5 lessons from Skillshare for empowering teammates to do their best work

When Abigail Besdin joined the Skillshare team to lead content efforts, it didn’t take long for her to realize that she was embarking on something special.

As a philosophy pHD candidate, she always knew that education was the ultimate equalizer but early into that program, she began to feel that she wouldn’t be able to make a real impact; there was a lot of talk inside the classroom walls, but not a lot of action.

In search of making a bigger impact, she found herself redefining the bottoms up education model with the team at Skillshare. Everyone at Skillshare is passionate about learning so it’s no surprise that a company so driven by the desire to institute real change would take a fresh approach to working efficiently, too.

Here, Abigail shares 5 unique ways Skillshare helps employees grow and maintains a culture of lifelong learning.

Because we’re a learning community, it’s almost meta for us to be so dedicated to ensuring that our teammates are always learning. As a company, we made an investment early on in individuals.

Here are a few ways Skillshare empowers team members:

1. We use our own platform

We encourage everyone to host a Skillshare class. We’re not only dogfooding our own product, but encouraging everyone to take a closer look at a topic they might be interested in. In my very early days, I taught an internal Skillshare class on the science behind decision-making and how it ties to how recently you ate your last meal.

2. We support everyone’s educational pursuits

If anyone expresses an interest in learning something, we encourage it. Whether it’s a conference or working at a co-working space, the Skillshare answer to these types of employee requests is, “How can we help you get there?”

3. We train everyone in the “Skillshare way”

We are proud to call ourselves efficiency experts. We really optimize our onboarding process to help people be their most efficient selves. It’s not uncommon for our friends outside of work to ask us for advice on how to hit goals faster and work more effectively.

4. We make sure everyone feels like they’re advancing in their careers

Everyone has a 1-1 meeting with their manager regularly. In these meetings, we typically discuss 1, 3, and 5 year goals. Managers are there to help you get where you want to be.

5. We think outside the hiring box

We really focus on hiring people who are primarily creative — the tactical day-to-day stuff can be taught. Since we’re so small, and our work is iterative, a lot of our roles have shifted. Having someone who is eager, intelligent, and adaptable is really important. The sky becomes the limit when you’re flexible about where you’ve been and where you want to go: you just need to have good ideas and work hard.

Get advice for using Asana from Skillshare, on the Asana blog.

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