Over the past few years, there’s been a noticeable shift in the workforce. Some employees have simply left the workforce – for good! Many former employees have left to start their own businesses. Others have moved to work for their former employer’s competitors; while there are those who have switched industries or roles in the hope of better prospects. While most former employees may come out on top, in this situation, many businesses end up holding the short end of the Great Workplace Reshuffle stick. It’s time to make the bleeding stop!


The latest (Feb 2022) data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show a steady increase in non-farm quits. The quitting rate, between April 2020 (1.6%) to Feb 2022 (2.9%), has increased by 81.25% over that period.

In Feb 2022, quits (4,352k) have ticked up by 2.21% since the prior month (Jan 2022: 4,258k). This data serves to highlight that there is an underlying trend of resignations and quits at work, that does not bode well for employers. It confirms that the Great Workplace Reshuffle is well underway.


Unfortunately, in the face of the unfolding Great Workplace Reshuffle, the typical employer reaction – I’ll pay more and get new employees – doesn’t highlight the magnitude of the business costs of the reshuffle.

  • Businesses continue to lose in-house talent, which impacts them operationally
  • They lose years of institutional knowledge and expertise
  • They lose thousands of dollars in L&D costs per employee who resigns
  • There are additional talent acquisition costs to hire new employees to replace ones that have left
  • There’s a significant new L&D cost they must now incur to onboard and train new hires

There are also “invisible” costs that no one talks about: Loss of competitive advantages; Hit to employee morale when well-liked teammates depart; Lost team dynamics; Cost of errors and mistakes that new employees inevitably make – part of the learning curve. Cumulatively, the real cost of talent bleed is much higher than what the replacement salary costs indicate.


There’s no disputing the fact that an engaged workforce is a productive one. However, a pivot to work from home (WFH), and a mass shift towards the hybrid work model, create barriers to traditional engagement approaches – which breeds employee disengagement and increases a sense of job dissatisfaction. And that sense of disconnection makes them consider jumping on the Great Reshuffle train. Shifting to online training not only produces more productive employees but also heightens their sense of engagement.

It’s unlikely that an organization can prevent the Great Reshuffle – resignations will happen, and the company will feel the impact. However, there are strategies that HR departments can put in place to limit or stymie that impact. While salary increases and promotions work well to entice departing employees to rethink their exits, a pivot to greater online engagement is essential for long-term employee retention. A good L&D strategy, underpinned by robust online employee training, is priceless!

However, simply offering online courses to employees doesn’t cut it. What’s required is an end-to-end pivot online, that helps improve worker engagement and productivity. Business leaders must integrate online learning and training best practices into every aspect of the talent acquisition and development process. This includes:

  • Following industry best practices in hiring employees, including the online application process, virtual interviews, and online screening of applicants
  • Leveraging online tools and resources to deliver a more pleasant employee onboarding experience, and to speed up new hires to become productive team members
  • Using virtual learning, learning-on-demand, and learning-on-the-go strategies to offer continuous upskilling and reskilling opportunities to staff
  • Offering customized online learning paths for employees, so each learner may build their own learning roadmaps for acquiring skills they believe they most need to do their job more efficiently
  • Using online resources for career path guidance, so employees see how they can progress through the organization and can access those online learning resources to better prepare themselves to move up their chosen careers within the company

Finally, it’s important to provide departing employees an online offboarding experience so the company may engage with employees, choosing the Great Reshuffle path, to learn why they are leaving. This is a critical process in the overall talent management strategy because it provides invaluable information for businesses to use in better engaging with staff who choose not to leave.


The 2022 annual LinkedIn Workplace Survey indicated some stark trends that may explain some underlying concerns about the unfolding Grand Workplace Reshuffle:

  • 46% of L&D professionals believe there’s a widening skills gap among employees (+4% since 2021)
  • 49% of surveyed executives believe they don’t have employees with the right skills to execute their business visions (+9% since 2021)
  • 79% of L&D professionals now realize it’s more costly to hire a new employee than to reskill/retrain existing ones

Most startling was the fact that staff retention and internal staff mobility weren’t high up on the top-10 list of organizational priorities – ranking #9 and #10 respectively. The survey also concluded that organizations with greater internal mobility of staff were able to retain employees for an average of 5.4-years. That’s 2-times more than organizations whose staff find it challenging to move, engage and grow internally. Lack of learning opportunities, dearth of horizontal and lateral mobility, and a general sense of disengagement, between various tiers of management, lead to attrition. Leveraging online training are direct strategies/tools to combat attrition.


When faced with a grand online training dilemma, it’s tempting to think about “quick fixes” – simply porting your existing PDFs and PPTs online. But that won’t work! Thankfully, L&D leaders have access to a wide range of online training tools to deploy in their fight against the Grand Workplace Reshuffle.

  • SELF-PACED: Most workers that shuffle in, to replace those who shuffle out, prefer independent, self-directed learning. A prior LinkedIn survey confirmed that “74% of employees want to learn during spare time at work” – and providing self-paced online learning addresses that desire
  • ENRICHED CONTENT: Over the years, businesses have made a significant investment in “traditional” learning content. When moving to an online delivery model, it’s important to enrich that content and offer animated PowerPoint slides, and interactive eLearning modules with video and voice over
  • BROADER ACCESS: Don’t just limit your online training to in-house resources. There are many external learning websites that offer a broader range of topics and subjects, many of them free – such as YouTube, Udemy, TED Talks, and Khan Academy – that L&D leaders can incorporate as online resources to supplement in-house content
  • MICRO LEARNING: Resist the urge to “go big” and condense and compress your online content wherever possible. Research shows that bite-sized learning, such as micro-videos and 10-minute graphics and audio, are highly effective at battling the Forgetting Curve
  • LEVERAGE SOCIAL LEARNING: Peer learning is often more effective than corporate-mandated learning. Leverage online social networks, such as Meta (Facebook) and Instagram, to encourage online learning outside of work

As standalone strategies, these approaches have limited impact on online training. Instead, use them to support and augment Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) programs to deliver a holistic blended training approach that leverages a host of online vehicles. These include cloud-based training solutions, mobile learning, podcasts, virtual simulations, and augmented reality teaching solutions.

And for an even greater ROI on online training programs, leverage the power of other allied tools and tactics, including Learning Analytics, Performance Support Tools (PST) like ‘How to..” videos, Learning Ecosystems, and other online resources to support bottom-up learning (or learning in the flow of work (LIFOW)).


In-person training is important, but it may not be the most efficient and cost-effective way to train today’s mobile and geographically dispersed workforce. Embracing a sound online training approach, as part of an organization’s overall L&D and staff retention strategy can help break the cycle of the Great Workplace Reshuffle.