Tech workers list burnout and bad managers as biggest motivations for finding a new job

Qualtrics survey finds managers and directors are more interested in making a move than individual contributors.

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Managers, Gen Z workers, and tech and travel professionals are the most likely people to be actively looking for a new job, according to a new survey from Qualtrics. Forty-four percent of the 1,025 people surveyed said they will be job hunting in the next 12 months.

Qualtrics surveyed adults in the U.S. ages 18 and older who were working full- or part-time. Survey respondents planning to switch jobs said they wanted more growth opportunities, higher salaries and less stress overall. Among people not looking for a new role, the most common reasons for staying were good managers, purposeful work and a good work-life balance. Tech workers also listed better leadership as one of the top motivations for seeking a new role. This dynamic was almost as important as growth opportunities.

Directors, managers and executives are more likely to be looking for a new job with more than 50% of each group planning to start a job search. Only 37% of individual contributors are planning to find something new.

SEE: Survey finds commitment to racial justice at work is fading away (TechRepublic)

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the future of work. Every industry, employee, and

leader will find experiences that are unique to their culture and workforce," said Julia Anas, chief people officer, Qualtrics, in a press release. "The key to getting experiences right is to listen frequently and take action based on what you learn."

J.P. Gownder, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, said many people are reconsidering the particulars of their lives and of work-life balance and that managers should be ready to experiment with a variety of work arrangements to see which one fits best.

Brian Kropp, chief of research in the Gartner HR practice, said that companies should expect a bumpy launch and months of experimenting.

"The re-entry into the new hybrid will be messy and uneven and filled with problems," he said.

Tech and hospitality companies will see the most turnover, according to the survey:

  • Tech: 52% looking for a new job
  • Travel, hospitality and food service: 52%
  • Retail: 41%
  • Government: 19%

The pandemic shut down almost all in-person interactions and development, training and mentorship opportunities virtually disappeared as well. The survey results showed that this lack of opportunities is a driving factor behind the desire to change jobs:

  • 60% of employees say they received no professional development and training last year
  • 64% said they were offered no networking or mentoring opportunities
  • 65% of women said they received no professional development and career training vs. 53% of men
  • 72% of women said they received no networking or mentoring opportunities, compared with 55% of men 

SEE: The Great Resignation of 2021: Are 30% of workers really going to quit? (TechRepublic) 

Gen Z (65%) and Millennials (61%) are much more interested in finding a new role as compared with Gen X (42%) and Baby Boomers (14%). 

Younger workers also listed diverse leadership as another priority as compared with older people. Black workers also were more likely to list this priority with 40% of that group stating that diverse leadership mattered significantly as compared with only 18% of white people.

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By Veronica Combs

Veronica Combs is a senior writer at TechRepublic. For more than 10 years, she has covered technology, healthcare, and business strategy. In addition to her writing and editing expertise, she has managed small and large teams at startups and establis...