Supporting Employee Learning and Development at HubSpot
In our professional lives we set a lot of goals for ourselves. Hit that quota. Create the next best product. Design a top marketing campaign. Fix the bug in that code. Hit 100,000 views on your blog. Get better at almost everything. Grow.
At the end of the day, that’s what we all want, right? To advance in our careers. To learn more. To grow. To be better. To be the best. At HubSpot, our co-founder Dharmesh Shah says that the best companies to work for are the ones that are “solving for growth.” But he doesn’t mean the growth of the company itself—he means investing in employee learning and development, both professionally and personally, to make them better, smarter, quicker, and to enable them to always be growing.
But how do we do that? At HubSpot, we have over 2,200 employees in 7 offices around the globe. To incorporate classes, events, and initiatives into our company culture, we strive to live out our motto of “Always Be Growing.” We’ve made employee learning and development a core value of our company’s culture. We invest time and resources into creating opportunities for our employees to learn something new or set goals for their career growth and have a number of program in place to ensure that “Always Be Growing” is an everyday aspect of our culture.
For those who are interested in investing in employee learning, development, and growth at your own company, I’ve laid out some of our most successful programs, which include employee led classes, a free books program, and a speaker series, which can be adapted to a variety of budgets and team sizes.
Master training and classes
These are workshops led by employees, for employee learning and development. We set up Master Classes in our global offices on a weekly basis, with the goal of helping employees build new and existing skills, while also learning the art of teaching and presenting in front of large crowds. Some of the classes we’ve hosted include hip hop dance, how to do your taxes, mastering Microsoft Excel, writing a great blog post, using an espresso machine, and Instagram hacks.
We also offer training classes for managers where we learn about new and innovative ways to lead, as well as how to manage a team for the first time. At HubSpot, just like at most companies, we’re surrounded by remarkable people who have so many different skills and hobbies that they’ve mastered in life. Why not share the wealth?
We believe in supporting HubSpot employees in their pursuit of learning and development outside of work and offer each employee up to $5,000 per year in tuition reimbursement. These classes could be semester-long evening courses at universities, weekend workshops, or online courses. We want to empower our team to choose how and when they want to learn.
In addition, the tuition doesn’t roll over into the next year, so we encourage employees to take advantage of the program and try new classes each year to continue to push their personal growth. Once an employee completes a course, whether a college class or local weekend workshop, we encourage them to share a summary and review of their experience on our internal wiki for other HubSpotters to check out. The Wiki itself is yet another resource that supports our culture of learning.
Free Books Program
Who doesn’t love the smell of a brand new book? The Free Books Program was one of HubSpot’s earliest learning perks. It has evolved over time to meet the needs and frequent requests of our employees. Any employee can request a book through an online form, and then HubSpot will send them a Kindle or hard copy for free.
HubSpot’s employee Learning and Development team recently launched the revamped version of Learn@HubSpot, an online, video-based internal platform available for all HubSpotters. The goal of Learn@HubSpot is to fuel the growth of our global community of teachers and learners by connecting them within one easy-to-use platform. The platform houses a variety of content and resources for HubSpotters to learn from, with topics ranging from SEO, to localization practices, to writing great website copy, to sales call best practices. Employees can access Learn@HubSpot at any time so they can watch these resources on their own time, even on their phone during the rush hour commute.
Internal and external events
Once or twice a month, we invite an external speaker or thought leader to come to our office for a fireside chat with our employees. We call these HubTalks. We’ve hosted speakers such as the former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick, women leaders like Donna Levin from MIT and Patty McCord, formerly of Netflix, and Brian McGory, the editor of the Boston Globe.
In addition, HubSpot hosts about three to four public events per month in our offices around the globe. These events are meant to extend our “Always Be Growing” motto to our communities, while also giving our attendees the opportunity to connect and network with HubSpotters to both learn and teach us about topics within our industry. These events are content-driven, usually featuring an influential keynote speaker or a panel of thought leaders discussing a certain topic. Our goal is to ensure everyone in the room is learning something new both from the speakers and each other.
Always Be Growing
Today I learned how to add text and a cover image to one of HubSpot Life’s Facebook Live videos, where we give career advice to people at any step on the professional ladder. Yesterday I learned about creating a more inclusive and diverse workplace from Harvard Business Professor Dr. Robert Livingston. And tomorrow I’m not sure what’s in store, but I know I’ll be engaged in learning something new.
Building a company that invests in and encourages employee learning and development helps employees keep their skills fresh and enables them to reach their professional and personal goals, which in turn ensures that the company as a whole is always growing and reaching towards being the best at what we do.