Why aren’t organisations prioritising employee engagement training?


In our Spotlight on the Employee Engagement Profession research, we found that more organisations have a dedicated employee engagement role or team in place than before. In 2017, 39% of participants had ‘employee engagement’ in their job title (compared to 22% in the previous year).

However, we know that other roles or teams might be responsible for employee engagement, without having this as part of their job title. This responsibility might ‘sit’ within HR, Marketing, Communications or Learning & Development departments (among others), and can vary from workplace to workplace.

While it’s great news that we’re seeing a higher number of roles dedicated to employee engagement, it seems that organisational priorities are off-kilter. Only 57% of the organisations we spoke to allocate budget to developing or training managers in employee engagement, and just 29% of those responsible for employee engagement had received any kind of formal training.

We then asked these organisations for their three top priorities for the year ahead. The first priority for 20% of organisations was developing an employee engagement strategy, followed by conducting an annual survey and action planning (16%), and improving internal communications (14%). Employee engagement training and development was the first priority for just 7% of these organisations – despite the fact that they wanted to push forward with their engagement plans.

Turning it around

It’s fantastic that organisations everywhere are becoming increasingly passionate about improving employee engagement (and many have dedicated teams working on this). However, it seems that some could be starting in the wrong place. We found that just 42% of organisations had an employee engagement strategy in place, 45% had no strategy at all, and 13% didn’t know if they had a strategy or not. With no employee engagement strategy – and little to no training and development for those who are responsible for it – can organisations really expect to see significant improvements?

Asking the experts

Despite the increasing focus on employee engagement, we know that there’s little progress to report on. The UK and Worldwide Employee Engagement Index scores have barely risen in recent years. We call this the ‘engagement gap,’ and we believe the lack of investment in employee engagement development is one of the contributing factors to this.

Following our research, we’d love to hear your thoughts on employee engagement training in organisations. We want to help professionalise the sector, and find out more about the training and development that’s made all the difference to engagement professionals. We’re putting together a brand new ebook, and your advice and guidance on this issue would be fantastic. If you’re interested in contributing, we’d love to know:

  • What’s the most important skill(s) for an employee engagement professional to have?
  • What training or development has really made a difference to you?
  • What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the sector?
  • What do you wish you’d known when you first started in the sector?

To send us your contributions, contact us via email or Twitter (or find out more about the ebook here). If you’ve got any other queries, contact us today.

Do you feel that you’ve received the employee engagement training you need? Does your organisation encourage you to undertake further training and development? Let us know via Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments section below.


Liked this article? Why not try…

Spotlight on the Employee Engagement Profession 2017 (full report)

Understanding the ‘employee engagement gap’ – and what to do about it (webinar recording)

What’s the point of employee engagement?



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