Everyone learns differently. No matter the size of your organization — from 10 people to 100,000 — you’re faced with the same dilemma, how do you ensure your learning solutions can work for everyone? That’s why Cornerstone Studios creates a variety of series types. The more options you have, the more people you can serve. And their great work of providing outstanding learning options to our customers was just recognized with three Telly Awards!
The Cornerstone Studios' original series “The H Files” and “DNA" took home three Telly Awards this year.
The Telly Awards honor exceptional video work from advertisements, TV stations, production companies, publishers and more. “The H Files” offers workplace insights through the lens of history while “DNA” — Digital Native Advancement — teaches necessary skills to Gen Z as they enter the workforce.
We spoke with Doug Segers, senior director of original content for Cornerstone Studios, about how these two learning content projects improved our customer’s workplaces and why nano learning and episodic storytelling connect with learners at any organization.
Cornerstone Editors: What were your goals when your team created these two now award-winning content series? How were you hoping learners could benefit in the workplace from this content?
Doug Segers: “DNA: DEI” represents the third and fourth release of our Digital Native Advancement, or DNA, content. DNA was our first original series built around teaching interpersonal skills to Gen Z, often referred to as a generation of digital natives. This most recent release is 14 lessons on various diversity, equity and inclusion topics. Lessons answer questions learners might have about how to handle specific scenarios at work, but each has broader implications and is also applicable to managers and leaders who work with Gen Z employees.
“The H Files: Leading With Uncertainty” is the second season of “The H Files,” which teaches modern workplace learning by examining historical events and people. We were creating this season in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. It seemed like a natural opportunity for us to look at the flu pandemic of 1918 to see if we could use stories from that outbreak to learn about the one that we’re in. We looked for inspirational success stories to create a program about leading and practicing crisis management through uncertainty.
Cornerstone: What lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic can people apply when leading during periods of uncertainty?
Doug: There was a lot to take away from these individuals’ stories about how people survived a similar situation a hundred years ago. When we were researching, we found so much similarity between the ways people were behaving and what’s happening now. The rollout of misinformation, having to continue on with your daily life while in the midst of a life-and-death global pandemic, so much echoed our own environment.
In most of the stories we tell in the course, compassion and empathy are a huge part of why these people were able to be successful during this incredibly challenging and scary time. There really was a throughline of empathy and resilience being a major driver as to why people succeeded.
Cornerstone: The DNA series is a collection of nano learning courses. Why are short episodes an important format for learning content?
Doug: Certainly, in the last five years, people's viewing habits have changed. They will move on quickly if they don't feel like the time that's being spent with any piece of content, learning or otherwise, is going to be valuable for them. Spend some time on Netflix or YouTube or TikTok — if you're not engaged, you're just going to click “next.”
Shorter, episodic learning does become an easier ask than longer-form content when people’s lives are busy. The longest “The H Files” lesson is under 5 minutes; the shortest “DNA” lesson is under two. It’s about meeting people where they’re at when competing for their time. It’s important for us to make a variety of types of learning available, taking into consideration which formats and genres are popular and how people are consuming content across devices.
Cornerstone: What adjustments did you have to make to produce original learning content remotely during a pandemic?
Doug: I think lockdown actually, in some ways, fueled our productivity and allowed us to be agile and move quickly as it related to content development. For “The H Files,” we had to rely more on pre-existing materials — so historical content, B-roll, reenactments, photographs, illustrations, that sort of thing — instead of doing live shoots. We decided to use voiceover instead of a host, which was easier to produce remotely because it didn't require in-studio recording or on-location recording.
When you're in production, it tends to be hectic, whether it's physical or remote. It requires us to tap into some different tools and skillsets in order to move the creative process forward and deliver a completed piece of content or a series that satisfies all of the variables that we have to hit in order to produce successful original content.
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Citadele: Investing in a culture of learning and individual performance management
Citadele Group is an innovative, full-service financial group for both private individuals and companies. The Group offers a complete portfolio of banking, financial and private capital management services in the Baltic states. Citadele’s mission is to provide more opportunities to its clients by redefining modern banking – it aims to change the meaning of current financial business with innovations and an outstanding client experience beyond the formal frame. With the goal of becoming the Baltic banking champion, Citadele offers multiple career paths and a variety of professional development opportunities for all its employees. Our new path towards ambitious and modern goals also demands a change within our employees’ learning and performance tracking model. Improved tools and solutions are needed to streamline Citadele’s employee progression processes across 37 offices. Why Cornerstone? Recognising that employees are its most valuable asset, Citadele made sure that employees are the top priority in the process of change. Bearing this in mind, Citadele had three key requirements during the search for its talent management solution: the system needed to be easy-to-use; it needed to have the option to involve employees in individual goal-setting; and it needed to track feedback on an ongoing basis and provide tracking for necessary compliance training. The system also needed to feature engaging and motivating content to help Citadele boost talent retention rates. After considering 20 other vendors, Citadele chose Cornerstone OnDemand as it ticked all the required boxes in terms of being both an established SaaS platform and a well-developed system that adhered to all of Citadele’s needs. After considering 20 other vendors, Citadele chose Cornerstone OnDemand as it ticked all the required boxes in terms of being both an established SaaS platform and a well-developed system that adhered to all of Citadele’s needs. The Results Increased productivity. Since implementing Cornerstone Performance, Citadele has seen an improvement in its employees’ performance. The simplified goal-setting, monitoring and continuous feedback system means that employees feel more confident and more motivated at work. That in turn has led to increased productivity levels. According to Citadele’s recent feedback survey, more than 95% of employees expressed satisfaction with the system. Streamlined performance processes. Before Cornerstone, all records regarding employees’ career, training, obligatory certifications and performance appraisals had to be integrated manually. With Cornerstone Performance, managers now receive detailed analytics at the click of a button, meaning that employee goals, training activities and tracking have become optimised and tailored to employees’ needs. Enhanced employer reputation. Citadele strives for the status of best employer in the Baltic region. Partnering with Cornerstone has helped Citadele to attract and retain even more talent in the industry Full compliance visibility. Compliance training was one of the key requirements for Citadele. Since implementing the Cornerstone e-learning module, the company is now confident that all its employees have the necessary training to meet the industry’s compliance requirements. Citadele is also able to successfully track completions in order to meet deadlines. Motivation and passion for learning. Implementing Cornerstone Performance has helped Citadele to significantly raise the ambition and motivation of its employees. Necessary changes in individual performance management have pushed Citadele forward regarding its learning culture. Since then, the company has selected Cornerstone’s e-learning as its next module, in addition to the already launched Cornerstone’s Performance Appraisal System. This will allow each employee to choose their most convenient way to learn, integrating learning into their everyday work.
Announcing the Convergence 2021 featured speakers: Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai
We’re counting down the days to Cornerstone Convergence 2021. Get ready to join over 20,000 talent professionals on November 16-17 from the comfort of your laptop at this 100% virtual and completely free event. There’s so much to look forward to at this year’s event, but we’re especially excited to announce this year's special guest speakers, Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai! Levy is an Emmy® Award-winning writer, actor, director and producer best known for his work on Schitt’s Creek. And Malala is the Co-Founder of Malala Fund, a recent Oxford graduate and a Nobel Prize laureate. To get you even more excited, here are two previews of their can't-miss Convergence sessions. Meeting the Moment with Dan Levy We give rise to our greatest work when we embrace the strengths that lie in our individuality and build a shared vision for something better. Join this session to hear Dan Levy share his personal journey of using creativity to overcome obstacles and Meet the Moment. Register to see Dan Levy A Moment with Malala What does it take to move forward in the face of adversity? To pursue a higher purpose, in spite of targeted violent backlash? When Pakistani education activist, Malala Yousafzai was just 15 she learned the answers to these questions as she recovered from an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Join this session to hear Malala share her story of personal resilience and collective purpose in driving global education for girls everywhere. Register to see Malala Even more excitement at Convergence 2021 The next year of work will be all about turning change into opportunities for everyone. Check out a sneak preview of just a few Convergence speakers and informative breakout sessions. Bold Thinkers Dealing with Microaggressions and Healing from Workplace Trauma – Featuring Minda Harts, CEO of The Memo LLC More Bold Thinker sessions led by Jason Lauritsen, Laurie Ruettimann, David Wilson, Josh Bersin and others. Customer Spotlights Delivering skills-first careers powered by AI – From Deutsche Post DHL and Alstom More strategies, tips and advice from the Cornerstone and Saba community in our Customer Spotlight track, featuring Dell Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, Nespresso, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and more. The Content Channel The World Premiere of Seat at the Table – A Cornerstone Original Series Other sessions focused on leading innovations in learning content from top providers such as Cornerstone Studios, TED, ITProTV and Mind Tools. Daily Keynotes Conversations with industry luminaries and Cornerstone executives about reimagining work and Cornerstone’s vision for leading the way. Join us at Convergence and Meet the Moment Convergence 2021 is your opportunity to get inspired, find “ah-ha” moments, connect with your peers and explore the future of work (and your role in it). As a talent leader, you're connecting what your people need to your organization's evolving goals so everyone thrives in this moment. We’ll see you there!
CGL: Improving learning and performance capability through advanced digital solutions
Communities often need help when their quality of life is affected by crime. Homelessness, drugs, alcohol and domestic abuse all have an impact on the local area and this is where the CGL (Change, Grow, Live – formerly known as CRI) steps in. Every year, more than 120,000 people across England and Wales receive assistance to get back on their feet. At CGL, full-time staff and volunteers work to encourage and motivate people to take control of their lives. CGL now has more than 3,000 staff and 1,000 volunteers in more than 160 regional centers. With so many employees across a wide region, keeping track of their progress was proving to be difficult. Previously, there were instances where notes were lost, handwriting was illegible, copies were not being shared, and many of the action points from the meetings were missed. CGL knew they had to address this by empowering its employees and volunteers by implementing a unified talent management solution. Why Cornerstone To overcome its reliance on paper-based records, CGL decided it had to go digital. It chose the talent management tools from Cornerstone OnDemand, selecting Cornerstone Learning and Cornerstone Performance solutions. The solutions enabled CGL to standardise its recordkeeping across the organisation. What happened in one office needed to be replicated in another, even if it is hundreds of miles away. So, for the first time, the performance management process was exactly the same across the country. Through Cornerstone, CGL now has the ability to deliver, track, view and report on all learning and development progress across the organisation. In turn, it brings unity and consistency to all its training modules. Furthermore, through Cornerstone’s cloud-based talent management software, CGL was able to empower its employees and volunteers through learning and development, as well as foster a more aligned performance management process throughout the organisation. The sharing of best practices developed a powerful team of employees and volunteers that could provide the best possible service to those that CGL works with. Results Created central access to learning. Cornerstone has provided CGL with central access to learning and development from any device. It has revolutionised the way that CGL is able to quality assure and monitor both individual and overall service performance. Improved Customer satisfaction. Sandra Eden, Development Manager at CGL in the Midlands, said “Quality performance reviews contribute to positive outcomes and achievements, improved staff engagement and customer and stakeholder satisfaction. The quantitative and qualitative detail driving everything that we do is now easily accessible at the click of a button.” Standardised performance reviews. CGL constructed a thorough marketing plan to prepare for the roll out of the new system across its workforce. With tailored emails outlining clear benefits – both from a line manager’s perspective and frontline perspective, uptake in the first week was 15 percent. So far, just a few months after rolling out the service, 1,791 performance reviews have been created across CGL. Increased employee and volunteer engagement. The newly introduced Welcome Page on the training site has had an immediate impact. An internal Stonewall diversity survey generated only 17 respondents prior to using Cornerstone; three days after a message and link were posted on the new hosting site, the number of respondents rose to 82 – a 482 percent increase. Kevin Crowley, Executive Director – Quality, Governance and Innovation at CGL values the visibility he has over the organisation. He said, “Using Cornerstone to bring performance development online has really given us a powerful tool to more closely align learning with performance and ensure our staff has the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the best possible service to those we work with. We have been able to build up a national picture of our strengths, and can identify and share good practice to ensure continuous improvement across the organisation.”