Lyla Sultan is a Marketing Associate at Nitro. She is a staunch supporter of women in tech, a political philosophy nerd, and a sucker for catchy Marketing slogans. She enjoys long walks on the beach with a goblet of wine.
At Nitro, one of our guiding principles is “always learning,” and we come to work every day with that motto in mind. In the last few months, we created a department dedicated to Learning and Development (L&D), led by Kate Mason and supported by Learning and Development Specialist Trisha Mitzelfelt, to help take our “always learning” motto to the next level.
Here, you’ll learn more about the program and the incredible two person team (!) spearheading these brilliant initiatives.
Kate Mason—Head of Learning and Development
Kate, can you tell us a little about what brought you to Nitro?
I’m passionate about helping people be great. At Nitro, I had the opportunity to create a new team and new programs— all from the ground up. Our CEO, Sam Chandler, and our COO, Gina O’Reilly, have an overall desire to invest in the development of their employees. That’s a rare find and to me—that sentiment is huge.
Can you tell us about the main focuses for L&D this year?
The main focuses are onboarding, Sales, product training, and management and leadership.
Onboarding—we’re partnering closely with the Talent team and the Employee Experience team to build a robust onboarding training for all new Nitronauts. Nitronauts are immersed in this program starting on day one—they’re assigned a “Nitro mate,” a mentor, and a learning path to guide them through the first 90 days.
Sales—the first two weeks in a Sales role is very training-focused. We have an assortment of programs around Sales—including a Nitro Elevator Pitch, a Sales Certification Program, and a John Barrows “Filling the Funnel” training.
Product Training—we train all Nitronauts on the ins and outs of both our products—Nitro Pro and Nitro Cloud.
Management and Leadership—we’re building out a core series of management trainings to support our managers and give them the tools they need to be successful in their roles.
What else can we expect to see from L&D this year?
We have a few goals around what we would like to accomplish this year. One thing we’d love to adopt is a Learning Management System (LMS) to create online learning tracks and truly have a blended learning method—a multi-tiered approach to learning. Naturally, as a Software as a Service (SaaS) company, we’re inclined to leverage the best technology out there.
Another goal is to create learning paths for career trajectories. We believe in being forward thinking and always striving towards a brighter future. With the creation of learning paths, employees are able to really see the steps that they need to take to in order to reach their specific career goals. There are a ton of resources out there and we want to leverage that to make Nitronauts as successful as they can be.
Trisha Mitzelfelt—Learning and Development Specialist
Trisha, what sparked your interest in L&D?
I was previously working in a Human Resources function, which had a deep focus on developing employees, and I realized that I did want to focus on developing employees—but on a much larger scale. I have a passion for helping people grow their careers in a proactive way, instead of only helping them when they’re having trouble and realize they actually need the help!
What is the biggest challenge that you’ve encountered so far?
I would say scaling out our programs because we have global offices. You want to make sure that there is a certain consistency in every person’s experience. For instance, we launched our “Be Bold” Speaker Series in San Francisco, and now we’re lining up to have our first speakers in Dublin and Melbourne.
You’re a pretty small team and have a lot going on! What’s your secret?
We partner with different stakeholders in the business which really helps us to drive our initiatives forward. For instance, we have a partnership with the Talent team to create a standard interviewing training for all and a deeper interview training for hiring managers. We partner with Employee Experience to drive our onboarding process for all Nitronauts.
The Learning and Development department views the employee experience as a whole – and they’re constantly evaluating how they can give a better experience and help employees continue to grow and develop. Kate and Trisha know that learning doesn’t have to be an arduous process – they’re always striving to make it fun and super engaging!