Stemming the Great Resignation through Leadership Development

By Stephen Jeong, Sarah Stawiski, Sol Bukin, and Heather Champion
Center for Creative Leadership



The recent rise in voluntary turnover has sparked a renewed focus on attracting and retaining talent. In their attempts to stem the tide of the Great Resignation, organizations are augmenting traditional retention strategies – e.g., higher pay, enhanced benefits, more opportunities for career advancement, etc. – with remote and hybrid work schedules brought about by the COVID pandemic. Given its inherent appeal to both employees and organizations, leadership development (LD) opportunities have long been believed to play a crucial role in helping to attract and retain employees. While the body of existing correlational research does point to a positive relationship between LD opportunities and retention, there is scant research that elucidates the mechanism(s) that may help to bridge the two. Guided by existing research, this paper examined Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL) large database of program evaluation data to uncover those potential mechanisms. We found preliminary support for three specific outcomes of leadership development that may serve as potential mediators linking LD with retention; they include enhanced self-efficacy, meaningful connections, and capacity to engage followers. We conclude with implications of these findings for future research as well as some caveats related to our investigation.


Jeong, S., Stawiski, S., Bukin, S., & Champion, H. (2022). Stemming the Great Resignation through Leadership Development. Center for Creative Leadership.

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