October 2017
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Teaching Employees to Fly

Friday, October 13, 2017

When it comes to training, most companies offer their employees resources that will teach them important skills they’ll need to be successful at their jobs. However, Google has always been known for taking things a step further. The tech giant’s formal employee-to-employee training system, known as G2G (short for Googler to Googler) lets employees sign up for courses taught by other employees on anything, from traditional professional skills such as coding and machine learning to extracurricular skills like cooking and ballroom dancing. One software engineer, Bowen Zhang—who also happens to be a private pilot—taught more than 100 of his co-workers an Aviation 101 course. The course was so popular that over the next two years, Zhang held eight courses for more than 400 students, with more than 20 class sessions. The G2G program has been hugely successful, not necessarily because more employees know how to fly or dance the foxtrot, but because it allows employees to practice leadership roles. They learn public speaking, how to present technical information to a general audience, and how to lead a team—all necessary skills to advance a career.

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