by N. Purcell | April 18, 2023 | 7 Min Read

Develop Your Leaders & Managers


Whether we’ve been one of the parties in an awkward supervisor/supervisee relationship, or we’ve watched poor leadership practices impact our organization, we all know managing people requires a specific skill set. Just because we give an individual contributor a new title doesn’t mean they have the skills they need to lead teams effectively—much less enjoy it.

A CareerBuilder survey reports more than 26% of managers said they weren’t ready to become a leader when they started managing others, and 58% said they didn’t receive any management training at all. According to the ATD whitepaper Experiential Learning for Leaders, only 28% of business executives say they’re effective at developing leaders.


Leadership training is critically important. In this post, we hope to help you get started on the program your managers need. We’ll make it easy to identify the leadership training topics you need to consider, and we’ll explore different ways you can implement your program.

Leadership Training Topics

Even though the manager onboarding statistics are concerning, the good news is this—leadership training is a wonderful place to build a strong, sustainable culture of learning.

We've compiled a checklist of leadership training topics to help you answer this question: Where do my managers need to build their skills?

Leadership Learning Experiences

Okay, keep that strategy hat on and answer this next question: What type of training experience would be ideal for your managers?

Ultimately, you want to identify the must-haves that will unleash the most benefits for your company and culture. Here are some considerations to help you brainstorm. In order to meet business, manager, and team needs, many programs choose to blend two or three of these approaches.

  • IN-PERSON FACILITATED PROS CONS More opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices If facilitated as a full-day or multi-day event, follow-up activities should be developed and implemented to encourage application and defeat the “forgetting curve” High learner accountability If facilitated as a full-day or multi-day event, may involve extra costs such as hotel, travel, and food Limited distractions Managers are not as accessible to their team members Can be developed in bite-sized formats and facilitated in-house to provide continuous learning

  • VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR-LED  PROS CONS No travel required Fewer opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices Can be developed in bite-sized formats and facilitated in-house to provide continuous learning Difficult to measure engagement beyond course participation

Managers are susceptible to more distractions during the training

Technology challenges with video, Internet connectivity, and sound can negatively impact the learning experience

  • SELF-PACED ON DEMAND/JUST-IN-TIME PROS CONS No travel required Fewer opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices Simple course completion tracking Difficult to measure engagement beyond course completion Typically organized in bite-sized courses, so managers can balance training with supporting their teams Managers are susceptible to more distractions during the training Consistent information and experience Easy to administer

Pitfalls of not having a corporate leadership development program

Without deploying the best corporate leadership training that will develop effective leaders and managers, companies suffer severe consequences.

  1. High turnover rates. CareerAddict found that 79% of employees consider bad leadership as a factor in deciding to quit. If you don’t train and develop your leaders – most importantly in soft skills – they’ll fail to encourage, motivate, and, ultimately, retain your top talent.
  2. More expenses. When a company experiences high turnover rates, they have to spend resources recruiting and onboarding new hires, which is more expensive than retaining existing employees.
  3. Low engagement. Managers and supervisors significantly impact engagement levels. Poor management leads to employees feeling less engaged in their work, which lowers productivity (and the bottom line).
  4. Lack of motivation. Employees aren’t motivated to do their best work if management fails to acknowledge their efforts or, worse, takes credit for their accomplishments, so goals will stop being met.
  5. Poor culture. Building a healthy company culture starts at the top. If your leaders don’t behave in a way that positively shapes company culture and inspires others, then it will change for the worse.

Top corporate leadership development programs should focus on helping leaders understand how their decisions impact the bottom line and equip them with the necessary skills to be both innovative and empathetic.

In the grand scheme, your company can't afford not to work with companies that provide leadership training.

What to consider when evaluating top leadership training companies

Many leadership development companies offer comprehensive solutions, such as a learning management system that can deliver relevant, personalized training to leaders. Specialized training topics may include building soft skills, supporting employee wellness, and diversity and inclusion people management.

But what should you really look for when evaluating different companies that provide leadership training? Here are some of the top considerations.

1. Customization

The best leadership development companies have the capability to provide customized training solutions that align with your organization's unique needs, culture, and goals. Ask about the company's approach to customization and how they work with clients to develop training solutions that are tailored to their specific needs.

2. Scalability

Another critical aspect of management training companies is a scalable offer. The training should be accessible, yet flexible enough to grow and change with your organization. Your provider should be able to adjust the training to meet the goals and objectives of your organization, no matter how they evolve.

3. Results-oriented

Your outcomes are only as effective as your ability to measure them. Corporate leadership development companies should be able to provide performance metrics and feedback loops that allow you to measure the success of your team’s training. With robust tracking and analytics, L&D leaders can objectively know the impact of new training efforts.

4. Modern

Look for leadership and management training companies that are up to date with current training methods and trends. Modern training techniques will ensure your employees are learning relevant material that prepares them for the future.

5. Expertise

Top leadership training companies should have a deep understanding of leadership development. Look for partners that have subject matter experts on staff, a proven track record of delivering results, and a clear understanding of the competencies needed to be an effective leader.

6. Trainers and/or Subject Matter Experts

The quality of the trainers and training materials is a key factor when evaluating a company's competencies as a corporate training company. Look for companies that have highly qualified trainers with a track record of delivering successful training programs, and that use high-quality training materials and tools.

7. Training Methodology

A company's training methodology and delivery approach should be evaluated to ensure that it aligns with your organization's learning and development objectives. Look for companies that offer a mix of classroom-style training, experiential learning, and the use of technology in their training solutions.

8. Technology

The company should be able to provide adequate support and resources to ensure that your team can apply the training to their work effectively. This could include learning management systems and coaching tools for mentoring, access to training resources and tools, and post-training support.

9. Industry Recognition

The company's industry recognition and awards can provide insight into their competencies as a leadership training company. Look for companies that have won awards and are recognized as leaders in the industry.

10. Client Testimonials

Gather feedback and testimonials from past clients to evaluate the company's competencies as a leadership training company. Ask for references and case studies that demonstrate the company's success in delivering effective leadership training solutions.

No matter the leadership training provider you choose, their solution should be tailored to your organization, so you can reach business goals.

Leadership Training Timing

Based on our experience, the best time to enroll managers in training is right when they’ve been promoted, or “just in time.” Relevant leadership training is the antidote to sink-or-swim, a practice that hurts confidence, morale, and your company’s net promoter score.

Waiting for managers to ask for help is risky. You’ll lose productivity, and some of your managers with the potential to be great leaders might realize another company offers more support and professional development.

When it comes to leadership training, strike while the iron is hot, when managers are eager to learn. Proactively equip them with the skills they need to confidently excel in their new role.

Looking for companies that provide leadership training? Contact Unboxed Training & Technology

By working with Unboxed Training & Technology (Unboxed), you'll get access to white-label solutions like Spoke® that are easy to deploy and designed to fit your organization's needs.

Whether you need training now or want a customized solution, we’ve got you covered:

  • Turn-key training. Need corporate leadership training like yesterday? Our ReadySet Training™ program, “Lead,” delivers foundational leadership skills that are needed across every level of your workforce that you can implement today. Request a demo.
  • Custom training. Our custom management & leadership training solution is built to meet your organization’s unique needs. You’ll partner with our team to create an impactful program that inspires learners to become effective managers and leaders. Request a demo.

Our team has years of corporate training experience working with clients like Comcast and Hilton, so you can rest assured knowing you’re in capable hands. Request a demo of either training solution to see how we can help your organization unbox its potential!

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