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Money spent on leadership and management training is wasted, says Gallup


"If most organisations cut their leadership and management training budget, they would never know the difference."

That's the controversial view of Marcus Buckingham, Global Practice Leader, Gallup Organisation, who says that leadership and management training isn't delivering what it is designed to do.

He bases his argument on recent Gallup research being cited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)*, which found that the majority of the UK workforce are not fully 'engaged' in the work that they do, therefore money spent on training is being wasted. The CIPD estimates that this lack of involvement is costing the economy between £39 and £48 billion a year - more than the entire budget of the NHS. The research apparently shows that only 17 per cent of workers report that they are fully engaged by their employers.

Buckingham, who'll be speaking at the CIPD Conference in Harrogate later this month, said, "These findings prove that we are systematically mismanaging our employees, and the longer they stay with us, the more disengaged they are likely to become. As a nation, we are wasting our human capital". He adds, "For most employees, their first year with you is their best and then from there it's all downhill. The longer an employee is with a company, the more likely it is that they become unclear about expectations and whether or not the company actually cares about their welfare and development."

Although he plans to reveal some ideas to combat the issue at this month's conference, Buckingham speculates that there are few solutions to the problem: "All we can do is try to teach managers and leaders how to engage their employees and then measure the results. A motivational culture cannot be imposed upon the organisation from the centre, it has to be filtered throughout the whole structure. All organisations are the same in this respect, they are an incoherent mix of many different cultures that vary from one department to the next".

*Note: This information is not currently available on the CIPD website, but you can find out more about Marcus Buckingham's forthcoming speech at


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