows, more than half (52%) of employees would consider returning to a former employer, with most returning for better benefits (29%), more room for growth opportunities (22%), and more opportunities for upskilling/reskilling (16%).

Men (32%) are more likely than women (26%) to consider returning to a former employer because the employer had better benefits.

Surprisingly, we found that Baby Boomers (24%) are the most likely to consider returning to a former employer because they have more opportunities for upskilling/reskilling, compared to Gen Zs (19%), Millennials (14%), or Gen Xs (12%).

When it comes to exploring new roles, Gen Z has different priorities

Though our data shows there are many similarities among the generations’ desire for internal mobility, better compensation, more flexible work, and upskilling opportunities, one glaring difference is Gen Z’s shifting priorities when it comes to exploring new roles.

From a recruitment perspective, understanding what this young yet influential generation of employees is seeking in new roles is critical to attracting and then retaining this talent. For Gen Z, highlighting a sense of purpose in the role is critical, as 42% would rather be at a company that gives them a sense of purpose than one that pays more, while Millennials (49%) and Gen Xs (56%), who would rather work for a company that pays more than gives them a sense of purpose

According to our data, women (40%) are more likely than men (37%) to care more about having a sense of purpose in their work than about pay.

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of Gen Zs would rather be at a company that gives them a sense of purpose than one that pays more

What do employees want their organizations to prioritize in 2022?

As recruiters and talent acquisition teams enter another year of the Great Resignation, it’s imperative that organizations focus not only on culture and perks, but nurturing environments where internal mobility, flexibility, compensation, and upskilling are inherent to their cultures. 

Our “2022 Great Resignation: The State of Internal Mobility and Employee Retention Report” shows that, of all factors most pressing for each generation, flexibility in how and where people work is the key factor employees are hoping their employers will prioritize this year. 

More than a third (35%) of employees want their C-Suite to prioritize more flexibility over internal mobility (20%), DEI (16%), and hiring (13%).

When studying the other factors employees want their organizations to prioritize, we broke the data down by gender and found that men (22%) are more likely than women (19%) to want their C-Suite to prioritize internal mobility most in 2022.

When looking at the more pressing factors among all generations, it becomes clear that flexibility is most important among Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers alike.

Millennials (25%) are the most likely to want their C-Suite to prioritize internal mobility and Gen Z (38%) are the most likely to want their C-Suite to prioritize more flexibility.

Key takeaways

  • Employees are looking to leave their jobs in 2022, but companies can offer benefits to make them stay
  • Employees who are staying at their company are looking for new roles, and employers’ lack of support may result in the loss of top talent
  • Upskilling could help employees make the case for role changes—if they take advantage of it
  • Opportunities for internal mobility will be a critical talent retention tactic in 2022
  • Streamlining internal mobility processes may provide more growth encouragement and employee retention
  • As employers look for new talent during the Great Resignation, boomerang employees may be their best chance—if they know how to leverage their competitive differentiators

Attract and retain top talent, even during the Great Resignation

Lever’s “2022 Great Resignation: The State of Internal Mobility and Employee Retention Report” was conducted to help recruiters and talent acquisition pros better understand how you can attract and retain top talent in 2022. We surveyed 1,200 full-time, employed adults (via Pollfish) in the U.S. across a myriad of industries to determine how employees feel during the Great Resignation and the top factors influencing their decisions to remain with their current employers or seek out new opportunities.