In the post-COVID era, employers are facing new challenges when it comes to hiring, onboarding, and retaining high-quality workers. “The knock-on effect of years of remote learning during the pandemic is gumming up workplaces around the country,” the Wall Street Journal reported in August 2023. “Employers are spending more time and resources searching for candidates and often lowering expectations when they hire.”
That’s why we developed Medley, our in-house professional development platform. Rather than outsource our employee training to third-party partners, we created a bespoke and replicable employee education program that builds the skills our staff need to succeed—not only for a marketing agency environment but for any professional environment. It's a model for small and medium-sized employers who find themselves competing for talent in a transformed world, where continuous learning is no longer just a nice-to-have, but instead a necessity.
Medley consists of three pillars, designed to ensure professional development for our employees throughout each stage of their careers — Medley:Onramp, an intensive onboarding program for recent college graduates; Medley:Merge, for our early-career employees (those with up to two years in the workplace); and Medley:Bridge, for mid to senior level employees as they prepare for their step up into management roles. Given the program's range, about 80% of our staff exist within these three pillars. An overview of each can be found below.
Onramp is our entry-level onboarding and training program specifically designed for our media team but expandable for other disciplines. The program focuses on Gupta Media’s approach to performance marketing, campaign management, platform technical expertise, and soft skills, given that this is most of the cohort’s first job out of school. Onramp allows our new hires to hit the ground running as active and engaged team members upon completion of the program. With two cohorts recruited each year — December and May college graduates — this extremely competitive program typically has less than 1% of applicants accepted.
Merge is our early career development program designed for staff during their initial years in the professional world. The program is open to all disciplines at Gupta Media. Merge places an emphasis on soft skills that may have gotten lost during remote work over the past 3+ years. Tactical and professional skills workshops include Impactful Presentations, Client Engagement & Communication, Conflict Resolution, the Art of Networking, and many others.
Bridge is our emerging and early managers program, designed to mentor and build leadership skills as individual contributors make the shift to management. Based on Google’s Project Oxygen framework, the program starts with a 3-day offsite with workshops on Mindset & Values, Emotional Intelligence, Executive Presence, Coaching & Feedback, and Decision-making. Ongoing monthly workshops are structured with real-world case studies and scenarios to prompt and develop the skills that will build great leaders at Gupta Media.
While continuous learning and development are crucial to the growth and success of our business, an even more telling metric in the success of the Medley program has been the enthusiasm with which the program has been embraced by our teams. One employee said she “appreciated the investment in a collaborative setting for me to learn” and described the training as “invaluable.” “I couldn’t have asked for a better onboarding experience,” another employee noted. “In one month, I felt ready and confident to succeed.”