Union Square Ventures

TL;DR: LifeLabs and USV trained managers across portfolio companies and saw significant impact 3 and 6 months later.


The Company: USV

Union Square Ventures (USV) is a venture capital firm with a diverse portfolio of companies. USV engaged LifeLabs to create a program for managers across companies to learn essential management skills as part of their USV Manager Bootcamp initiative.

The Program: Manager CORE 1

LifeLabs delivered the Manager CORE 1 Program, focused on the core skills of great managers. Between workshops (one two-hour workshop every week for four weeks), managers were asked to practice their skills and share outcomes. Six cohorts of managers went through the program in New York, San Francisco, and Toronto. The workshops were:

  • Coaching Skills: tools to develop and empower direct reports.
  • Feedback Skills: techniques for giving and asking for direct, actionable feedback.
  • Productivity & Prioritization: skills to help managers help their teams do the most important work most efficiently.
  • Effective 1-1s: techniques to create 1-1 sessions that engage and align direct reports. 


The Results: 3 Levels

Level 1 Measurement:

To assess immediate impact, 60+ participants were surveyed following the program. Participants rated the program’s usefulness as 4.8 out of 5.

Level 2 Measurement:

To measure the long-term impact, USV also assessed managers 3 months and 6 months following the program by tracking changes in the top challenges they mentioned prior to training. Even after only 8 hours of contact time, 93.6% said the program was still having a positive impact on their performance even in domains not covered in the training, such as planning, career pathing, and talent management. Why? The focus of our CORE programs is on tipping point skills – small changes that make big impact across a wide range of domains.

Level 3 Measurement:

USV also surveyed the participants’ managers 3 and 6 months after the program. They found that 100% of the participants’ managers reported seeing improvement in all categories.