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New Qualtrics Study Finds Over 50% of Leaders are Seeking New Jobs Post-Pandemic

Last updated:  June 23, 2021

A shakeup is coming to many companies as nearly half of the workforce says they will look for a new job in the next 12 months, citing burnout, stress, and the desire for more growth opportunities

72% of women were not offered mentoring opportunities during the pandemic, now they are seeking opportunities elsewhere

PROVO, UT and SEATTLE, June 23, 2021— Qualtrics (Nasdaq: XM), the world’s No. 1 Experience Management (XM) provider and creator of the XM category, today released a new study revealing that 53% of managers and directors, and 51% of executives plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months, with nearly half of the U.S. workforce planning to do the same. 

The United States Department of Labor recently found that more people are leaving their jobs this year than have in the last 20 years. Many wonder why, so Qualtrics set out to find the answer. According to Qualtrics’ new study, employees are looking for new job opportunities because they feel burnt out, stressed, and want more growth opportunities. Additionally, managers, directors, and executives are even more likely than individual contributors to say they’ll leave their jobs, which could prove costly for companies.  

With job openings in the United States reaching a high of 9.3 million, businesses will need to rely on insights like these to make changes that will help them retain and engage their existing employees and also effectively recruit candidates looking for new opportunities. As organizations compete for top talent, companies will need to take time to understand what employees are thinking and feeling, then act on that feedback to design programs that fit best for their workforce. 

Key Takeaways from Qualtrics Study: 

  • Burnout and stress are causing leaders to look for new jobs: More than half of managers and directors (53%) and executives (51%) say they will look for a new job in the next 12 months, while only 37% of individual contributors say the same. Burn out and high-stress jobs are two of the top reasons employees say they’re making the switch. 
  • Growth is the top driver for new career opportunities: The number one reason employees say they are leaving is because they want more growth opportunities, which doesn’t come as a surprise, considering 60% of employees say their employer didn’t offer any professional development or training last year, and 64% say they were not offered networking or mentoring opportunities.  
  • Mentoring and training opportunities were not available to women: Seventy-two percent of women say their employers did not offer networking or mentoring opportunities during the global pandemic, compared to 55% of men. Additionally, 65% of women say they were not offered professional development and career training vs. 53% of men. 
  • A gap in the push for diverse leadership: Many companies are focused on diversifying leadership, but a racial and generational gap still exists, with 40% of Black respondents saying diversity in leadership matters to them when looking for a new place to work vs. 18% of white respondents. When looking for a new job, Gen Z and Millennials say diverse leadership matters more to them than Gen X and Baby Boomers (31% of Gen Z, 29% of Millennials, 18% of Gen X, and 13% of Baby Boomers).
  • Tech industry has different priorities: Employees in the tech industry are some of the most likely to be looking for a new job, with 52% of respondents saying they will do so in the next 12 months (compared to 41% of retail employees and 19% of government employees). Tech employees looking for new jobs are also more likely to say they’re looking for better leadership rather than higher salaries (one of the top drivers among employees in other industries). Tech employees also say it’s important to feel like their work is a priority and get to know their teams before accepting a job.  

“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. “The key to getting experiences right is to listen frequently and take action based on what you learn.” 

Qualtrics EmployeeXM

Companies who focus on understanding the hearts and minds of employees will be able to deliver differentiated experiences and keep a competitive advantage in the market. Organizations around the world use the Qualtrics EmployeeXM™ to understand employee sentiment and identify which actions HR leaders and managers can take to improve the everyday experiences of their workforce. 

To access the full study, please visit: