Exploring Rebbix's Way to Upskilling


Iryna Yaskiv

Brand Writer
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What is the main focus of the people development strategy at Rebbix? How do we achieve its goals? What is prioritized in terms of learning, and what are the informal ways of passing knowledge? Get to know in the interview with Natalia Fryk-Palagitska, our People & Organizational Development Manager.

prioritizing leadership upskilling

Ira: Can you share how Rebbix approaches upskilling? What’s your vision, and strategy?

Natalia: Yes, sure. At Rebbix, we focus much on the role of engineering managers (EMs) in driving our team's and project's success. Our vision is to equip our EMs with the skills and characteristics needed to excel in their roles. To achieve that, we’ve crafted a long-term strategy based on the EM portrait we’ve built for ourselves focusing on their development, supported by ad-hoc training, if needed.

Meet Natalia Fryk-Palagitska, our People & Organizational Development Manager

I: Seems rather comprehensive. How do you put this strategy into life?

N: As organizational coach, I have 1-on-1 meetings with all EMs to progress on their individual development goals. Plus, we run group training sessions with their teams. This is leadership upskilling, as we call it. The main goal is to consistently improve the way we deliver.

Beyond EM upskilling, we run training activities for everyone in the company. We have sessions on identifying and understanding personality types to improve communication. It also guides us then wherever we are looking for a new team member or trying to address any concern within the team. Plus, we run sessions on effective hiring practices since lots of teammates are involved in recruitment. We've also worked on improving our feedback culture, team by team.

adapting training to current needs

I: Learning landscape is constantly evolving. How do you address changes in needs?

N: We do adapt our training to current developmental needs. Last year, for example, we focused on well-being. This topic originated in 2022 when we ran support group sessions to ventilate emotions, any negative thoughts, or assumptions and cool down. This year also shaped our learning agenda prioritizing the prevention of burn-out as the main topic given the complex situation in the world. Addressing this issue comprehensively, we first ran an all-company training to prevent burnout. That was followed by the learning session for EMs on how to identify burnout among teammates early on and how to support them at this stage. Next, together with the Recruitment Team, we’ve honed the signs of burnout among the candidates to make sure we can address them while also making the right hiring decisions that will benefit teams. 

In other words, we take a certain topic and segment it bearing in mind the learning needs of different internal audiences: EMs, teammates, HR, Recruiters team, etc. 

I: How do you balance individual and team development?

N: Apart from all company training activities and team-building activities with skills-building, we also have one-on-one meetings to focus on individual development goals. EMs conduct 121s with their teammates to drive development, and we help them improve their skills in running effective 121s. These meetings are crucial for understanding team dynamics. Altogether, it's a great opportunity to address any issues and ensure everyone's development is on track.

I: Are there any initiatives for peer-to-peer learning?

N: Yes, sure thing! One of them is the Engineering Managers Club. It’s quite a long-standing tradition at Rebbix. In the beginning, it was a club, indeed. The idea was to share opinions, experiences, and insights within a peer group. There was no formal leader or a speaker. Instead, the deal was to have knowledge-sharing and discussion sessions with rotating speakers. Each member could pick a topic, share his views, and then discuss it with his/her peers. 

Nowadays, we’ve aligned it with the development plans we’ve set for the EM role at the company level. Thus, we have a set of topics that are pre-set and ad hoc wherever someone wants to step in and discuss a boiling issue. So, now it is still a peer-to-peer club with bits of guidance and direction to move towards. Led by Yaroslav Rushchak, our engineering manager, the club meets twice a month for 1.5 hours, covering tech, organizational, and soft skills topics.

I: How does a typical EM Club session run?

N: These EM sessions remind me of moderated discussions where everyone can freely share their experiences. We tackle ongoing challenges, referencing past cases to explore different perspectives. Following this, I deliver a formal presentation sharing best practices, tips, and tricks. The session concludes with practical exercises, such as role-playing scenarios and skill-building activities. Finally, we engage in discussions where everyone shares their insights, thoughts, and feelings, building a collaborative learning environment.

I: Newcomers. How do you support them?

In terms of on-the-job development, we assign a buddy - a person who helps in onboarding, getting to know all the ins and outs and unwritten rules beyond the job description. 

Apart from that, at the individual level I work with the teammates as a coach and help them to identify their development needs and map out the next steps to progress on that. This coaching service covers all delivery functions and involves all kinds of things: communication, feedback-giving, personal growth, etc. 

I: Sounds inspiring. So, what is the next move?

N: We're working on revamping our speaker's club and using employee feedback to shape our learning agenda. Our goal is to adapt to our team's changing needs and promote growth across Rebbix.

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