There has been a lot of news lately about “The Great Resignation,” which refers to the record-breaking number of people who quit their jobs in 2021. In the United States, 4.3 million people left their jobs in August 2021. And this trend isn’t limited to the United States—in that same month, there were more than 1 million open positions in the United Kingdom. 

There are a few theories around what spurred so many people to make such a big life change—especially during what some feel to be a very uncertain time. Some ideas include burnout from juggling work and family life, pandemic fear, the realization of new priorities, and the desire for workplace flexibility. Regardless of the reason, there seems to be a never-ending cycle of resignations and new hires.

Since learning and development play a huge role in onboarding and employee retention, you might be wondering if there’s anything we—as learning and development professionals—can do to help. The answer is a resounding YES! In this article, we explore four ways e-learning can have a positive impact on your organization during this trying time.

1. Rethink Your Onboarding Training

Did you know that 1 in 10 employees leaves a company due to a poor onboarding experience? With 73% of companies currently hiring, the number of open positions and incoming new hires is skyrocketing. And because many organizations switched to remote or hybrid work arrangements during the pandemic, trying to onboard large numbers of staff members using traditional in-person training is more challenging than ever. Not only can in-person training be a logistical nightmare, but it can also make it more difficult to create a consistent experience. 

With e-learning, you can create a course once and then reuse it as many times as needed. And having one version of the onboarding training—rather than relying on different presenters to deliver it—provides a more consistent onboarding experience. All of this means that now is the perfect time to analyze your current onboarding training—and adapt it to a flexible e-learning model if you haven’t already. Ask yourself a few questions, like: 

  • Does the onboarding training reflect the company’s brand and culture? For instance, if your company has a playful culture, think about bringing some of that personality into your training. A great example is to create an office scavenger hunt to orient employees to their new workplace, like this one.

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  • Are new hires given the information they need? When a new person joins an organization, there’s a lot of information they need to learn to be successful. Try surveying some recent hires and ask them what they wish they had learned in their first few weeks. Then, think of ways you can incorporate that feedback into your onboarding. 
  • Does your program have support from leadership? No matter how helpful your onboarding training is, if leaders don’t make it a priority for their staff, chances are it’ll fall by the wayside. Talk with leaders about how they can better meet their own goals by building dedicated onboarding training time into their new hires’ first few weeks on the job. Chances are if they understand how the training will help get their new team member up to speed quickly, you’ll be more likely to get their buy-in. 

By taking the time to analyze, rework, and prioritize your onboarding training, you can help new employees get off to a better start—which in turn will help them succeed and make them more likely to stay. 

2. Invest in Upskilling and Reskilling  

In addition to focusing on new hires, think about the kinds of training your current staff members want and need. Some 94% of employees say they’d stay longer with an employer that invested in their education. Think about courses you can add to your training catalog that will engage employees and support their career goals. Offering skill development opportunities not only empowers employees but also combats turnover. Two paths you can offer employees are reskilling and upskilling.

  • Upskilling trains employees on new skills they can use to improve performance in their current role or help them progress in their current career path. This kind of training can also focus on keeping the employee’s skills current as new technology becomes available. 
  • Reskilling provides training on a new or different role within the organization. This can provide a solution for employees in jobs that have become obsolete due to automation, or can support an employee’s desire to change career paths within the organization.

Companies who invest in upskilling and reskilling and report improvements in a variety of areas, including performance, company reputation, and—most importantly in the current climate—employee retention. 

3. Provide Empathetic Training

While improving employees’ work performance is often at the center of any training initiative, don’t forget about the emotional and mental needs of staff. Today’s employees are looking for more than a paycheck—they also want to work for a company that values and supports their overall well-being. And because 76% of employees who don’t feel valued by their organization will search for another opportunity, it’s important to provide training opportunities that support employees and show that your company truly appreciates them. 

To see what this kind of support can look like, check out this training on spotting and managing burnout.

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This course on coping with stress and uncertainty during the global pandemic is another strong example of what supporting employee well-being can look like.

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By taking the time to include these kinds of courses in your training library, you can positively impact how employees feel at work.  

4. Offer Flexible Training Options

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many employees have had to adjust to working remotely or in a hybrid work environment. Because of this, classroom training became nearly obsolete and e-learning became the go-to method for delivering training to staff. But while some companies plan to eventually return everyone to the office, recent surveys indicate many employees have enjoyed these changes. Not only that, more than half say they’re prepared to look for a new job if their employer insists they return to the office full-time. And leaders are taking note—the majority of 1,000 surveyed C-Suite employees reported they will let employees continue some form of flexible work arrangements if the job allows. 

If the future of work arrangements continues to be flexible, shouldn’t training be as well? Multi-device e-learning ensures that no matter what option your company chooses for work arrangements now or in the future, your training will always be available. By creating multi-device courses, employees can take training where and how they want—making your training program agile enough to adapt to all ways of working. And that means your training program will further enable your organization to offer the type of flexible work arrangements that today’s employees are demanding. 


Although we don’t know when The Great Resignation will end, by implementing the ideas in this article, you’ll be better equipped to add value to your company’s training offerings. Creating a strong onboarding program will get new hires off on the right foot. And investing in the staff you have now can help curb turnover, prepare folx for new opportunities within the organization, and show employees you care. Finally, designing mobile and multi-device courses will ensure your training is flexible enough to adapt to any future workplace changes your company makes. 

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