Learning and Development


From day one, new hires feel part of the Advisory Board community. Many employees say they make life-long friends their first week at the firm, and it’s no surprise why.


Our business strategy and performance rely on our staff’s knowledge and talents, and this begins with a rigorous onboarding.

Staff at all levels of the organization attend orientation classes together in a new-hire cohort, often representing dozens of departments. Orientation covers firm strategy and culture, product and department overviews, and industry knowledge.

From there, new employees go through job-specific training to accelerate their learning and assimilation. Ultimately, we want to ensure that staff feel warmly welcomed and receive all the information needed for a strong start.

Ongoing education

This is a culture that values lifelong learning, and Advisory Board University (ABC U) is our platform for those activities. ABC U offers a variety of training opportunities focused on firm strategy, industry knowledge, and skill development. From Excel 101 to Leadership Roundtables to the Evolution of Health Care, our courses allow staff to participate in classroom-style and webinar-based learning that is relevant to their roles—or simply of interest. We also offer more than 200 self-paced eLearning courses covering business, IT, and desktop application skills.

We also provide ways for staff to share their time, talents, and passions in the community. See how we give back through hands-on service, board service, and pro bono consulting.

Performance management

Merit-based performance management is central to our business. We encourage managers to provide regular informal feedback, and every six months, employees go through a structured review cycle to reflect on past performance and set goals for the future. This includes:

  • A downward review, in which a manager reviews the staff member’s performance based on a role-specific competency grid with defined quantitative and qualitative expectations.
  • A self-review, in which the staff member submits input on his or her own work, accomplishments, and contributions.
  • Upward and peer reviews, in which staff confidentially provide feedback on their managers and colleagues.

Departments are supported by a dedicated and knowledgeable Career Management team. In addition to facilitating reviews, Career Management supports career growth and professional development.

Professional growth

We believe in supporting staff at all stages of their career. Initiatives such as the Associate Development Series for our junior-level staff, skill development courses for managers, and executive coaching and 360-degree assessments for our senior leaders help employees reach their full potential.

Our leadership cohorts serve high-performing staff, including a multi-year program for women in leadership, a staff-led initiative for women in technology, and a nomination-based fellowship for emerging leaders. Additionally, our Learning & Development team facilitates individualized coaching and mentoring relationships.


We keep staff apprised of firm performance, strategic priorities, and news through a variety of channels. Our firm intranet and weekly newsletter update employees on news and events, department recognition, and service opportunities.

Elevate firmwide meeting

Our annual firmwide meeting is another opportunity for the executive team to educate staff on organizational performance and strategy, share powerful member impact stories, and recognize outstanding staff achievement.

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Our values

What drives us