The Great Resignation Is an Opportunity for L&D to Shine, Strategically

Screenshot 2022-08-11 at 10.28.24

As working practices and expectations continue to change, attracting and keeping the best talent is becoming more vital than ever. Many have talked of a ‘Great resignation’, with people demanding more from their employers in terms of work-life balance, benefits, career development and flexible working.

To meet the retention challenge, HR and L&D teams are having to become more creative. And it’s not just about pay, virtual working arrangements and benefits. It’s about helping people reach their full potential and achieve their personal and professional goals.


Facing the challenge
Talking to The Washington Post, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said:

“If a company chooses to bring people back to the office three days a week or five days a week, those CEOs and companies are going to have trouble retaining people, maintaining morale and hiring. They’re going to have some really big problems. For companies that embrace flexibility, we’re going to have a different problem. How do you make sure people can still build meaningful relationships at work?”

In May, Learning news asked vendors at Learning Tech what challenges they’ll face and what their will be for the next year. Ben Betts, CEO at Learning Pool, said:

“This year, L&D Professionals are being asked to step up their game and help organisations from a strategic point of view. Previously, we were charged with implementing the strategy – get these people trained on doing this thing more efficiently, more effectively.
Today, we’re in the midst of The Great Resignation and, all of a sudden, we can’t pay people enough to keep them in our businesses and we can’t cope with wage inflation. So, now, L&D Professionals are getting the call to say, ‘What can you do, how can you help me retain and stop the attrition of people from my organisation?’”


How can L&D respond?

Creating a positive learning culture, encouraging upskilling and learning new skills can all help in this regard. A recent report for Degreed suggested that people can develop their careers in many ways other than promotion. These include moving to new roles, working with mentors, taking part in new projects and reskilling. Giving people the tools they need to develop and achieve their long-term goals has a significant impact on retention.

In a positive learning culture, managers listen to their teams to find out what skills they want to build. They then help them find the time and resources for this development. 

There is plenty of great content available on the web to help organisations build a positive learning environment. But how can people access and curate it, so that they can take advantage of it? 

Learning platform providers want to avoid deploying empty platforms, or ones full of content but misaligned to the skills requirements of the business. They recognise that their customers need great learning content which maps to their skills requirements.
In a recent post, Digital Learning Strategist Myles Runham said:

“Content libraries have grown to become natural and indispensable partners of learning platforms. The joins will be invisible over time through partnerships and acquisitions. Well done, for example, to Go1 and Good Habitz for taking advantage of this and generating the momentum.”


Making the most of existing content 

While this works for organisations that are switching platforms or buying their first learning platform. What about those who already have huge libraries of existing content – bespoke, off-the-shelf, user-generated and freemium? What can organisations do with the resources they have now? 

At the Spring 2022, Learning Technologies conference in London, vendors, partners and end clients indicated that the preference was for building ‘campaigns not courses’ – short learning activities, rather than hour-long learning modules. 

Anders Pink helps with this by providing ready-made collections of short, focused web  content that can help people develop their skills continuously. This means L&D teams can use existing curated content to develop learning campaigns with long-term impact. This has some key advantages: 

  • Cost savings: the content we curate is free or freemium, so the investment in building or licensing content is avoided 
  • Speed to skill response: curated content is sourced immediately – so the emerging skills in the organisation can be met in an agile and rapid way by L&D
  • Continuous skills development: Skills don’t stand still. New content is published every day, but L&D and learners don’t have the time to keep searching for the latest insights.  In Anders Pink, curated content updates automatically, every day. So there’s always an opportunity to keep learning and developing critical skills.

What does a campaign consist of and how do you go about curating content for it?

With Anders Pink, teams can put together collections of learning assets based on skills families. For example, a user can build a collection of content in the Briefings section of the system. This allows users to create a bundle of excellent learning content on a number of topics. The system also works with platforms like Degreed and other team-sharing apps.
Jam Pan, for example, works with Anders Pink to give its people access to the latest content, in a variety of formats. The company said:

An emerging best practice is the creation of microburst trainings and communications on the same topics from diverse voices, like local leaders using multimodal forms of transmission.


Lifelong learning

Another emerging theme is the need to move away from learning that consists of single courses to continuous learning. This allows teams to keep improving their skills, which is an essential in an environment of constant change. 

Degreed, for example, places more of a focus on the continuous acquisition of critical skills. This not only provides a route to promotion; it allows people to make true progress in their careers and as people. Huler, meanwhile, seeks to bring work and life together, reflecting the huge changes that the world has experienced over the past few years.


Striking the right balance
The desire for a better work-life balance has also made retention more challenging. As pointed out by Charlotte McIntyre in a recent blog for Huler, the growth in working from home necessitated by the Covid pandemic accelerated this.

Instead of being chained to their workspaces for an arbitrary amount of time, employees will have the flexibility and empowerment to work in ways that work for them and will be trusted by their managers to do so, wrote McIntyre.
Companies and organisations that deliver a better employee experience and increase employee engagement will be among the winners. Improving the access to better learning and creating an environment that encourages and rewards personal development will play a major part in this.


Learning from your learning platform: Cornerstone

Cornerstone explained how businesses need to do more to retain their staff by listening and upskilling, moving individuals into their desired roles/areas. 

The Cornerstone LMS allows each employee to map out their current skills. It then rates, in percentage terms, the individual’s learning progress in each skill. People taking on new roles or a promotion can check how their skills match up to the requirements of the new role. They can see what they’re missing and address these issues using the LMS.

Learning from others: Degreed 

Degreed rates its staff’s skills in a spider chart. It places the emphasis on four factors:

  • Learning on your own
  • Learning from others
  • Learning with others
  • Learning via Instruction


To find out how Anders Pink can help your organisation and learners  reach their full potential and achieve their personal and professional goals, book a discovery call today.