We’ve rounded up the seven top training programs that will help boost morale, foster collaboration, and increase productivity for your staff. From interactive workshops to online employee engagement courses, these programs offer something for everyone.
Whether your team is new or experienced, office-based or deskless, there are plenty of options available to help create an engaged workforce.
So let's dive into what the best employee engagement training programs are, what they offer, and how they can benefit your organization.
Choosing the best employee engagement training courses
A great employee engagement course should provide teams with a comprehensive understanding of how to create an engaged workplace environment.
It may include a range of topics covering effective communication practices, problem-solving strategies, team-building exercises (that don’t make employees squirm), and more strategies that create highly engaged employees.
They may also offer special features such as a dedicated tutor support service, unlimited online email support, certification upon completion, real-time feedback on learning, resources to help employees create tangible goals and objectives, and interactive tools that can be used in the workplace.
To choose the right employee engagement program for your organization, you should assess and compare who the course is made for and what the content of the course is, alongside the:
- Credit awarded
By assessing these four elements, you can make a more informed decision about which program is best suited to your team’s needs.
What to look for in employee engagement training for managers
Before you can select a training program for managers, it’s important to know what factors to consider for your leadership team. Employee engagement training is essential for even the most high-performing managers, especially frontline managers, as their impact has the unique advantage of cascading effects throughout their entire team.
Cost varies greatly, especially given the number of remote learning and development options available. While eLearning courses are typically more affordable and easily worked into a manager’s schedule, in-person courses offer the benefit of interaction, personalized feedback, and, often, more in-depth practice.
It’s also important to consider whether you, your C-suite, management teams, and HR professionals value certification or credit hours for the time undertaken. The accreditation may add value and incentive for course engagement, as well as the name of the institution offering the training.
You should also consider whether your managers will feel more compelled to complete the learning experience offered by a big name like Harvard to make up for the additional expense.
Additional considerations for choosing an employee engagement program
If you have a frontline workforce, be sure to look for a program that can be easily accessed on mobile devices or through an app with audio lessons available. This will ensure employees can access the course anytime, anywhere, helping you bridge the frontline connection gap.
Additionally, consider the size of your organization and budget. If you have a large team, you may want to look into programs with bulk discounts or offering free training resources. On the other hand, if you’re a smaller business without many resources, eLearning courses may be more cost-effective due to their convenience and lower investment needs.
With digital inclusion now crucial to the modern workplace, it's important to assess the ease of use and accessibility of any courses you choose. Are they easy for team members to access and navigate, or do they require any specific software?
Now that you know what to consider before selecting a program for management let’s go over some of the best employee engagement training programs available today.
The 7 best employee engagement training programs
1. Gallup engagement champions
Workplace advisory and polling group Gallup offers a Creating an Engaging Workplace for Engagement Champions course to help anyone in a leadership position foster a more engaging workplace and support higher productivity.
The course's primary focus is educating higher-level leadership on how to best help their mid-management increase team engagement. There are also practical takeaways for HR professionals or managers themselves.
Length: Two days.
Location: In-person and virtual.
Credit: The in-person course earns professional credit hours from HRCI (14.5) and SHRM (14.5).
2. Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie is a well-known continuing education provider that offers several management courses, including a virtual course called A Manager’s Guide to Sustainable Employee Engagement.
The six-hour course focuses on actions managers can undertake that inspire workers to put forth their greater discretionary effort. The emphasis is on practicing emotional empathy that delivers a long-lasting culture of engagement.
Length: Three two-hour sessions.
Credit: It offers professional credit hours — 5.5 HRCI (5.5) and SHRM (5.5).
3. LSA Global
LSA Global’s employee engagement training personalized course focuses on accountability, change-readiness, and engaging purpose (ACE) as the foundation for a greater level of engagement and business clarity.
Cost: Available upon request.
Length: Two-day workshop.
Engagement technology provider Decision Wise offers an online engagement training program called Engagement Magic.
The training covers the importance of employee meaning, autonomy, growth, impact, and connection for engagement and educates learners on fostering these attributes through various employee engagement strategies.
Length: One day.
Location: In-person and virtual.
5. Harvard Professional Development
Harvard’s The Positive Workplace: Building Employee Engagement and Satisfaction course focuses on giving managers the tools to help workers through times of stress.
There is a large emphasis on building positive company culture through effective communication and conflict resolution.
Length: Two consecutive days.
Credit: Credit towards Harvard’s Certificate of Leadership Excellence in Leading Teams.
Cornell’s online educational division strategic engagement course is ideal for managers looking for more training in the quantifiable aspects of employee engagement.
The course teaches methods of measuring employee engagement, like employee engagement surveys, and guides managers through building engagement initiatives to combat disengagement based on organizational data.
Cost: Available upon request.
Length: Two weeks, two-to-five hours per week.
Credit: Credit towards Cornell’s Strategic Human Resources Leadership Certificate.
7. LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning offers various employee engagement training courses for managers through its catalog of user-generated lessons.
Self-paced pre-recorded lessons like this one on Employee Engagement are a highly accessible training resource for organizations of all sizes.
Cost: $34.99 for a single course or $19.99/month.
Credit: Online certification and continuing education credit to SHRM (1.25) and HRCI (1.25).
The value of employee engagement training for managers
According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, just 31% of employees in the US and Canada are engaged – and that's the second-highest in the world! As such, it makes sense for implementing engagement strategies to be one of your organization’s largest retention priorities.
Typically, most think of across-the-board engagement tactics like benefits, salary, and advancement opportunities. But when it actually comes down to increasing everyday engagement and profitability, as Gallup explains, the best bet is focusing on some of the most critical players in your team: your managers.
They understand each employee’s career goals, strengths, and opportunities for improvement. Managers help shape the culture that can make or break an employee’s experience.
Despite their essential role in increasing the number of engaged employees, few managers are naturally good at navigating the nuances of managing people.
Why? Well, we know that many managers make their way to a management role because of experience in their industry (as practitioners) rather than their experience leading people.
They might be a very experienced warehouse manager, but if they haven't got years of experience managing other warehouse managers, then this kind of training can add a huge amount of value in increasing team-wide employee engagement.
With nearly 70% of frontline leaders expressing interest in developing their leadership skills, a lack of this training can cause growing leadership development gaps in your organization.
On top of this, without training to improve the specific leadership skills required to be a strong manager, there can be potentially disastrous consequences when it comes to engagement and overall employee retention.
In fact, after surveying 3,000 American workers, GoodHire found that 82% of them said they would potentially quit their job because of a bad manager. For that reason alone you may want to consider management employee engagement training as part of your wider L&D efforts.
After all, if you can train managers to increase employee engagement, then you can unlock all the key business benefits that come from having a more engaged workforce, making employee engagement training for managers well worth the investment.
What’s next for frontline managers?
Choosing the right employee training method and investing in the right technology are crucial actions for business leaders wanting to boost engagement.
Hopefully, this guide gave you a better understanding of the considerations to keep in mind when selecting an employee engagement training program and highlighted some of the best ones available today.
After equipping your employees with the right training programs, the next step is to seek the best tools in the industry. Blink’s mobile-first frontline engagement super-app is the perfect all-through tool for any organization wanting to boost employee engagement.
With a suite of features designed to connect your entire workforce, Blink can help your business drive optimal performance and engagement from every member of your team.
With Blink’s Content Hub, employees and managers can access any training documents and company procedures from the palm of their hands, making any employee engagement training initiatives more effective and accessible for you in the long-run.
Get started today with a free demo.
Best employee engagement training program: FAQs
What is the purpose of employee engagement training?
The purpose of employee engagement training includes how to succeed with employee engagement initiatives, strategies to combat disengagement, and how to foster a culture of engagement and productivity, amongst a range of other topics.
The overarching goal of employee engagement training is often to improve employee engagement within the organization, with specific quantifiable metrics including the percentage of engaged teams and the level of employee turnover.
Why is employee engagement important to HR?
Alongside improving employee health, workplace engagement, total learning hours completed, and employee retention, one of the most important benefits of employee engagement training is how it can positively impact HR management.
Employee engagement training helps managers understand their employees better, which in turn makes it easier to set goals for developing workforce skills, create an environment that encourages productivity and collaboration, and foster a culture where each individual’s contribution is valued - and earned.
Moreover, HR teams can use employee engagement training to communicate the value of employees and their contribution to the organization’s success. This can help build trust in the workplace and strengthen relationships between HR and other departments within the organization.
What is included in an online employee engagement course?
Depending on the program, online employee engagement training can cover topics such as understanding drivers of engagement and disengagement, measuring employee engagement, developing an employee engagement strategy, creating a positive culture, building trust between managers and employees, fostering collaboration and communication in the workplace etc.
In addition to this, the best programs also provide participants with real-time feedback on their learning, resources to help them create tangible goals and objectives, interactive tools that can be used in the workplace, and training on how to measure progress and develop an ongoing cycle of continuous improvement.