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Top 4 Leadership Development Software for Effective Managers

We’re in a leadership crisis. 

Not only are managers being thrust into positions of influence and authority without formal training, they’re not being given the support they desperately need to lead and retain high performing teams. 

In part, it’s because businesses aren’t sure what that support and training should look like. Until now. 

Now there’s leadership development software built to solve this exact problem.

We’ve searched through the tools that are available and come up with a list of the top 4 platforms. 

Below you can discover which is the best one to equip your managers with the skills, knowledge, and real-time coaching they need to become confident, adaptable leaders who inspire and retain top talent.

Transparency time ⏳: This list includes our own product, Waggle. We may be biased but we’ve also seen firsthand how Waggle empowers managers to grow into their roles and lead more effectively unlike any other tool out there. And truthfully, that’s why we built it to begin with—to finally have a way for managers to solve their biggest problems. 

Why leadership development will be your best investment in 2024

CMIs 2023 report shares that 82% of managers who enter management positions have not had any formal management and leadership training.

As a result, organizational performance and retention is suffering:

So what do you do to prevent this? In the past businesses have hired someone to come in and train their manager cohort. 

But that doesn’t work—not with learners forgetting 90% of what they learn after 7 days if the learned information isn’t reinforced and repeated (known as the forgetting curve).

Given how ineffective formal training has proven to be, it’s time to shift the approach we take to supporting and developing our leaders. 

It’s time to invest in effective leadership development software. 

It’s not a decision you should take lightly though, which is why we spent considerable time putting this list together and keeping it short—so that only the best of the best made the cut. 

We’ve also outlined the three things you need to consider as you make your choice.

Since most organizations are relying on outdated, ineffective methods of management training, choosing the right platform puts you ahead of the competition by leaps and bounds. 

Because training managers:

  • Gives them more confidence to handle difficult situations
  • Builds more trust between them and their teams
  • Increases how often and how well they give feedback
  • Leads to higher retention among managers and their team members
  • Improves overall performance across the org 

At a glance: The top 4 leadership development software 

  1. Waggle | Best leadership development software for real-time management coaching and skills development
  2. Learnerbly | Best leadership development software for access to top quality learning content
  3. Coachhub | Best leadership development software for finding coaches
  4. Hone | Best leadership development software for live leadership courses

What to look for in your leadership development software: 3 key considerations

Here are the three considerations you should make when selecting a leadership development software for your business:

Consideration 1: Does the software help identify the manager’s skills gaps?

One of the biggest barriers to effective leadership development is ignorance. Managers don’t always know what their shortcomings are. 

It could be that their direct reports are too afraid to tell them or it could be a false sense of bravado blinding them to the truth. 

Either way, an effective leadership development software will counter this by having features in place to identify a manager’s skills gaps, communicate those skills gaps tactfully, and provide tips on how to develop those skills gaps over time. 

Consideration 2: Does it coach the manager to take the right actions as a leader in real-time? 

Taking action to bridge those skill gaps is where the real growth happens. However, many managers struggle to apply their newfound knowledge in real-world situations. They may revert to old habits or feel unsure about how to handle specific leadership challenges.

This is where a leadership development software with real-time coaching capabilities can make a significant impact. 

By providing contextual guidance, practical strategies, and timely prompts, the software can help managers make better decisions and take effective actions in the moment, reinforcing their learning and facilitating lasting behavior change.

Consideration 3: Does it help improve the manager-employee relationship?

A leader needs to be adaptive to the needs of each team member and weary of playing favorites. Your leadership development software can help here by helping them spot problems and strengths in the relationships they have with each employee.

By analyzing communication patterns, feedback exchanges, and team dynamics, the software can help managers identify areas where they excel and where they need to improve in their relationships with specific individuals. 

This targeted feedback allows managers to tailor their leadership approach, fostering stronger connections, increasing employee engagement, and ultimately driving better team performance.

The 4 best leadership development software

In this section, I’ll explain how Waggle, our own leadership development software, meets those three considerations above.

I’ll also outline the pros, cons, and reviews of 3 other leadership development tools.

1. Waggle | Best leadership development software for real-time management coaching and skills development

Waggle is a leadership development software that actively observes and then coaches your managers on how they can be better leaders to their team.

It also assists managers, and all other users, by helping them: 

  • streamline their calendar
  • create detailed agendas in under 5 minutes
  • delegate action items from meetings 
  • take notes (in fact the AI does this for them)
  • eliminate or improve ineffective meetings from their schedule

It uses AI to be both assistant and coach, giving managers timely feedback and taking the administrative burden off their shoulders so they can be more present leaders who have the time and brain space to actively improve their skills and support each member of their team—all of which translates to higher performance.

Let’s quickly run through how Waggle addresses each of the three considerations we discussed earlier:

How Waggle helps identify manager skills gaps

Waggle’s AI feature connects to your meeting software and sits in on calls managers have with their team members. 

As it sits in, it will take notes and create a summary of what was discussed as well as assign relevant action items. 

And as it does all that, it will document how the manager performed in the call against more than 100 management skills, including:

  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Strategic thinking
  • Delegation
  • Visionary leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Problem solving
  • Feedback and openness to feedback
  • Clarity

Over time, Waggle can understand where your strengths and weaknesses are as a manager, show you where they are or aren’t being demonstrated, and help you fill those gaps by suggesting ways to practice the skills, and nudging you to practice them at crucial moments. 

That last point is really important because ‘learning’ requires practice and repetition. 

How Waggle coaches the manager to take the right actions in real-time

One of the most powerful features of Waggle is its ability to provide real-time coaching to managers. 

The AI analyzes the manager's behavior and nudges them to take appropriate actions at crucial moments.

This includes nudging them to set an agenda before a meeting. The AI can even provide suggestions for agenda items based on previous meetings and discussions.

During conversations with team members, especially difficult ones, Waggle can provide tips on how to introduce sensitive topics and navigate the discussion. 

This could involve suggesting phrases to use or topical questions to ask. 

Check out this example of Smart Suggestions Waggle made during a 1-1 conversation: 

By providing this guidance in the moment, Waggle helps managers handle conversations with more confidence and skill.

How Waggle improves manager-employee relationships

Waggle's skills analysis goes beyond just evaluating a manager's general abilities. It also considers how the manager interacts with each individual team member.

By analyzing these one-on-one interactions, Waggle can identify patterns and potential areas for improvement in each relationship. 

For example, it might notice that a manager tends to be less patient with a particular employee or fails to recognize their contributions as often as others.

Based on these insights, Waggle can provide targeted suggestions to help the manager build stronger, more positive relationships with each team member. 

This could involve recommending more frequent check-ins with certain employees, reminding the manager to give recognition when it's due, or suggesting ways to adapt their communication style to better suit each individual.

By helping managers tailor their approach to each employee, Waggle fosters a more supportive, inclusive, and productive team environment. This not only improves individual relationships but also contributes to overall team morale and performance.

Want to learn more about how Waggle can equip your managers to improve their leadership skills as they work? 

Sign up for our 15-day free trial or speak to our team about rolling Waggle out in your company. We’ll give you a tailored demo of the product. 

Waggle pricing

At Waggle, we charge $30 per month, per manager. Their direct reports can be added to the platform for free. That’s if you’re a manager signing up on your own.

If you want to get your company on the Waggle platform we ask that you get in touch so we can come up with a custom offering.

The best part is, there’s a 15-day free trial so you can see the value for yourself before committing. 

Check out our pricing page for more information.

2. Learnerbly | Best leadership development software for access to top quality learning content

Learnerbly is a learning platform and leadership development software that curates a wide range of high-quality learning resources from various providers. It allows companies to provide their employees with access to these resources, empowering them to take control of their own development. 

This applies to managers too. There’s plenty of leadership resources on the platform, including access to Waggle on a manager by manager basis. 

They also have coaches, formal training, articles, podcasts and more that can make for a well-rounded approach to leadership development.


Our only word of caution is that this platform may focus too much on the resources and not enough on following through on the learnings. So we’d combine Learnerbly with another tool such as Waggle to ensure all bases are covered. 

Learnerbly pros, cons, and user reviews

Pros

  • You can support more than your managers' skills development
  • Learnerbly offers a diverse range of learning resources, including courses, books, podcasts, and more
  • Employees can choose learning materials that align with their individual goals and learning preferences

Cons

  • The end user may pick ineffective management training (thus susceptible to the forgetting curve phenomenon)
  • Some options are too time consuming or out of budget
  • It’s up to the manager whether they engage with learning content and make time for it (not in the flow of work with immediate application opportunities)

Here’s a recent G2 review of Learnerbly:

Learnerbly pricing

Learnerbly offers two plans. 

The ‘Strategic’ plan starts from $7,200 annually and does not include the actual learning budgets you would need to provide your users. The Enterprise plan is a custom option that will come with a custom quote.

And don’t forget, if you do use Learnerbly you can buy a subscription to Waggle using a learning budget. 

3. Coachhub | Best leadership development software for finding coaches

Coachhub is a leadership development platform that connects employees with professional coaches from around the world.

It offers a wide range of coaching services, from leadership development to personal growth, and allows users to choose a coach that best fits their needs and preferences.

Managers can connect with coaches who are experts in leadership. Mentorship is a great way to improve management skills as it provides someone who can give advice and feedback based on real events. 

Coachhub pros, cons, and user reviews

Pros

  • Your managers have access to expert coaches 
  • Employees of any level from entry to exec can get coached 
  • Comes with a CoachHub learning academy 


Cons

  • Doesn’t support follow up of learned skills and behaviors
  • Accessing a network of external coaches can be expensive
  • Managers may not find a coach they like

Here’s what a CoachHub user had to say about their experience on the platform:

Coachhub pricing

We couldn’t find public information about Coachhub’s pricing model. This leads us to believe it’s on the expensive side and is worth considering given the time and energy it takes to go through a demo of the product only to find out it’s out of budget.

4. Hone | Best leadership development software for live leadership courses

Hone is a platform that offers live, interactive leadership training courses led by experienced instructors. 

The courses cover a range of topics, from communication and feedback to diversity and inclusion, and are designed to help managers develop critical leadership skills.

Managers are able to attend these training sessions and interact with other leaders in breakout rooms where they can do exercises together to expand their skill set.

There have been some questions around the effectiveness of formal training on developing skills and even research done that proves half of learned information from training is forgotten within an hour and 90% forgotten within a week. It’s called the forgetting curve.

So if you do use Hone, you may want to implement processes to properly embed learned information.

Hone pros, cons, and user reviews

Pros

  • Managers can learn alongside peers from other organizations, fostering a sense of community and allowing for valuable networking opportunities
  • Experienced instructors offer practical insights and real-world examples
  • Courses cover a wide range of relevant leadership topics


Cons

  • Live courses may not be as flexible as on-demand learning options, as managers need to attend at scheduled times
  • The quality of the learning experience may vary depending on the instructor and the group dynamics
  • Unlike Waggle, Hone doesn't provide real-time, personalized coaching based on a manager's actual work interactions

Here’s what one Hone user had to say:

Hone pricing

The Hone website doesn’t list its pricing model but we found on Capterra that it’s $99 a month. It’s unclear how many users that price covers or if it's still accurate. 

FAQs for Leadership Development Software

What is leadership development software?

Leadership development software is a tool designed to help managers and leaders improve their skills, knowledge, and effectiveness. 

It can include features such as online courses, coaching, assessments, and real-time feedback to support continuous learning and growth.

The best software will empower your managers to improve by identifying skill gaps, coaching them with the help of AI, and helping to strengthen the relationships they have with team members. 

For a leadership development software that accomplishes the above, check out Waggle

What is the best leadership platform?

The best leadership platform depends on your organization's specific needs and goals. Waggle offers real-time AI coaching, while Learnerbly provides access to a wide range of learning resources. Coachhub connects users with expert coaches, and Hone delivers live, interactive leadership courses.

If you want to see immediate improvement in how your managers (and as an extension your teams) perform we recommend a tool like Waggle. Waggle can slot right into the flow of work and immediately shape the behaviors and skills of your leaders. 

What are the benefits of using leadership development software?

Leadership development software can help managers improve their skills, leading to better team performance and employee engagement. 

It can also save time and resources compared to traditional training methods, provide personalized learning experiences, and support continuous growth and development.

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