RSM Helps Employees Build Their Own Success Story
How do you empower your employees to do their best work?
It’s a question most managers ask regularly. And at RSM US LLP (RSM), the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services to the middle market, good work starts with putting employees first—embracing all of the passions and talents that make them who they are. Employees know they can bring their authentic selves to work, helping them feel happier, more fulfilled and better able to work with clients.
RSM does this by delivering “The Power of Being Understood®” to its employees.
“We know – whether it’s with our clients or our teams – the power in a relationship comes from being understood,” said Katie Lamkin, chief talent officer with RSM. “When you feel truly understood, you feel supported and confident in achieving both your personal and professional goals.”
Ensuring nearly 11,000 employees feel understood is no small task, but the ethos is an important differentiator for RSM in the highly competitive professional services industry. So how does it scale The Power of Being Understood? Enter: Cornerstone OnDemand.
After growing from 7,000 to nearly 11,000 employees in just over a decade, RSM adopted Cornerstone’s Recruiting, Learning and Performance Suites to not only scale The Power of Being Understood, but also infuse it into every stage of the employee journey.
“We were growing and changing as an organization, but the way we were managing our talent wasn’t,” says Ken Bansemer, talent management, systems and data leader at RSM.
Before Cornerstone, the team used custom applications built within their Human Resource Information System (HRIS), plus an applicant tracking system and separate learning management system. These disparate tools were becoming outdated and unsupported—which was frustrating for administrators and employees alike.
“We wanted to show our employees that they mattered to us every single day, but the talent experience we were delivering didn’t reflect that,” said Lamkin. Cornerstone’s platform was an obvious choice. Today, RSM delivers a holistic talent experience to its employees from hire to retire.
Recruiting: An RSM Experience from the Very First Touchpoint
In a tight talent market, first impressions matter. According to Gartner, talent shortages are a top risk to organizations globally. For RSM in particular, these shortages, coupled with relentless competition from larger firms—including the industry’s Big Four—made it challenging to hire the personnel it needed to continue to grow.
“We want candidates to know who we are, what we are and why we are,” said Mike Baron, talent acquisition leader with RSM.
Leveraging Cornerstone’s Recruiting Suite, RSM simplified its application process, which had deterred candidates from applying for positions in the past.
“Before Cornerstone, our application process was 15 pages long and looked archaic to our candidates,” said Brea Fritsche, talent acquisition center of excellence leader with RSM. “And we didn’t have the ability to use different platforms for them to upload their LinkedIn profiles or to auto-fill their information into our system.”
RSM also made the recruiting pages accessible on mobile and more intuitive to navigate. As a result, RSM’s hiring successes increased—and has continued to increase. In their last fiscal year, RSM hired nearly 1,016 college interns, 1,129 campus graduates, and 1,727 experienced professionals.
Onboarding: Getting Acclimated at RSM
With a successful recruiting program in place, RSM is able to hire the people it needs to continue to grow and serve its clients—and meet a new challenge: bringing The Power of Being Understood to the nearly 3,900 people it brings onboard each year.
Fortunately, the onboarding tool within Cornerstone’s Recruiting Suite allows RSM to extend the candidate experience through to that critical time between when they decide to join the firm and their first day. This continued introduction to RSM helps give new employees, regardless of the office they work in, a common understanding of the company and its culture. Here, new hires are introduced to “Owning My Future”—RSM’s internal branding for the Cornerstone platform—where they can begin to acclimate to RSM. To help each employee feel The Power of Being Understood even in their early days, RSM leverages the learning management system to personalize onboarding roadmaps based on each individual’s level and line of business to help guide their integration over their first 90 days.
“We refer to everything from Cornerstone as, ‘Owning My Future’ so that we’re really empowering people to do what they need to do for themselves within the organization,” Fritsche says.
Onboarding through the Cornerstone platform also means an introduction to the resources that allow employees to pursue life outside of RSM—from flexible work hours, to the sabbatical program, to a professional coach that helps employees navigate integrating work and life priorities.
Learning: Giving Employees the Tools They Need to Succeed
Once employees find their footing at RSM, they continue to use the Owning My Future platform to access resources personalized to their growth and development at the firm—starting with learning.
Through Cornerstone’s Learning Suite, RSM employees have access to more than 7,816 educational courses that focus on everything from leadership and communication skills to more tactical licensing and certification trainings. In addition to career development, research shows continuous learning can help employees be 52% more productive and 92% more likely to innovate. And this learning drives employee retention: 94% of employees will stay at a company longer if the company invests in their development. With Cornerstone, RSM people feel The Power of Being Understood when relevant courses are suggested based on their current interests and role—helping to drive retention.
With the help of the Owning My Future platform, RSM empowers each individual’s unique career milestones, regardless of where they start in their career journey with the firm.
Performance: Understanding Empowers RSM Employees to Grow
No one knows the importance of performance feedback better than RSM’s Lamkin. In her nearly two decades at RSM, she rose through the ranks—in large part, due to the on-going feedback she received from firm leaders and team members. In her role today, she is laser-focused on applying the same thoughtful feedback to every employee at the continuously growing company—beginning with creating more opportunities to hear that feedback.
As CHRO, Lamkin and her team have worked to phase out annual performance reviews at RSM in favor of more regular performance conversations using Cornerstone’s Performance Suite. Within Cornerstone, they revisited the standards by which employees were being reviewed. The ratings system in place at RSM hadn’t scaled with the company’s growth, leaving many employees feeling like a number on a page. The RSM talent management team worked with business leaders to develop a new career development framework to identify the knowledge, skills and attributes that describe success at various levels of the company.
This framework became the backbone of ongoing performance discussions at RSM. Managers are encouraged to share feedback with employees regularly through the Cornerstone Performance Suite—an effort known as “Project Feedback” internally—and research shows employees feel more engaged when they have regular feedback conversations with their manager. With their previous annual performance review process, according to Talent Management Leader Bansemer, 75% of feedback was received during the last two months of the year.
“Cornerstone has allowed us to shift toward agile performance management, improving the way everyone works,” Bansemer says. “Last quarter, 95% of employees said they had development conversations with their career advisors, 90% said they have been regularly updating progress against their goals, and feedback is given regularly throughout the year—all within Owning My Future.”
RSM’s strong approach to learning and performance means the company also set itself up to manage internal succession—multiplying Lamkin’s story across every department at the firm. As Talent Acquisition Leader, Baron is well-aware of succession’s importance:
“Developing our next-generation of leaders is key to the future success of our firm and our team,” he says.
With the Recruiting, Learning, and Performance Suites securely in place, RSM created a holistic talent experience for both candidates and employees that empower them to do their best work—and feel The Power of Being Understood and valued every day.
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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.
Generali: Investing in people through skills development and personalisation
Generali is an Italian insurance company and is among the top ten largest firms in its sector globally with over 55 million customers. The company operates in a fast-paced environment so is focussed on training and providing ongoing skills development opportunities for its people. However, when the pandemic and lockdown restrictions hit, Generali needed to find a way to pivot its people development programme, and with over 75,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide, this was not going to be an easy task. Beyond making learning accessible for everyone, the company needed to ensure that its learning was both engaging and personalised too. So, Generali created the We LEARN platform, a succinct global platform, powered by Cornerstone OnDemand, with interactive and high-quality courses that allows its people to access learning in their own time, from anywhere in the world. Employees can now tailor, personalise and take control of their own learning. Why Cornerstone? Generali needed a learning platform powerful enough to not only ensure learning content was accessible and easy to consume worldwide, but also pushed its people to learn and identify key skills gaps for a personalised learning experience. The company’s aim is to reskill at least 50% of the workforce by the end of 2021 and equip them to excel in their current and future job roles. To do this, it needed a common working space, that incorporated both interactive and social activities, via a platform that is easily accessible for all to help spread skills across the community. Generali required different levels of training from mandatory training for new starters to highly focussed training for new and emerging roles. Cornerstone’s Learning solution allowed Generali to create its bespoke We LEARN platform to meet these goals by enabling users to access learning tailored directly to them. The Results Prioritising personalised learning: The We LEARN platform is broken down in foundation courses, new role schools, new skills for evolving roles, readymade courses, and local training. This ensures specialised training routes for all learning needs. We LEARN helps Generali’s people to meet expectations through short and interactive ‘sprints’ allowing an agile and bitesize approach to learning. Closing skills gaps: All employees start their journey by undergoing a skills assessment to help them understand where the gaps in their knowledge are. Since implementing the programme, over 20,000 users assessed their skills and 200 new skills courses have been added, with 60 brand news skills identified. Diversified content for futureproofing: With the new role schools and new skills for evolving roles, Generali’s people can make sure that they are aptly equipped to succeed in their current role while futureproofing and preparing for any future changes. The platform is now filled with content for all needs including 5,000 titles on managerial and professional skills from Cornerstone’s Content Anytime offering. All content is available through webinars, set curriculums, shorter content, and gamification so learners can learn in a way that suits them while also having fun. Facilitates life-long engaged learners: In the space of just six months, Generali clocked an average of 21,000 monthly unique user logins and each user is accessing the platform just over 3.6 times per month on average. The platform is clear, simple, easy to use, personalised and inviting, as well as adding value to learners and prioritising their needs. The carrousel style content library with personalised recommendations allows employees to take control of their learning, see the importance and effectiveness of it and adopt it long term. Enabled seamless partner integration with extended enterprise: With Cornerstone’s Extended Enterprise, Nestlé has been able to set up personalised learning portals dedicated to partner training in one place for a smooth and seamless learning experience. This training is also highly accessible as coffee concession employees can complete training while at work on their mobile phones.
4finance: lending a hand in talent management and learning
4finance is one of Europe’s largest digital consumer lending groups. Leveraging data-driven insights and automation, 4finance offers instalment loans, lines of credit and single payment loans, designed to meet customer needs. Headquartered in Latvia, with additional offices in London, Luxembourg and Miami, 4finance has grown rapidly, boasting operations in 15 countries and issuing loans worth over €7 billion in total. The company aims to continue its growth, offering simple, useful and transparent products to millions of its customers. As with much of the financial industry, 4finance’s HR processes and systems were basic. Learning was only taking place via external training with minimal content available, and administration tasks became a burden for the HR team. Each office used different methods of processing information, making global reporting challenging. Why Cornerstone? 4finance emphasizes it’s use of cutting-edge technology within its services, priding itself on offering the very best expertise to its customers. It was important that this messaging was echoed internally, treating employees as if they are customers. With this in mind, a one-stop-shop system was required to unify processes, making them more efficient and employee-focused. As a company who strives on growth, career progression was an important factor for 4finance. Cornerstone’s solution not only offered the necessary content to help employees improve their skills, it also offered the tools to help recognise skills gaps within the organisation’s and individual’s portfolio. The clear vision presented to the HR team with the employee and business front of mind made Cornerstone the number one choice for 4finance. The Results Award-winning internal training. Continued development has always been a key pillar at 4finance. LevelUp is a peer-to-peer learning programme implemented in Cornerstone, that allows employees to grow by teaching others the first-hand knowledge of the business. It empowers and connects employees, allowing discussions that spark new ideas. The LevelUp programme has earned 4finance several awards including HR Project of the Year and Best Productive Learning & Development Project. Better data management. Before Cornerstone, employee data was disordered, making it challenging to prove HR’s impact on the wider business. Now, 4finance has all its employee and HR data in one place, with the highest quality of data achieved. The centralised reporting system also allows for better cost-planning and budgeting as well as more accurate global reporting, giving HR an important seat at the table when it comes to wider business decisions. Improved efficiency. Cornerstone has given the HR team an opportunity to focus more on leadership development by launching a 360 Leadership Review for Group Managers. The whole assessment process is done via Cornerstone. As all the data was stored in the system, it alleviated much of the admin burden from the HR department. As a result, it was possible to identify the leadership gaps and improvement areas. Dedicated to learning. During the coronavirus crisis, where feelings of uncertainty thrived externally, 4finance used learning and upskilling to create stability and show their investment in people’s futures. Having access to learning during remote working also meant that employees at 4finance didn’t have to halt their learning and could continue to enhance their skills without physically being in a training room. Putting people first. “We put people first” is one of 4finance’s most treasured values as an employer and thanks to Cornerstone, the messaging has gained even more momentum across all offices. Employees can now take charge of their own career development, choosing their own training plans to follow, leading to more growth opportunities in the business.