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Levels of engagement from Management Development schemes


I have been asked to quantify roughly how much an effective management development scheme increases levels of employee engagement. Is this possible? If this is, could anyone provide a percentage figure?
Dean Wearmouth

5 Responses

  1. Qualitative vs Quantitative

    I would suggest that this will be an almost improssible question to answer in the manner that you are looking for, that’s not to say there isn’t an answer.

    The term engagement may be better answered by qualitative means, or by using both numbers and words.

    Regardless of this you would first need to define employee engagement and set a benchmark. Have you been able to do this yet?

    Just as an aside, my colleague’s effective management development programme resulted in employee dissengagement, to the huge benefit of the CEO who ended up having an extra week a month for not having to sort out other peoples problems. The value cited was that we could have more than doubled the price of the course and it would still have been worth it:)

    Probably not what you were looking for but I hope it adds to your findings.


  2. use sensory specific language to define ‘engagement’
    Dean, I agree with Peter’s thoughts about defining what you mean by ‘engagement’. This is what I call an inert word (just like much of our management language), which means it’s hard to picture in your head exactly and consistently the same image of what it is, and there will be tonnes of variation among how others picture it.

    Sensory specific language is needed to make inert words more meaningful. This is the language of our senses: what we would see, hear, feel, do, smell and taste. Here are some example questions that might help prompt you to define what ‘engagement’ means:

    1) if people are engaged, what are they doing, saying and feeling?

    2) if people are NOT engaged, what are they doing, saying and feeling?

    3) when you have more engaged people in the future, what does the workplace look like, what differences would you expect compared to now, or in the past?

    4) are there any downsides of engagement? if so, what would you see or hear or feel that would convince you of downsides?

    Does this help any?

  3. Aligned Commitment

    Not quite what you were after, but the extract from the article below should give you some information on how to increase engagement across the firm, not just by management development.

    Q: What types of organizational arrangements and management practices work best for (Increasing the engagement of) mobile workers?

    A: By far the best arrangements are aligned commitment patterns, an approach to assessing employee commitment we have developed, whereby employees’ commitments to their own personal goals (their careers, their personal activities, etc.) are examined in the context of commitment to company. The goal of a manager and the company is to have an employee’s multiple commitments reinforcing each other, and reinforcing commitment to the company.

    In our initial research, we identified several mechanisms companies use to elicit commitment to company while strengthening the alignment of these different commitments held by all employees. Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter first sparked the study of commitment mechanisms in a groundbreaking study of commitment in communes. She focused on the mechanisms through which these social systems elicited commitment from their members. Today, eliciting commitment remains the leading challenge for every leader, whether in business or the public sector. We refined the commitment mechanisms approach by examining the organizational arrangements in which commitment to company thrives alongside commitment to career, instead of at the expense of it.

    Hope this helps,


  4. Measuring Engagement
    Measuring engagement will always be difficult if you are trying to measure engagement itself.
    If however you measure the things that occur when you have engagement, as opposed to things that didn’t happen before engagement, then it is a different story.
    Probably the first thing is to decide what you want to change by getting engagement. This will help you focus on what you are trying to achieve, at the same time as measuring your success.

    Try measuring the number of ideas for improvement that the workforce bring without prompting to the management team.
    Before engagement, big fat zero.
    After engagement 5 ideas per week.
    Nobody can argue with that measure.

  5. Thank You!
    Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my query – much appreciated advice!!


    Dean Wearmouth


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