Last updated at Tue, 12 Jul 2022 18:20:11 GMT

At Rapid7, we staunchly believe that our people are central to upholding our mission and embodying our core values to ultimately drive our customers into a more secure future. For this reason, Rapid7 works tediously to ensure that our Moose have ample opportunities to learn and grow in their careers.

In order to support such development, the People Development team strives to ensure that our programs are not only impactful but also support our Moose to be "Never Done" in their pursuit to have the career experience of their lifetime. Our approach to learning is to "Challenge Convention" through the proactive and consistent iteration of our programs to reflect this ever-changing world. Such evolution is crucial after a forced 2-year remote work experience and Rapid7's shift to a hybrid workplace.

Limitations on learning

Let’s travel back to 2018. From a Learning and Development perspective, this year feels like visiting a vastly different universe – one in which exclusively in-person training across a select set of offices, offered a few times a year, was the norm.

At this point in time, Rapid7 offered five soft-skills training courses, designed to introduce participants to best practices of a specific soft skill that supported professional success. The instructor would facilitate the majority of trainings in our Boston office location and then travel to one or two other office locations in order to offer training to participants outside of the hub location. The challenge? This in-person approach did not account for a growing global workforce; we needed to figure out how to keep our programs inclusive and accessible for those outside of Boston. Furthermore, because it intrinsically took time for the instructor to travel to physical office locations to offer these training sessions, there was a lag between the time when the employee needed the training and the time it was delivered to them. Ultimately, this interlude resulted in a delayed, or even missed, opportunity for learning.

Our team also realized that we were standardizing career development by operating under the assumption that each employee should focus narrowly on those five soft skills rather than championing the uniqueness of each Moose’s individual career experiences and the shifting needs of the business. These challenges served as the fuel that propelled us into the future of our "All Moose" learning programs. It was time to align learner needs with those of the business, put our Moose in the driver's seat of their development, nurture our ever-growing global employee base, and acknowledge the new world of hybrid work. This focus ultimately helped us move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to learning and propel our mission forward.

The evolution

With in-person trainings on hold, Rapid7 had the space to thoughtfully investigate what the future of learning could look and feel like for “All Moose.” Thus, the Moose GPS was born. The Moose GPS serves as a strategically adapted version of a traditional Individual Development Plan, transformed into a dynamic and collaborative tool. The “GPS” portion of the tool stands for “Growing, Partnering, and Succeeding” because these are all things the Moose will do while completing one! Composed of three steps, the GPS is unique in that it encourages employee ownership, accountability, and managerial partnership around development. No longer is the conversation and action plan initiated and driven solely by a Moose’s manager.

Originally conceived as enablement for the Moose GPS, People Development curated a collection of courses strategically designed to enable Moose to fiercely take ownership of their unique development path, namely, the Continuous Growth Courses. The ethos behind the three-course Continuous Growth Program is to provide employees with the tools, opportunities, and connections necessary to become champions of their development. While the courses mirror the progression of the Moose GPS, the curriculum intentionally focuses on skill-building rather than on the use of the tool itself.

In reflection of our core value "Challenge Convention," continuously challenging what is for what could be, the Continuous Growth Program would be the focus for the next iteration of Rapid7’s Learning and Development programs.

2022: Flipping, scaling, going global

The collision between our revolutionized learning philosophy and a global pandemic catalyzed a shift into a new realm of learning, one that prioritizes inclusivity, utilizes technology, and rethinks traditional, classroom-based teaching methods. We understood that changes needed to be made in order to ensure business alignment and overall program effectiveness.

Now, in 2022, Rapid7 has catapulted the Continuous Growth Courses even further ahead. This year, we have “flipped” approximately 50% of our content. This shift has enabled us to “scale with soul” and maximize learner accessibility and inclusivity. Flipped learning is an instructional strategy where learners engage in both self-paced and in-classroom learning activities. The program is strategically designed to ensure cross-sectional engagement and enable measurable behavioral shifts. Courses are taught in a cohort model and include both synchronous and asynchronous activities to support scale while striking a balance between individual learners’ schedules and providing opportunities for collaborative learning.

Each of the courses is two weeks long; during these two weeks, learners are first provided with an interactive e-learning where they engage with material on their own time. The e-learning intentionally introduces the learner to the content by mingling text, video, gamification, and knowledge checks in order to seamlessly immerse the learner into the material and maximize engagement. The on-demand nature of this activity permits the Moose to learn flexibly, encouraging them to self-pace around their own schedules.

The material introduced digitally will later be applied in the live session, where participants across the globe are united in one virtual classroom. By the time the participants attend the live session, the familiarity they have gained with the content in the digital learning experience will be practiced and applied in the live session in order to maximize knowledge absorption. The sessions consist of various activities in which learners are put into breakout rooms where they are able to create new, and otherwise unlikely, connections while bonding over the learning experience. We leverage tenured Moose to present on their own experiences with career development in these sessions, enabling us to scale our programs and foster high impact learning. Simultaneously, through our management development programs, our managers are equipped with the same skills and tools to facilitate meaningful development, feedback, and coaching conversations, providing their Moose with space and time for action.

How is it going? Let’s take a look

By equipping employees with the necessary skills to be active participants in their development, we not only empower them to raise the bar and become lifelong learners, but we also cyclically feed our culture of continuous learning. These employees cultivate growth mindsets and understand that their individual growth and success is intertwined with, not separate from, our shared organizational growth and success. By providing experiences for our employees to lean into their growth and development through onboarding, Continuous Growth Courses, and a variety of learning resources, we are investing in their future and our shared future.

Program and sessions

“I think this program helped me take a step back and really think about my work and how I want to evolve. It's easy to get caught up in your day to day without really thinking so this course will help me be more intentional in my goals and growth going forward.”

“I found all three modules to be very helpful – it's not often you're prompted to sit and reflect on your career, and the prompts were helpful for doing so.”

“This experience has helped me feel more engaged!”

Data!

Since the launch of these courses in April, Moose who have enrolled in the course say:

  • 100% said they felt confident using the learned skills
  • 93% said they had a development conversation with their manager
  • 93% said they had taken more accountability for their development since completing the course

Managers of Moose who have enrolled in the course say:

  • 94% said their direct reports had taken more accountability for their development since completing the course

This is the final blog post in our series, “The Forecast Is Flipped.” Thank you so much for following along with Rapid7’s innovative learning practices!

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