Nearly two-thirds of staff will quit if employer doesn’t share their values, study finds

Experts warn that businesses need to prioritise sustainability or risk losing out on talent

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Nearly two-thirds (58 per cent) of employees are considering leaving their jobs in the next 12 months because their employer doesn’t share the same values as them, a study has found.

The study by Amba, revealed that two in five (45 per cent) employees said their present employer doesn’t share their values, and that two-thirds (62 per cent) were actively looking for an employer that shares their beliefs.

The poll of over 1,000 workers for Amba’s Generation Gap: Understanding the Priorities of the Gen-Z Workforce 2022 report, also found that more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of the group felt it was important for their workplace to have high ethical standards.

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However, David Morel, CEO of Tiger Recruitment, argued that while aligned values may be somewhat of a priority, the key reason for many employees contemplating a job move would be to secure a higher salary.

“Earning more is jobseekers' number one priority, followed by a better work-life balance and opportunities to develop their career,” said Morel. “That's not to say they won't factor a prospective employer's values into their decision, it's on their wish list, but it isn't their primary concern in the current market."

The research also suggested that young people are much more inclined to examine an employer’s ethics and principles before accepting a job, as 61 per cent of respondents citing values as the most important factor, followed by what other employees say about the company (59 per cent) and the quality of its products (40 per cent).

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Employees were found to see sustainability as a critical issue, with two-thirds (63 per cent) of respondents believing that firms should make an effort to be sustainable in all that they do.

This was prevalent among Gen-Z workers, with 10 per cent of this group having left a previous position due to their employer’s inaction on sustainability, compared to just 3 per cent of workers aged 55 to 64.

Commenting on the findings, Tobin Murphy-Coles, CEO at Amba, warned employers against disregarding the priorities of today’s workforce. “Our research shows that young candidates increasingly want to work for businesses that do good, both for their people and the planet, and are willing to turn down opportunities if employers don’t meet these standards,” said Murphy-Coles.

He added that businesses must show a strong commitment to social and environmental issues if they don’t want to lose out in “the fight for the UK’s valuable young talent.”

Additionally, those between the ages of 18 and 24 are most likely to explore the morals of a potential employer, with 71 per cent admitting to closely scrutinising a company’s ethics.

Aniela Unguresan, founder of EDGE Certified Foundation and EDGE Strategy, said that careers had gotten longer which meant that more generations are working together, and this creates new complications and interactions in the workplace. It is “crucial for organisations to understand where different generations converge and where they diverge in their values, goals and expectations,” she added.

Simon Wingate, managing director of, said company values are important because they shape our work environment, providing us with the best space to learn and develop.

He added that although Gen Z workers are actively looking for whether their values align with that of a potential employer, through Reed’s own data, traditional motivators such as salary, work-life balance and location are some of the top factors in determining their next career move.