The Learning & Development team is rolling out learning programs to enable a culture of curiosity and continual learning. The learning initiatives are intended to provide a forum for team members to come together to learn about all of the activities taking place in the learning space, as well as hear from leaders internally and externally on various leadership topics.
Live Learning sessions will be conducted on a monthly basis. There will be a Zoom video conference set up for each session. Official dates and topics will be added to the schedule below as confirmed. If you were unable to attend a live learning session but still want to learn, check out our past live learning sessions below. At GitLab we give agency, but if you are attending Live Learning sessions, you will be asked to be engaged and participate with your full attention.
Social Learning is the cornerstone for how L&D designs, develops, and delivers live learning sessions. Social learning focuses on how team members interact with peers for just-in-time learning and skill acquisition through knowledge retention. Live learnings serve as an opportunity for team members to build relationships and a sense of community with team members. Social Learning occurs when team members come together in a virtual forum synchronously to learn from others through networking, breakout groups, storytelling, lessons learned reflection, and collaboration on solving scenarios with role playing. The live learnings enables learners to pull knowledge fro experts and peers within the organization instead of having knowledge pushed to them.
Example of a Social Learning Live Learning Session on Building High Performing Teams
The L&D team hosts Group Conversations approximately every six weeks to share regular updates across all GitLab teams. All team members are invited to participate to understand and learn about the latest information for learning. Group Conversations are targeted for the largest internal audience at GitLab. The L&D team will create slides and a pre-recorded video to be watched beforehand for all attendees.
At GitLab, the Learning and Development (L&D) team hosts a monthly Monthly Continuous Learning call. The series is intended to showcase all of the L&D initatives taking place at GitLab as well as provide a space for team members to ask questions. It's an opportunity to come together as an organization and highlight everything we are doing within the L&D space and to help instill a learning culture at GitLab.
Additional background information on this initiaitve is available in the Monthly Continuous Learning Call issue
Check out recordings of previous Learning Speaker Series calls!
The following process outlines steps for the L&D team to take each month when planning and implementing monthly calls.
Planning Issue Template: Open an Monthly Continuous Learning Call issue template in the L&D Project. Steps outlined below are also included in the issue template and are included here as reference.
Join the Learning and Development team on [DATE] for the Monthly Continuous Learning Call. This month's call is all about [TOPIC]. You can review the slide deck for the call [HERE], and post questions you might have in the call adenga doc [HERE]. Looking forward to seeing you there!
The L&D team hosts a monthly Learning Speaker Series call, open to all team members. The calls serve to provide a space where senior executives and mid-level people leaders can share relevant topics to engage and teach team members lessons learned from their own careers and answer relevant L&D related questions. We also hope to use this forum for external speakers to teach topics on relevant skills for team members.
This list of topics can be used as a starting point for brainstorming content and connecting with individuals to feature during Learning Speaker Series calls. This is not an exhasutive list - please add new ideas to this list as they come up in each monthly call!
Check out recordings of previous Learning Speaker Series calls!
The following process outlines steps for the L&D team to take when planning and implementing the calls.
Anyone or any team can host a Learning Speaker Series for the organization! If interested and there is a topic & speaker lined up, please fill out a Learning & Development Request template to begin the process.
Planning Issue Template: Open a
learning-speaker-series issue template in the L&D General Project to host a session. Steps outlined below are also included in the issue template and are included here as reference.
Join the Learning and Development team on [DATE] for the Learning Speaker Series Call. This month's call features [PERSON] and their experience with [BACKGROUND}. You can review the slide deck for the call [HERE], and post questions you might have in the call adenga doc [HERE]. Looking forward to seeing you there!
The L&D team also hosts and develops a quarterly newsletter for the community.
The L&D team publishes a quarterly mental health newsletter for team members and the wider community.
Focus Friday's are a great benefit at GitLab. We try to schedule minimal meetings on Fridays to catch up on work and grow our skills professionally. Use Focus Fridays to take time out to learn. Team members can work with their manager through a career development conversation to determine what skills that want to grow in the future. Aspirations can be documented in an individual growth plan.
From there, identify what will be needed to attain the new skills and consider using the Growth and Development Benefit or expensing professional development opportunities such as coaching, worskshops, conferencces, self-service learning, etc.. Another option you can utilize to learn more is LinkedIn Learning. GitLab has a number of LinkedIn Learning licenses for team members. Block time off your calendar every week or month to devote to learning new skills. Share what you are learning with team members and in the #learninganddevelopment slack channel.
Consider documenting the steps you are going to take learn new skills in the individual growth plan. Check in with your manager and ask for accountablity from them to help you stay aligned with goals.
Mini-challenges are 1 week learning opportunities that utilitze a combination of GitLab issues, live learning sessions, and Slack to organize a group of learners around a specific topic. Mini-challenges are advertised to team members via slack and require interested learners to opt in. Participation in issue discussion questions and in live learning sessions (synchronous and asynchronous) are is tracked by the L&D team or challenge organizer. Upon completion of the challenge, participants are awareded a certification. The L&D team has used the mini-challenge model to engage learners on topics like psychological safety.
In addition to the use of GitLab, each mini-challenge includes a dedicated Slack channel to organize conversation, share new issue links, and provide space for team members to ask questions.
Examples of current and past challanges can be found in the Learning and Development project
All of GitLab's Learning and Development programs use the GitLab tool to facilitate learning. One way we do that is with the use of daily challenges. Daily challenges are a proven strategy for implementing new habits for our team members. Daily challenges can cover a range of topics, and they are intended to introduce behavior changes that will stick. In September of 2020, we launched a Four Week Manager Challenge program that consisted of daily challenges and live learning events to strengthen foundational management skills. In November of 2020, we launched a One Week Challenge on Psychological Safety.
Sample structure of a challenge:
Learning campaigns at GitLab have an asynchronous focus and are used to raise awareness around a specific topic or set of resources. These campaigns are inspired by the structure of a learning challenge but without the required engagement or tracking. For example, the L&D team is using a learning campaign structure to host a mental health awareness week
Learning campaigns use a combination of GitLab issues and Slack announcements to raise awareness and spark discussion. Following the campaign, the L&D team will aggregate comments and resources that have surfaced and document in the handbook. Learning campaigns can be used to build buzz around a live speaker series or to start conversation about a common question or issue that GitLab team members are facing.
GitLab's Handbook pages grow every day. Each page serves as GitLab's primary source of learning and development material. Throughout FY22, the L&D team and the CEO will hold recorded interactive learning sessions to analyze Handbook pages. The goal of the sessions will be to incorporate more video-based learning into the handbook.
Three types of CEO handbook learning sessions:
The video below from Sid and L&D further explains the concepts:
Steps for L&D Team when setting up a CEO Handbook Learning Session:
List of CEO Handbook Learning Sessions:
The L&D team outlines a skill of the month for team members to learn more about a particular topic. This provides team members with direction about what topics to learn more about and where to find information on these topics. This initiative begins in April 2021.
The following process outlines steps for the L&D team to take when planning and implementing the Skill of the Month.
Anyone or any team can recommend a topic for the future! If interested, please fill out a Learning & Development Request template to begin the process.
Planning Issue Template: Open a
skill-of-the-month issue template in the L&D General Project. Steps are outlined in the issue template.
This optional call occurs weekly on Wednesday and is a space for the People Group to check-in weekly on our own self-care practices. This initiative is currently in a pilot state and we're iterating on the best format. Other teams at GitLab should feel encouraged to adpot a similar call format if they are interested. Calm offers great blogs and articles about self-care strategies, and a webinar they hosted in March 2021 inspired the start of these weekly social self-care calls.
This call does not have an agenda because the intention is to hold a safe space where peole can speak openly without focusing on documenting discussions.