12/06/2011 11:12 am ET | Updated Dec 12, 2011

Survey Says: Young Workers Like Their Jobs, But Not Enough To Stay

In what might come as a surprise to many of you, the youngest employees (those aged 16 to 34) are also the most likely to be happy with their jobs, and willing to recommend their companies as good places to work, according to the latest What's Working survey by global HR firm Mercer.

But if you've got young workers on your team, don't get too complacent. Mercer also found that nearly half (46 percent) of employees aged 16 to 24, and 40 percent of those aged 25 to 34, are "seriously considering" leaving their employers. What gives? Mercer notes younger workers have grown up in a shifting world where employees no longer stay with the same company all their lives, so they perceive there are a lot of opportunities for them, despite today’s economic challenges. Globalization is also a factor, with younger workers more open to the idea of moving to other countries to work.

Why it matters to your business: Young employees value openness, so talking with your younger workers about their goals and expectations is key. Young employees may perceive less opportunity for growth at a small business, so it's up to you to show them how they can advance, provide proper training and guidance, and demonstrate how the chance to wear many hats at a small business can actually mean more opportunity for growth than working at a big corporation.