Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2017 - 44

CASEBOOK

F5 NETWORKS:

LESSONS LEARNED FROM
DEPLOYING A SOCIAL LEARNING SITE
By Marlaina Capes

F5 Networks (FFIV) is a Seattle-based technology
company. With 4,395 employees and 620
managers worldwide, we believe that strong
management leads to increased employee
satisfaction, increased retention and an overall
stronger performance.

SOCIAL
LEARNING
ADDRESSES
OUR NEED
FOR FASTER,
BETTER AND
CHEAPER
TRAINING
OPTIONS
WHILE STILL
CHALLENGING
OUR PEOPLE.

After completing a 12-month leadership training
program for managers in early 2016, it was clear
we were having an impact. However, the program
required the support of two L&D resources to
develop, deliver and deploy the program to less
than 50 managers worldwide. The program was
cost prohibitive and not scalable. Our solution:
an opt-in, social learning community.
Social learning theory has become increasingly
popular recently, but the term has been
around since 1977 when Albert Bandura
contributed the notion that behavior can also
be learned from the environment and through
observation. This notion feeds into the popular
framework of the 70-20-10 Model: 70 percent of
learning is experiential; 20 percent of learning
is through coaching, mentoring, networking
and feedback; 10 percent is formal classroom
learning. It is that 20 percent that social learning
aspires to target.
GETTING STARTED
We selected a SharePoint site (because it fits
with our IT infrastructure) as our social learning

| 44

platform customized to allow managers to
search for various types of information by
management topic. Imagine a spreadsheet with
the topic in the top row: hiring, setting goals,
coaching, providing feedback, and building
team climate. And the type of resource in the
first column: processes, blog posts, classes,
and articles. We also provided each community
member with access to Harvard ManageMentor,
a full suite of self-paced management training
lessons. We included forums for discussions
and blog posts. The online forum is augmented
with instructor-led (virtual or in-person) classes
for our core curricula. We launched the site
and immediately drew wide interest into the
program, but shortly thereafter, monthly access
to the site decreased. By month three, only 5
percent of users accessed the site and visitors
averaged less than three minutes each visit.
We've revised our strategy and three months in,
we're seeing five times the monthly activity and
three- fold increase in the time spent on the site
and membership continues to grow. Here are
four key lessons learned when launching a social
learning site.
1. DESIGN FOR THE LEARNERS
While a significant amount of HR and L&D
thinking went into the design of our original
site, we neglected to usability test the site with
our target audience. There are two areas where



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2017

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210708
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
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