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Case study: The Guardian

Motivating training for modern marketers

Since 2018 we've supported continual learning throughout the Marketing and Reader Revenue departments at The Guardian newspaper, blending team-wide access to our self-directed learning platform with targeted, topic specific workshops delivered virtually and in-person around individual and collective skills challenges.

Alongside this, managers within the team have been enabled through our Open Manager Cohorts, and with a most recent development focus shifting to the mindsets and skillsets of the newest team members too.

Partnership headlines

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Self-directed access to our platform

Individual, unlimited and self-directed learning that gets everyone at Cubitts discovering, trying and applying new skills daily. And with tailored pathways to meet the discreet needs and time challenges of different teams and departments.

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Targeted support for Cubitts managers

We supported the Cubitts leadership team in defining and embedding three kinds of performance conversation, aligned to values and helped all all Cubitts managers to build the confidence and capability to have them through collaborative and bitesize development programmes.

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Targeted workshops for Guardian teams

Curated pathways of bitesize, brain-and-mobile-friendly development are designed and seductively marketed to Cubitts team members working in their stores — giving them a chance to discover and experiment with timely resources in the flow of work.

Purposeful pathways on point to key skills
Purposeful pathways on point to key skills

Throughout the year, tailored pathways on our platform — accessed via the team's partner portal — point towards important skillsets and mindsets identified as important among the team. From presenting well, to communicating clearly; defining problems to leading with stories; all align to key aspects of the modern marketer's mindset.

Training times around key campaign moments
Training times around key campaign moments

Energising kick off sessions and regular, targeted communication ensure the ongoing discovery and experimentation throughout the team — providing punchy and practical ways to test new approaches within the flow of work. Live engagement data helps the leadership team to prioritise what's pushed, and with managers encouraged to make development part of every 1-1 conversation.

Values led learning
Values led learning

Pioneers, Proud and For All — three key values central to the Cubitts culture, and principles we've aligned all aspects of our partnership to. From periodic pathways that link practical behaviours to each, to training managers to provide feedback in relation to them; we've enabled these values to feel more than just words on a wall and support ongoing conversation about what they really mean.


Illustration by Yann Le Bec

Partnership impact

• Over 75% of team members engaging with platform content more than 3 times a month.

• Supported a successful shift from annual performance reviews to monthly 1-1s, bi-annual career conversations and ongoing coaching conversations with managers.

• Pulse surveys in 2022 showing 100% of managers answering ’Yes, Definitely’ to ’Do you feel confident having conversations that connect Cubitts values to behaviours with your teams?’

• Pulse surveys post manager development programmes showing 100% of participating managers answering 'Yes, Definitely' to Have you learned relevant new skills you can now apply within your teams?'

“A perfect partnership that inclusively drives performance all the way through our team.”

Katie Dolby, Head of Retail — Cubitts
Coaching skills for Cubitts managers
Coaching skills for Cubitts managers

Cohorts of Cubitts managers have been taken through collaborative workshop programmes, led by YCN coach-facilitators like Katy Kent pictured, purposefully developing coaching approaches to enable reflection, development and action among their teams. Key to the programme is building the confidence and capability to provide coaching-led feedback around Cubitts values in the flow of work.

Learn more about our work with managers