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Customer story

Gusto is building impactful opportunities for its people and partners with LearnUpon


course completions across 1,500+ employees in 1 year


partners certified


higher likelihood of certified partners referring new partners


lift in client additions by certified partners, and increase in ACV for these new clients

A booming tech unicorn, Gusto is an award-winning people platform that provides modern payroll, benefits and expert HR to more than 200,000+ small and medium businesses across the United States.

On a mission to create a world where work empowers a better life, Gusto is using LearnUpon to deliver more than just training to its 10,000+ partners and 1,500 employees. It’s driving measurable business impact and building new opportunities for its people and partners, everywhere.

“I was prepared to fight for an LMS, but the investment versus the business impact of LearnUpon is outsized. We’re seeing real results. Two years ago, I had to do the storytelling to paint that picture, and now we’re reaping the rewards.”

Jaclyn Anku

Partner Education at Gusto

The challenge: A need to scale employee and partner enablement with a single, modern solution

Both joined Gusto around two years ago, Jaclyn Anku, Leader of Partner Education, and Pam Ramsbott, Head of L&D, quickly had a realization: the company needed a new learning management system.

For Pam, her 15-person L&D team already had an LMS. However, as the company grew, it was no longer scalable and lacked the functionality needed to take learning to the next level. “The challenges were evident. As a small team, we can’t be experts in everything”, says Pam, “We needed a technology that would allow us to combine our internal content with third-party content, and package it in a meaningful way to impact learning outcomes.”

For Jaclyn, Partner Education was a brand new function within Marketing at Gusto. And that brought its own challenges: “It was a blank slate when I started, and I was tasked with building a certification program. The first question I asked was ‘do we have an LMS?’ and the answer was ‘what’s an LMS?’. I knew I’d have to make a case for why we needed this tool and why it was worth the investment.”

While many companies conduct training in siloes, Jaclyn and Pam partnered up in the search for a single, centralized solution that could support both employee and partner training. And for both of them, it had to have a few key requirements:

  1. Scalable: To support their hyper-growth employee base and a partner program of more than 10,000 accounting firms (with an addressable market of 40,000 accountants working at those firms).
  2. User-friendly: As Jaclyn says “the solution had to represent Gusto’s brand – if you spend any time on our website, you can see we invest a lot in our brand.
  3. Integrated: To show the business impact of the solution, it was vital that their chosen LMS could connect with their other internal systems.

The solution: Scalable, connected training for every audience

With Gusto being a people-focused company, it was LearnUpon’s dedication to an elevated user experience – both for learners and admins – that sold the solution to Jaclyn and Pam.

Perfectly aligning with Gusto’s ethos to build a better work experience for people, LearnUpon empowers the team at Gusto to create and shape people-centric learning environments for employees and partners.

“In our evaluation process, we asked 'Will this be a seamless experience for our users? Do the design and brand values align with our own?' With LearnUpon, the answer was yes. ”
Pam Gusto

Pam Ramsbott

Head of L&D at Gusto

Grow with Gusto via LearnUpon + Degreed

For the company’s 1,500+ ‘Gusties’ (Gusto’s nickname for its people), there’s ‘Grow with Gusto’. Built via LearnUpon and Degreed’s seamless integration, it “enables the L&D team to broaden the offering across all of Gusto”, says Pam.

With a mix of curated and tailored leadership, role-based, and onboarding content available through one front door, it created a single place for ‘Gusties’ to access every type of learning they could ever want or need.

“Using Degreed and LearnUpon gives us much stronger capabilities to provide a variety of learning content across our whole company, 24 hours a day. If a Gustie needs to take training, or is interested in working on new skills outside of the traditional workday, it’s in 'Grow with Gusto.'”

Pam Ramsbott

Head of L&D at Gusto

For Pam and her L&D team, engagement during the first year of implementation equaled success and with 52,000 completions in a single year, it’s evident their strategy is working.

To get there, they developed a robust rollout and ongoing engagement plan that incorporates LearnUpon’s ease-of-use, with executive buy-in and internal promotional events. Describing their approach, Pam says “we send out swag, announce kudos for “learner of the month” winners, and highlight their experience in our monthly company-wide newsletter. Executive sponsors also build and share Learning Paths. We try to make learning engaging, fun, and impactful.”

To help measure Grow with Gusto’s impact, Pam and her team regularly delve into a range of learner insights. Using LearnUpon’s powerful reporting, data like month over month usage and completions are continuously monitored. While feedback from surveys and post-course reviews in the LMS are regularly collected from learners.

Value for partners, growth for Gusto

For its partners, Gusto built a successful partner certification program through LearnUpon from the ground up.

Since launching last year, Jaclyn has seen a massive 1,600 individual accountants get certified across 1,000 Gusto partner firms. The program has driven a lift in client additions, an increase in ACV for these clients, and a higher likelihood of certified partners referring new partners.

“We have seen a lift in client additions for every certified partner. We are seeing those customers drive higher ACV. That’s been huge for us.”

Jaclyn Anku

Partner Education at Gusto

Upon successful completion of the program, learners are automatically awarded with a certification – all via LearnUpon. Jaclyn uses LearnUpon’s out-of-the-box Salesforce integration to help measure the business impact of the certification program and centralize this data.

“We push our data from LearnUpon into Salesforce, so we can marry it with a partner’s contact record. That way we can correlate partner performance in our partner program with their participation in our learning.”
Jaclyn Gusto

Jaclyn Anku

Partner Education at Gusto

For Gusto, the People Advisory Certification – a 5 hour, on-demand program delivered via LearnUpon – is much more than just product training. The program positions the company as a thought leader, helping accountants further their careers.

“Our certification is about so much more than product training, it’s about how you apply the product in a way that drives impact for your firm and clients. For a partner to be able to show that skill set through the badge - it's a way for them to accelerate their careers. It’s going to set them apart in the job market.”
Jaclyn Gusto

Jaclyn Anku

Partner Education at Gusto

Further proving the value of the training Gusto is delivering through LearnUpon, in 2020 the program was approved to award CPE credits to accountants upon completion of the training.


Up Next: Expanding on employee and partner success


For Gusto’s partner training and L&D teams the future with LearnUpon is all about optimization and expansion.

For Pam, it’s about levelling up content in LearnUpon and Degreed and using these tools to enable more leadership development programs.

“Empower #withGusto was built as a self paced new manager program to give every new people leader at Gusto the foundational tools for success. Since the launch of this program using Grow with Gusto, new people leaders report having more confidence in their ability to hire, lead and empower inclusively.”

Pam Ramsbott

Head of L&D at Gusto

As for Jaclyn, the aim is to engage current partners and find new ones by delivering new instructor-led training through LearnUpon. Using LearnUpon’s eCommerce functionality, she’s expanding Gusto’s reach by launching a new People Advisory Accelerator Program available to all – Gusto partner or not.

“Certification was the first big push. Now the goal is to have the impact of education through LearnUpon reverberate across the whole marketing funnel. We want to turn it into a powerful demand generation channel.”

Jaclyn Anku

Partner Education at Gusto