325 East Douglas Avenue
Wichita, Kansas 67202
Tel: 316.712.4950

Leadership Development and Employee Engagement in Nonprofits

One of the strongest predictors for retaining a quality workforce is an employee’s level of engagement. This research paper examines the influence of a leadership development program on employee behaviors and organizational outcomes in a nonprofit organization. Does widespread training up and down the org chart positively affect workforce engagement?

Nonprofit organizations aspiring to foster an engaged workplace confront a complex context of challenges, including:

Responsibility for some public services are shifting from government to nonprofit organizations

Nonprofit employees are commonly involved in front-line human services work that can lead to burnout

Nonprofit financial models are changing with shifts in charitable giving and government budgets

Recruiting and retaining talented workers in the non-profit sector can be difficult, particularly when for-profit companies can offer better compensation
Download the Research Now by completing the following information:

Download the Research Now by completing the following information:


If a nonprofit organization saturated their organization with leadership development training, would employees have greater commitment to the organization and optimism for its future? Additionally, would employees start thinking and behaving differently with one another?


Employee leadership = Enhanced employee engagement

Employees who are likely to use leadership concepts in their daily work are:

  • more committed to their organization
  • more hopeful about the organization’s future
  • more satisfied with their job

Saturation = Culture change

Saturating an organization with leadership development leads to employees thinking about and doing their work differently.

  • Employees start thinking about the adaptive challenges in their work.
  • Employees engage more collaboratively.
  • Employees work across units in the organization.

Two doses = Most impact

Participating in two leadership trainings that cover the same set of leadership ideas has had the most impact on enhancing individuals’ growth mindset. This approach provides time between sessions to experiment with the ideas and new behaviors.

In-person development = Increased confidence/usage

Leadership programs delivered in person increased individuals’ confidence in and likelihood to use leadership concepts in daily work more than online trainings that were delivered asynchronously.

Want to Learn More?

Download this complete project including graphs, research, and results.

Explore Our Research

Browse and download more of the latest findings
from our international research team.
Join our Mailing List

Sign up here to receive news, information and offers from the Kansas Leadership Center and The Journal, our award-winning civic leadership magazine.

Subscription Preferences

Your Title Goes Here

A one-day course based on our national bestseller, When Everyone Leads

Your Title Goes Here

New Report Reveals Impact of Your Leadership Edge Program

Your Title Goes Here

Uncover a Revolutionary Approach to Leadership with our Bestselling Book

Share This