325 East Douglas Avenue
Wichita, Kansas 67202
Tel: 316.712.4950

Workforce Engagement in the Nonprofit Sector

Leadership Training = Organizational Employee Development

Today, more than ever, non-profit organizations aspire to retain a quality workforce but face an uphill battle in doing so. Here are some of the challenges:

Organizations are struggling to do more with less

  • Responsibility for some public services have shifted from government to nonprofit organizations
  • Changes in charitable giving patterns and shrinking government subsidies have disrupted traditional financial models for nonprofits
  • As a result of both, the sector is feeling the pinch at “both ends,” from expanding missions and increased workload at one end and shrinking budgets on the other

Burnout has become the norm

It’s hardly surprising, then, that employees at all levels of an organization grapple chronically with low morale:

  • workers in front-line human services routinely suffer burnout
  • rank-and-file employees feel undervalued and underutilized
  • Leadership feels they lack the support they need to advance the organizational mission

Recruitment and talent retention

  • Given these conditions, recruiting and retaining talented workers can be difficult, particularly when for-profit companies offer better compensation.

But what if there was a solution to employee burn out and retention?

Our research found the answer: leadership development training.


Leadership Development Boosts Workforce Engagement

In 2019, KLC’s Third Floor Research investigated the influence that a leadership development program had on employee leadership behaviors and organizational outcomes in a non-profit organization. The project was broken up into two phases of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.

The findings were significant.

Useful Finding #1: 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
Useful Finding #2: Saturation = Culture change

Saturating an organization with leadership development up and down the org chart 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
Useful Finding #3: 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 session to experiment with the ideas and new behaviors.

Useful Finding #4: In-person development = Increased confidence/usage

In a pre-COVID world, leadership programs delivered in person increased individuals’ confidence in and likelihood to use leadership concepts in daily work more than online trainings. As both leadership coaches and program participants adapt with the virtual world, this finding may look different.

Want to learn more?

How can your organization benefit from knowing that leadership development makes a significant impact on employee retention and empowerment? Download the full report for recommendations. Then learn how you can get your team started on KLC’s three-step leadership development path and reap the benefits of an empowered and engaged workforce.

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.


Recent Posts

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