Siteimprove strives to help every employee achieve their professional goals. To support professional and personal development, we introduced the 70/20/10 approach to employee learning and development. What is the 70/20/10 Model? Well, I am glad you asked.

The 70/20/10 model is a prevalent approach to how employees learn and develop their skill set in the workplace. With this approach, we believe that employees should be constantly learning on the job, which reflects the 70% of the 70/20/10 model. We also believe that employees should be learning from peers and managers, which is the 20% of the 70/20/10 model. Siteimprove works to ensure that your peers and managers are helping you grow by learning from their experiences, which in turn helps build comradery. We pride ourselves in our culture, and collaboration and learning from others are a huge part of building that culture. Sometimes, you can have all of that and still want external training, and Siteimprove recognizes that. The 10% of the 70/20/10 model represents formal learning that employees can obtain through internal and external training courses and programs.

All of that to say, I sat down with Senior SEO Consultant Diane Kulseth and Manager of Customer Success Erica Gilson to hear about their experiences applying for and going through external training programs, which is part of the 10% formal learning in the 70/20/10 model.

Diane and Erica sitting in front of a large window

Thanks for joining me today! What got you excited about this model and why did you decide to apply for external training?

Erica: As a manager of our Customer Success Team, the model excites me for a couple of reasons. A framework like this gets employees excited and boosts morale because it’s clear that Siteimprove cares about our personal and professional development. I like the additional opportunities it provides for my team and the fact that the budget is already allocated makes it easier to get approval and move forward quickly.

Diane: I think what excited me the most was that I could pursue external training. Not to say that I couldn’t learn from those here within Siteimprove, but as a subject matter expert, I knew that some of my professional growth would have to happen outside of the company.

Can you tell me about the external training program you chose and why? 

Diane: I had wanted to apply to the Shine Bootcamp, a 3-day speaker incubator for women in marketing & technology, since I came to Siteimprove. When I talked to my manager about applying, he encouraged me to apply for it as part of the 10% external training to cover my registration. It’s been a goal of mine to work on my public speaking for a while. In my role, I’m responsible for leading training presentations along with speaking at conferences and roadshows. I felt like taking a public speaking workshop would be beneficial. The Shine Bootcamp is unique since they have you do prep work before the boot camp with a goal to develop a 10-minute speech and slides. During the weekend, you work with a veteran speaker (I worked with a marketing leader from Shopify) who will develop you with your presentation. The weekend caps off with a mini conference where everyone gives their presentations.

Erica: The previous year Siteimprove invested in a Level 1 CSM Leadership training for both myself and my colleague. The Level 2 course was released at the same time Siteimprove rolled out the 70/20/10 model. I was excited to take advantage of it right away! The Level 1 program I took in 2018 was a two-day workshop that provided foundational practices for Customer Success. We were able to apply it directly to our day-to-day best practices as we expanded the Customer Success team and rolled out more strategic tactics. The Level 2 program was a continuation of the previous workshop and further expanded on best practices and strategies. The information was valuable in helping raise the bar and overall professionalism for myself and for the Customer Success team.

How have you seen the training benefit you in your career?

Diane: It has helped me change how I approach building slides for customer webinars and industry presentations. Shine has also helped me approach receiving constructive feedback. There’s nothing quite like working hard on a presentation for four weeks and having it ripped apart (albeit quite lovingly) by your small group. Finally, you also learn about your composure when you see pictures and videos of yourself throughout the bootcamp weekend. All of this has been extremely helpful for me as I approach conversations with customers within and outside of the company.

Erica: The SaaS Customer Success field is still a relatively new industry with new trends and best practices being identified all the time. It’s important for me to stay informed on the latest trends to stay on top of our strategic and day-to-day challenges. This training has helped me to ensure that our CSM team is the best that they can be and that we are constantly evolving, starting with myself.

What is something that Siteimprovers wouldn’t know about you?

Diane: Every Siteimprover I mention this to seems to be shocked, but I’ve never been to Las Vegas.

Erica: I absolutely LOVE to cook and am a huge foodie.

Diane Kulseth joined Siteimprove in February 2018 and is currently Senior SEO Consultant. Diane is based in Minneapolis.

Erica Gilson joined Siteimprove in May 2016 and is currently Senior Manager of Customer Success. Erica is based in Minneapolis.