The ABOUT YOU Academy: Boost your personal development & skillset

4 min readSep 27, 2019


Supporting our employees with regular internal training sessions

We believe people should join ABOUT YOU based on our vision, our team, and our company culture, but of course, we provide some additional benefits for our employees — one example is the ABOUT YOU Academy. The ABOUT YOU Academy is a platform to actively and critically assess our work and performance in the framework of training, workshops, meetups, presentations, and discussions.

Why we started the ABOUT YOU Academy:

In a fast-growing company like ABOUT YOU, employees need to quickly adapt to changes, new structures, responsibilities, and tasks. Exciting new challenges keep the backlog full and the workload high. And at the same time, we strive for efficiency & great results. Our open company culture allows every employee to gain new experiences and learning on the job. This article intends to give you insights into our approach to active learning. Active learning is defined as a form of learning in which teaching strives to involve participants in the learning process. For us, this means active learning arises through practical implementation. With the ABOUT YOU Academy, we support employees with a variety of hands-on training that boosts their personal development and professional skill set. New employees (no matter if experienced seniors or young professionals) acquire high responsibilities directly from the beginning of their ABOUT YOU career. The company grows constantly and we are facing the big challenges that come with it. We believe in the saying, that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. To ensure that everyone can strengthen their link, we offer our employees specific training sessions.

What the ABOUT YOU Academy offers:

The ABOUT YOU Academy offers training in three categories: Skills, Tools, and Networking. Every category has modules for two types of target groups: Leaders and employees (there is no other hierarchy in our company structure).

Here is an exemplary overview of the courses that the ABOUT YOU academy would be offering:

Modules in the category tools are:

  • Excel and PowerPoint (that some employees need every once in a while)
  • Google Apps (including our mail and calendar as well as cloud computing and platform for productivity and collaboration)
  • Jira and Confluence (our agile project management tool to plan and track as well as share documentation and collaborate within the company)

Modules in the category skills are:

  • Communication: The training offers a quick understanding of how we communicate efficiently at ABOUT YOU. Every employee can learn about our different communication channels and their purpose, how to write efficient emails and how to identify the right person of contact.
  • Problem-Solving: This is one of our most popular modules. The participants learn how to identify problems, how to generate alternative solutions, how to evaluate and select these alternatives and how to implement the preferred solution.
  • Negotiation: There are two types of negotiation training. The basic training is a short 4h maximum session for everyone who is interested in negotiations. The advantage training is a 1 to 2-days workshop for employees who negotiate a lot in their daily business.
  • Leading @AY: Our managing directors regularly present their expectations on leadership positions to give orientation in areas of tension and to create commitment.
  • Top-Level-Communication: Besides the Leadership Training, all managers can participate in top-level-communication training. The team leads learn about communication principles, tools, channels, and attitudes.

Modules in the category networking are:

  • Meet the team-meetings are an opportunity to get to know other teams, their responsibilities, and tasks. Since we are growing fast, it is not easy to keep the overview.
  • Company Stand-Up: Takes place once a month at our headquarters in Hamburg. Colleagues from Berlin & Lueneburg can watch it via Google Hangouts. The executive management shares company KPIs, answer questions that are raised and lets everyone in on the most recent events and topics(for example the next country launch, planned campaigns, warehouse movements, company parties….) that are of company interest. Furthermore, all the newbies who recently joined the ABOUT YOU-crew get to introduce themselves.
  • Tech Talks: Take place monthly. This meeting is supposed to give, especially the employees of the tech teams a forum to exchange their knowledge, deep-dive into specific topics and thereby, mutually benefit from each other. But of course, everyone that is interested in tech-topics is welcomed in there also the employees of the non-tech departments.

The ABOUT YOU Academy has a catalog of fixed modules. Instead of just strictly sticking to the regular training, we listen to employee’s needs and constantly ask them for input on what other kinds of modules we should be offering.

We believe in learning from each other and that the knowledge of one person should be widely shared so everyone in the company can profit from it. This being the reason why we decided against external trainers but set up the training with direct colleagues, our managing directors or peers of the company.

The training is set up in quick sessions of 1–3 hours. Instead of workshops that last 1 to 2 days. The short training sessions work like ‘skill-nudges’ that can actively be implemented in our daily work life.

It is ingrained in our company culture to learn and grow. Which modules would you find interesting? Which of your skills would you put into the ABOUT YOU Academy catalog?




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