7 Top People Development Software in 2024

Ben Goodey
Published on 
May 2, 2024
Ben is an HR enthusiast & researcher with an obsession with creating human-centred content.
How can your people improve if they don’t know where their strengths and weaknesses are? How can they develop and apply business critical capabilities if they’re only made aware of shortcomings once or twice a year? They can’t. That’s why real-time, continuous feedback is essential for businesses.

People can make or break a business. Highly-engaged teams can drive 21% more profitability, while disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year

Engaged employees show up every day with passion, purpose, and energy—driving positive results for your organization.

That’s why People teams put so much energy into boosting employee engagement and performance, by providing them the right feedback, tools, and training at the right time. 

But if you have a small People team, it can be difficult to facilitate and track employee growth and upskilling with limited resources. 

This is where people development software can help. It streamlines the entire development and growth process and empower both managers and employees to progress with purpose.

But with so many software options available, how do you choose the right one for your needs?

To help, we consulted our People Science team and did hours of our research to come up with this list of the top 7 people development software. 

Jump Ahead:

  • Analysis: 3 Factors You Should Look For
  • Review: 7 Best People Development Software
Disclaimer: We’re kicking this list off with our own people development software, Mesh. I think we'll impress you, but I also want to make it clear that this article won't dump on our competitors. We can acknowledge their strengths and the situations where they’re a better fit than we are. 

What is People Development Software? And How Can It Help Managers & Employees?

People development software is an HR tool that assists in the professional growth of employees within an organization. 

But this is not to be confused with a Learning Management System (LMS).

An LMS is useful for planning, delivering, and managing educational and training programs for specific purposes (e.g. onboarding).

But a people development platform is more of a continuous learning system where employees develop by:

  • Setting goals and targets for current or future roles
  • Performance tracking against goals set
  • Continuous and real-time feedback from managers
  • Regular one-on-ones and periodic performance reviews
  • Capability tracking

Here are the differences between the two at a glance: 

A people development software lays the foundation for intentional upskilling and employee performance by:

  1. Helping employees identify capability needs through feedback
  2. Encouraging employees to set and monitor goals linked to development and performance
  3. Letting employees decide how best to improve their skills with support from their manager, at the moment of need

That last point is especially important for effective upskilling. Research shows employee-led learning in the flow of work is more effective and successful in driving skill development than mandatory, formal training. 

Effectively developing employees requires organizations to consider their expectations and needs, including empowering them to access relevant content anywhere, anytime. People development is shifting from providing formal learning to enabling democratized and self-driven learning in the flow of work. McKinsey “Reimagining people development to overcome talent challenges”

Cornerstone’s 2023 Talent Health Index reports that learners spend 72% more time consuming content they actively seek out compared to learning that is assigned to them.

This could, in part, be because employees want to learn that way. 

Linkedin Learning Report 2018

A great people development software will enable self-led learning through its features making work life easier for managers and their employees.

Let’s break that down:

And when employees and managers have learning opportunities, they’re less likely to leave, and more likely to perform better.

According to 2024 LinkedIn Learning Report, companies with strong learning cultures see:

  • higher rates of retention (up to 57%)
  • more internal mobility
  • a healthier management pipeline compared to those with smaller levels of commitment

Why? Because learning improves people’s sense of connection to the organization, says 7 out of 10 respondents in the same report.

A SurveyMonkey survey of 666 employees also found that employee training programs lead to career improvements. In fact, over half of respondents say it improves their overall job performance and gives them more self-confidence.

So, what features should you look for in a people development platform that leads to higher performance and lower retention rates? 

3 Factors to Look for in Employee Development Software

We spoke to our People Science team to find out what they’d look for in a people development software. 

Factor 1: Facilitates real-time feedback for moment of need development

How can your people improve if they don’t know where their strengths and weaknesses are? How can they develop and apply business critical capabilities if they’re only made aware of shortcomings once or twice a year?

They can’t.

That’s why real-time, continuous feedback is essential for businesses who want their people to rise to new challenges, adapt their skillset, and exceed performance expectations in the moment of need. 

Effective people development software enables this by allowing peers and managers to give and receive feedback instantly.

Factor 2: Allows employees to set goals to improve capabilities and overall performance

Goal setting within people development software empowers employees to define clear, actionable objectives that align with their career aspirations and the organization’s strategic goals. 

They can pinpoint what core capabilities they need to work on, work with their manager to set a goal to develop them, and then track progress on that goal over time.

What’s more, the people development software should guide them on how to set good goals.

Factor 3: Provides insights to managers on employee progress

People development software that offers detailed analytics helps managers understand not just where employees are excelling, but also where they may need additional support or resources. 

This facilitates more informed decision-making, better resource allocation, and targeted development initiatives, ensuring continual improvement across the team.

When managers have the information they need to act in the best interest of their team, it opens up the possibility for better performance all around. 

“Good managers are the difference between high-performing teams and under-performing groups of individuals; between projects that get done and those that don’t; between organizations that succeed and those that fail.” - CMI 2023 Good Managers Report

In this article:

In the rest of this article, we’ll discuss how Mesh (our

performance enablement and people development software) excels in the above areas. 

Then, we’ll discuss the pros, cons and customer reviews of 6 other people development softwares to help you make a more informed decision.

The 7 Best People Development Software - Summary

In a nutshell, here are the 7 best people development software we'll review in-depth today:

1. Mesh - Best People Development Software for Boosting Employee Performance 

📌 Mesh is a performance enablement platform helping teams stay aligned and engaged while driving personal and organizational growth. 

Mesh helps progressive People leaders empower managers and employees to grow into their roles and exceed performance expectations through:

  • Flexible Goal Setting: Allows employees to set and update their goals throughout the year, in alignment with shifting company priorities.
  • Integrated, Real-Time Feedback System: Encourages a feedback-rich culture by integrating regular, structured feedback directly into daily workflows.
  • Holistic Periodic Reviews: Offers structured, comprehensive review cycles that encompass not just performance but also key competencies and developmental feedback.
  • Capability Tracking: Enables organizations to track and manage the development of skills and competencies across their people.
  • Engagement Surveys: Collects regular employee feedback on work environment, culture, and engagement, which informs management and HR strategies.
  • 1-1 Management: Supports effective one-on-one meetings between managers and employees to discuss progress, challenges, and development.
  • Seamless Integration: Works effortlessly with popular tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, ensuring that performance management is woven into the fabric of everyday work.
  • AI Co-pilot - Maven: Uses artificial intelligence to coach and nudge behaviors, helping employees improve their performance and adopt better workplace habits.

See just how impactful Maven can be when helping employees frame the feedback that will fuel better performance:

Want to see them in action? Book a demo with a member of our team and get a tailored walk through of the product. 

Let’s look at how Mesh meets the three factors we outlined earlier. 

→ Factor 1: How Mesh facilitates real-time feedback for moment of need development

Mesh transforms the traditional feedback process by enabling real-time encouragement and advice when and where they're needed most. 

This immediate feedback is facilitated through seamless integrations with workplace tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, ensuring that employees receive timely insights that can be applied instantly to their work. 

Slack plugin for Mesh
Choose notifications relevant to your workflows

The platform also encourages a culture of open communication by allowing employees to request feedback at critical moments, such as after completing a major project or during a challenging task, making every learning opportunity actionable.

What’s more is that those giving the feedback and praise can reference specific capabilities to either acknowledge improvement which the employee can track or to spot new areas of opportunity.

Teams that leverage praise and advice on Mesh see a ~138% boost in feedback inputs throughout the year over traditional periodic review/feedback cycles. Learn more about our Continuous Feedback Feature.

→ Factor 2: How Mesh allows employees to set goals to improve capabilities and overall performance

Setting clear and measurable goals is essential for employee development, and Mesh facilitates this with its goal setting feature. 

And with Mesh, your employees are more likely to set goals in alignment with business needs because they have transparency and clarity over what those needs are and the capabilities the business needs from them most.  

Mesh's goal-setting feature lets employees set their goals to specific competencies and reminds them to regularly update their progress. 

They’ll be able to build development plans on the platform and set up specific initiatives to achieve them. 

Managers can also help them work toward promotion by setting up expectations of the role they are working toward. Then employees can focus on filling gaps in the existing role or working to build the competencies of their next one.

From there employees can track the development of the capabilities they’re focusing on:

This helps employees stay focused on their development paths and holds them accountable, increasing the likelihood the goal or capability is achieved. 

Teams that manage goals on Mesh achieve ~22% higher achievement of team and individual goals than legacy performance management systems.

→ Factor 3: How Mesh provides insights to managers on employee progress

Mesh offers powerful analytics that equip managers with deep insights into each team member’s progress and performance. 

They can see who’s set what goals, how they’ve progressed, what capabilities they do and don’t have, feedback they’ve received from colleagues, historic performance data, and more through several dashboards available on the platform.

These insights help foster an environment where employees are continuously motivated and where managers are equipped to support their team’s growth effectively. 

Mesh Pros, Cons, and User Reviews


  • AI co-pilot, Maven, coaches managers on how to give effective feedback
  • Paves the way for more meaningful develop conversations between managers and employees
  • Helps employees link development initiatives to their day to day performance for better alignment between personal goals and business strategy


  • Requires a shift from traditional performance management to performance enablement that some organizations might struggle with
  • Volume of data, insights, and notifications could become overwhelming for users
  • Users are unable to download documents and data from the platform 

User review

“Mesh's UI is intuitive, making it easy to navigate and manage performance effectively. With comprehensive features like 360-degree, 1:1, peer reviews, it offers a holistic approach to performance management. 
The exceptional support the customer success team provides is noteworthy and commendable. They are always there to assist, ensuring a seamless experience.”

Mesh Costs

Our pricing is designed to meet and scale to your organization’s employee assessment needs. 

That’s why there’s more than one package to choose from: Base, Premium, and Enterprise.

  • Base: $4 per user, per month
  • Premium: $7 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing 

You can see what features are included in each:

More on Mesh pricing here

→ Want a tool where people development fuels the performance of your people? Get in touch with us for a demo of the product.

2. Culture Amp - Best People Development Software for Continuous Learning

🥜 In a nutshell 🥜 

Culture Amp is a people development platform that helps companies collect, understand, and act on employee feedback to improve culture, retention, and performance.

It also has features that aid in development and performance management such as goal setting, performance reviews, feedback, 1-1s, and engagement surveys.

💫 Where they shine 💫: Micro-course for continuous, in the flow of work learning

Culture Amp’s ‘Develop’ tools in their platform sets employees up for development success by:

  1. Showing them career paths and role expectations (which HR outlines)
  2. Giving them a place to set growth goals
  3. Delivering micro-learnings through Slack, email, and Microsoft Teams

And for HR, it lets you set up a capabilities library you can align to business needs and gives  you L&D data you can use to make informed decisions on hiring, training, and engagement.

Culture Amp Pros, Cons, and User Reviews

We looked through real user experiences and reviews to find out what it’s really like to be a Culture Amp customer. Here’s what we found:


  • Great all rounder tool for surveys, micro-learning, reviews, feedback, and goal setting
  • Users like the ease of setting goals on the platform and measuring progress with the percentage slider
  • Ability to choose who of your peers gives you feedback

Review from a Culture Amp user:

Easy to set up and implement surveys and performance reviews.
Great insight, heatmap and report features provided in relation to the surveys. We rolled out an annual engagement survey and the insight section was utilised to present to the Executive Committee and develop actions from.
Great ongoing communication options related to the performance reviews - 1:1, notes and goals. Encouraging staff and managers to continually consider ways to improve performance and support the efforts being made.


  • Some users reported wanting to access a full course as opposed to bite-size learning modules
  • There are some navigation problems when users want to locate reviews and feedback
  • Users reported finding the 1-1 section clunky and difficult to use

Review from a Culture Amp user:

The system forces you to only do bite size skill development once per day. I guess there's probably research showing it's more effective if people have to stick with learning something for a week, instead of spending an hour one day, but it is a little obnoxious that I can't see the whole skill content up front.

Culture Amp Costs

Culture Amps pricing is completely custom and can be provided upon asking. 

They do, however, outline four packages on their website: 

  • Engage (their most basic offering)
  • Perform (features focused on performance management)
  • Develop (an add-on)
  • The Full Platform (all features)

3. Zavvy - Best People Development Software for Turning New Hires into High Performing Employees

🥜 In a nutshell 🥜 

Zavvy is an employee development platform that automates and personalizes employee development to optimize performance and engagement.

💫 Where they shine 💫: Onboarding & ramping up new joiners 

Zavvy excels in streamlining the onboarding process, ensuring that new employees quickly feel integrated and productive. 

Their platform features structured onboarding journeys that can be customized to different roles and departments, enabling new hires to learn at their own pace yet ensuring they meet all necessary milestones efficiently.

Zavvy Pros, Cons, and User Reviews

We looked through real user experiences and reviews to find out what it’s really like to be a Zavvy customer. Here’s what we found:


  • Users love the ability to schedule onboarding coffee chats with new joiners directly in the platform 
  • Onboarding tasks are broken down step by step to make them feel more achievable
  • Several users reported great experiences with the customer support team and the company's willingness to go the extra mile

Review from a Zavvy user:

My company uses Zavvy for new hire onboarding and the experience it creates is really excellent. You have all training materials, information, and to dos in one place, mapped out on an accessible timeline.


  • Some users felt the AI function in Zavvy was underdeveloped.
  • Managers and HR don’t like that you can only apply one training journey to an employee 
  • Lack of filtration in the platform makes some aspects too manual

Review from a Zavvy user:

Occasionally, it can be unclear which events are scheduled by Zavvy and what actions are required on the user's part.

Zavvy Costs

Zavvy doesn’t list it’s pricing publicly and instead provides custom quotes, upon request, for the below offerings:

4. Lattice - Best People Development Software for Enterprises

🥜 In a nutshell 🥜 

Lattice is a people development software combining traditional performance management, employee engagement, and development tools to help organizations build strong, high-performing teams.

💫 Where they shine 💫: Solving people development problems for companies with 1000+ employees and a large budget

Larger organizations benefit from Lattice because it has such a robust platform with all the integrations and capabilities an HR function overseeing a large team would need. 

Its customization options allow for seamless scalability, and its analytics tools support strategic decision-making.

From a development standpoint, users can set career tracks with their manager that will help them build skills and progress in the company.

Lattice facilitates more traditional performance management rather than performance enablement—an approach that smaller, more agile organizations are embracing. 

For this reason, it’s better suited to larger organizations with an established preference for performance management practices. 

Lattice Pros, Cons, and User Reviews

We looked through real user experiences and reviews to find out what it’s really like to be a Lattice customer. Here’s what we found:


  • Intuitive, easy to use platform users can navigate on their own
  • Managers love the ability to set career tracks with their team
  • Great for larger companies who need a one-stop HR tool

Review from a Lattice user:

“We find Lattice user interface to be intuitive and user friendly. It's easy for employees to navigate and access the information they need quickly. Custom optimization options allowed us to tailor our specific performance management process and metrics, which has been a significant advantage.”


  • Many desirable features are ‘add ons’ making the tool expensive
  • Often delays in promised product improvements
  • Users reported annoyance with tracking down feedback when it came time to do performance reviews or performance reports and said it was a cumbersome process

Review from a Lattice user:

“Unfortunately Lattice has had some pretty bad misses on their product roadmap and delivery. They made some lofty promises (getting weighted review score calculations out by Jan 2024, launching hidden talent reviews in Q2, enabling group 1:1s in Q2 etc) that have ALL been postponed, delayed, or the launch was very disappointing in my opinion. Lattice apparently laid off quite a few Engineers in Q1'23 which probably impacted their ability to meet their product updates/enhancements roadmap. I have hopes that they'll turn it around, but this has been pretty disappointing thus far.”

Lattice Costs

Lattice starts at $8 per user, per month for one of its base packages which can be either ‘Performance Management’ or ‘OKRs & Goals’. 

You can bundle those two for $11 per person, per month.

Any features on top of that incurs additional costs:

For the full suite of features, you’d be looking at $25 per user, per month. If you’re a 200 person organization that could be about $60,000 a year.

5. Waggle - Best People Development Software for Leadership Development

🥜 In a nutshell 🥜 

Waggle is people development software specifically built to help managers upskill in the flow of work, better manage their busy calendars, have more meaningful 1-1 conversations with their employees, and avoid ineffective and time consuming leadership development courses. 

💫 Where they shine 💫: Coaching managers (new and experienced) on how to lead effectively and get better performance out of their team

Waggle uses AI to listen in on calls, take notes, and provide actionable feedback and advice to the manager to help them improve their skills. 

It even helps managers spot weaknesses in relationships they have with their team members and helps them take action to improve it.

All in all, it’s a great tool for developing your managers into leaders and can be used in conjunction with a performance enablement tool for a well-rounded people development approach. 

Waggle Pros, Cons, and User Reviews

We looked through real user experiences and reviews to find out what it’s really like to be a Waggle customer. Here’s what we found:


  • Really focuses on manager development with real-time skills analysis and suggestions taken from calls 
  • Has an AI feature that coaches managers to act on insights and improve their relationships with direct reports
  • Provides support for managers when prepping for meetings and following through on action items


  • Lacks other features that help managers be more effective such as goal setting, continuous feedback functionality, and more.
  • Only coaches managers, not other employees
  • Still a relatively new tool to the market with developing features

Review from a Waggle user:

"Waggle provided me with exactly what I needed to help ensure I was prepared to have productive conversations with my direct reports with minimal time investment. I've noticed both me and my direct reports leave our meetings happier and with more clarity."—Cathy, Principal Advisor at The Behavioural Insights Team

Waggle Costs

Waggle costs $30 per month, per manager. If you want to use it for more of your team you can get a custom package with custom pricing. 

6. Learnerbly - Best People Development Software for Employee Led Learning

🥜 In a nutshell 🥜 

Learnerbly is a people development software that curates learning resources, facilitating personalized growth paths for employees to enhance their skills and career potential. 

What makes it a people development software and not an LMS is its focus on opening a dialogue between managers and employees about upskilling. 

💫 Where they shine 💫: Giving employees the autonomy to spend a learning budget on relevant upskilling opportunities

Learnerbly is one of the few employee development platforms putting the learner in the driving seat of their development. Every user is given a personal learning budget by their company they can spend in the Learnerbly marketplace. 

Learnerbly’s model fosters a proactive learning culture where employees are motivated to take charge of their development, supported by insights and recommendations tailored to their unique needs.

Learnerbly Pros, Cons, and User Reviews

We looked through real user experiences and reviews to find out what it’s really like to be a Learnerbly customer. Here’s what we found:


  • Employees see it as a huge incentive and this can increase retention rates
  • Wide variety of learning resources from top learning providers
  • Managers can track and support employee development goals in the platform and recommend resources to help them achieve those goals

Review from a Learnerbly user:

Learnerbly makes personal and professional development easy by giving you access to a host of high-caliber resources at the click of a button. I love having a learning budget and being able to use that to invest in skills I'm most interested in. Learnably's curated and suggested content is super helpful when you're interested in specific topics and it's also great to see what my colleagues are learning on the platform too.


  • Fulfillment of learning requests in some countries is difficult (especially books from Amazon)
  • Some roles and teams will have a greater variety of learning opportunities compared to others
  • Some HR teams wish there was the ability to customize the platforms branding to their own company’s

Review from a Learnerbly user:

I find that the search engine could be improved not only to make it easier to look by thematic but also to filter the type of document or how we want the leanings to be delivered. e.g. If I search for assertiveness I want to be able to choose if I want to read a book or take a course etc.

Learnerbly Costs

Learnerbly offers two pricing tiers. One is called ‘Strategic’ while the other is a custom plan for enterprise size businesses.

The ‘Strategic’ plan starts from $7,200 annually. It’s not clear what makes that price increase and it’s important to note that the learning budgets you would provide employees is a separate cost.

7. Effy - Best People Development Software for Companies Without a Budget

🥜 In a nutshell 🥜 

Effy is a people development software providing essential tools for employee growth, including performance tracking, feedback mechanisms, and basic learning resources, all within an accessible platform that maximizes value without financial strain.

💫 Where they shine 💫: Free performance management and people development 

Effy has a free version of the platform on offer, making it accessible to the smallest of organizations who struggle to pull together a budget or get buy-in from the exec team. 

They have many of the same features other people development tools have and include templates for surveys. It even gives AI generated reports on employee performance you can use to make a case for further investment in employee development, engagement, and retention strategies.

Effy Pros, Cons, and User Reviews

We looked through real user experiences and reviews to find out what it’s really like to be an Effy customer. Here’s what we found:


  • Seamless user experience
  • Free offer available
  • Users like that managers get employee performance insights too, not just HR

Review from an Effy user:

I use Effy for our company's 360 review process. I like how there are pre-made templates and administration of the feedback is relatively simple and quick.


  • Some features are behind paywall such as the automated AI performance reports 
  • Users want more integrations 
  • Lack of peer to peer recognition functionality

Review from an Effy user:

The 1-1 meeting feature could be improved. We had some difficulties with paid leave days left after 2 years which should expire, but we have found a workaround in the system

Effy Costs

As we’ve stated already, Effy is free for up to 15 users with a simpler version of the platform. If you want a full suite of features or have more than 15 team members, you can pay for their pro plan at $85 per month. 

Frequently Asked Questions
About the Author
Ben Goodey
HR Content Strategist
Ben is an HR enthusiast & researcher with an obsession with creating human-centred content.

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