Beyond The Great Resignation

Not sure if this is the right place to post this… more L&D bleeding into HR but could we talk about The Great Resignation. Or rather, what’s next.

I, for one, am tired of hearing about The Great Resignation as if it’s new. That started awhile ago. Seems like every company is jumping on the bandwagon and saying the same thing. However, no one is talking about The Great Onboarding or The Great Reprioritization.

What I’m really interested in is how we align ourselves to each other quickly–as individuals, as teams, as divisions and whole companies. You can talk a lot and interact a lot and fail to align. And you can also achieve alignment smoothly, quickly–across lines, departments, divisions… What are the secret mechanisms? What really drives rapid alignment and trust on a team?

The other reason I find The Great Resignation sort of old news is that the boundaries of firms are dissolving and being remade altogether. Rise of gig economy, fractional employees, employee sharing, platform work, contest work, etc. (took a whole class on “new forms of work” and there were about 20 terms I’d never heard of before) What looks like people leaving could just be the workplace evolving with new work forms and new modalities altogether. Collaboration is now profoundly different than it was before.

How does L&D fit into this? How can we teach people to quickly align and collaborate and be productive in this new world of work?


I’m all for calling it “Great” and leave it at that! As for L&D, I think we can help by working with leaders to rethink their impact and their way of working. I did a couple of vlogs in this vein; in this video I suggest reframing the conversation from one of “resignation” to one of “recruiting” the very same workers to stay with the organization and share 3 options you can use and in this video I ask if we have a labor shortage, or a shortage of good jobs filled with leaders worth following and purposes with meaning? What makes your organization an “employer of choice” to attract, and retain, workers? Here’s where L&D can help create the space to foster the shared purpose and connections that create a “great” place to work.


Love the discussion here, @WJRyan and @ChristinaYu.