Leap into learning: developing our people

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To coincide with Learning at Work Week, we thought we’d share our own employee development initiatives and investigate exactly what the team thinks of them.

Arguably, one of the most valuable perks of any job is the opportunity to learn new things, to grow and develop your skills. The benefits of learning are many, but for individuals, they include:

  • the ability to better perform your job
  • increased self-esteem
  • boosted morale
  • enhanced skill set
  • feeling valued
  • the ability to make a greater contribution to the team.

“90 per cent of the team said that being encouraged to learn at work made them feel more fulfilled in their role”

We run several schemes continuously throughout the year, all of which are open to every single individual member of the team – to present or attend. We love to share knowledge; it keeps us feeling fresh and up to date with industry changes – which ultimately benefits our clients, too.

“69 per cent said they have applied what they’ve learned to their day job”

Vertical Leap University session

Vertical Leap University (VLU)

Every three weeks or so, we invite external specialists to our Portsmouth Historic Dockyard office to deliver a four-hour workshop. To ensure that the sessions appeal to as many people as possible, the subjects range beyond just digital marketing and have encompassed keeping customers happy, behavioural economics, effective communication, report writing, consumer insight, Google Analytics and project management. That’s in addition to marketing strategy, UX, PR, Megatrends and many others. This form of group learning has proved a motivating and engaging way to develop, enabling us to open up some interesting discussions long after the session has ended.

“86 per cent said the opportunity to learn at work made them feel more valued”

cross-department training at Vertical Leap

Second Specialisms

Launched in April 2015, the Second Specialism scheme allows us to each learn about a different digital marketing discipline. I’m learning about social, for instance, while brand journalist Laura is finding out about PPC and SEO’s Eli has opted for content training. In small groups, we’re taken through the basics by the service delivery managers, equipping us with sufficient knowledge to actually carry out tasks and help the teams. The learning won’t stop once the sessions do, either; we’re all being encouraged to keep using our new-found skills, whether in our days jobs or assisting our adopted teams.

“Nearly 81 per cent rated our training provision as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ – almost a third recognised it as an amazing staff benefit”

Vertical Leap University session

Ten Minute Tips

Every Friday afternoon, once we’ve all finished our fish and chips, Ten Minute Tips takes place. A VL expert delivers a really quick training session on any subject at all. We’ve had everything from ‘Google advanced search queries’ and ‘how to select relevant imagery’, to ‘stress-busting tips’ and ‘inbox zero’. Being so short, it attracts large numbers of attendees and has proved a really popular way to learn.

VL’s favourite fictional trainer / teacher:
1) Walter White (Breaking Bad)
2) Dumbledore (Harry Potter)
3) Mr Keating (Dead Poets Society)
4) Miss Honey (Matilda)
5) Sherlock Holmes

Other ways we learn

In addition to those mentioned above, we hold regular cross-team training sessions, share insightful blogs or tips. We also train within our disciplines, work towards the Google Analytics qualification and are encouraged to take control of our own continuous professional development by reading industry news and attending external events.

We’re extremely lucky at Vertical Leap to be in receipt of such an incredible amount of development opportunities. Now, if only we could hold a session on ‘how to wash up a teaspoon and put it in the drawer, not the sink’… *sigh*

If you’d like to work for us, check out what positions are currently available.

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Elizabeth Smythe
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