Nitto Denko Corporation: Unifying the training environment globally and promoting learning with excellent UX/UI

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As a high-performance materials manufacturer, Nitto Denko continues to pioneer new applications, products and demand in various fields, expanding its market globally and achieving continuous growth. The company, which considers its people to be its most valuable asset, focuses on personnel development and on supporting challenges in their work and learning.

They faced an issue in HR development. They wanted to create an environment that would promote learning for their human resources in various locations and group companies around the world. They also needed to quickly understand their achievements for information disclosure by centrally managing their educational records globally.

Through Cornerstone Learning CSX, the company has established a learning management system (LMS) to allow the use of basic training managed by headquarters unique to each organization, while in conjunction with external learning content services. On a company-wide training platform with an excellent UX/UI, learning and challenges are accelerating on a global scale.

  • Key Challenges: Uniform management of global educational history to promote learning and develop diverse human resources.
  • Implemented Solution: Cornerstone LMS
  • User numbers at implementation: 9,000 (as of November 2023)
  • Result: Information gathering for human capital disclosure has become more efficient

An LMS as a platform for organizational culture reform

Based on unique adhesive and coating technologies, Nitto Denko provides various intermediate materials to industries such as electronics, automobiles, housing, infrastructure, environment and medical. Anticipating market changes, the company, which is promoting a niche top strategy with its high technical capabilities, is a global company with production/sales bases around the world.The ratio of overseas sales to revenue exceeds 80% and 65% of its employees are overseas.

In its medium-term management plan “Nitto for Everyone 2025,” Nitto is working to reform its organizational culture meet their people and team challenges. This includes transforming their personnel and training systems to enable diverse talent to thrive, while also accelerating human capital inclusion initiatives. According to Marie Nakano, Associated Manager, Planning & Development Group, Strategic Planning Department, Human Resources Management Division, the LMS is one of the core foundations of this focus.

"Our company's corporate culture is one of enjoying challenges in everything we do,” she says. “We are developing and utilizing the LMS as a training platform to promote challenges in each individual's career and self-improvement.”

(From the left) Ms. Nakano, Mr. Kodama, and Ms. Tsuruda

A streamlined LMS for global expansion and human capital visualization

Nitto has three specific objectives for implementing and utilizing the LMS.

The first is “the global expansion of education.” Previously, Nitto lacked a global universal training platform and each region and group company conducted its own training. Basic training that all employees in the group receive, such as safety education (NCS: Nitto Cultivation System), was also managed by each region and company. This was challenging as the head office could not quickly roll out the latest version with updated content across the globe.

"That's why we decided to create the Nitto global common training platform to provide learning content quickly across the globe," says Nakano.

The second is the “visualization of human capital.” Nitto is promoting the disclosure of human capital information to improve its corporate value. It is focusing on the management of employee education history. Previously, each region and company education manager recorded education history in Excel. This made it difficult and time-consuming to grasp educational status across the company on a quarterly basis. A common training platform was essential to quickly obtain this information globally and disclose it to internal and external stakeholders.

The third objective of Nitto's LMS is to “enhance employee education opportunities.” Nitto has been promoting initiatives to improve employee engagement, such as job posting, which it began on a trial basis in 2022.

“Improving education opportunities is one of these initiatives,” says Nakano, “and we needed to provide a training environment and learning content that employees can easily use on a daily basis.”

Going with Cornerstone

Nitto's LMS had the following main requirements:

  • An excellent user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) to encourage self-directed learning
  • Provision of flexible learning content based on user attributes (affiliation, job type, position, interests, and career goals)
  • Supportive of global deployment (multilingual support, compliance with local laws and regulations, and support for overseas offices)
  • Flexible permission settings allowing head office governance and management of the entire LMS while assigning some management authority to education managers in each region, company, and department outside of HR
  • Generation of various reports on the learning status of users
  • Integration with various external learning content services

Nitto was already using a global SaaS-based HR system from an overseas vendor, and initially planned to use the LMS option for the same system. However, following a small-scale trial, this product failed to meet several important requirements.

“Each department and group company has its own education manager handling the training required, and the LMS has to assign some management authority to these managers,” Nakano says. “However, the initially planned LMS product did not permit fine-tuned authority settings, and its UX/UI was also difficult to use. So the trial introduction did not go well.”

Therefore, the HR Department, supported by the IT Department, heard from Japanese companies using the same LMS product globally.

“We found out that it was not suitable for our intended purpose and that other companies were also having difficulty implementing it,” reveals Nakano.

After deciding to restart the product selection process, Nitto conducted a survey of LMS products used by companies that had implemented the same HR system globally. Nitto identified Cornerstone Learning CSX as a candidate product. Cornerstone Learning CSX has a major share of the main global solutions market, a great track record of adoption in Japan, and met Nitto's requirements. After hearing from Japanese companies using Cornerstone Learning CSX globally, the company decided to adopt Cornerstone Learning CSX in December 2022.

Promoting utilization through all-you-can-learn Content and skill maps

From January 2023, Nitto started to introduce Cornerstone, beginning in its Japanese HQ.

“We implemented a number of measures alongside this to promote employee learning,” explains Keiko Tsuruda, Planning & Development Group, Strategic Planning Department, Human Resources Management Division. “To make everyone want to use the LMS on a daily basis, we have enriched the external learning content with general education and business courses, and allowed those who are keen to take any course they want to for a certain period of time. Specifically, we have added Udemy Business to the GLOBIS Unlimited Learning Program, which we have been using for some time.”

Nitto has also created “skill maps" to help employees without the motivation for self-development. These maps summarize the human and business skills required for each position at Nitto. The company has also listed and published recommended courses to improve each of these skills. These are drawn from existing training content and all-you-can-learn content.

“We hope this will help employees who are unsure of how to use the learning content available',” says Tsuruda.

The excellent user-oriented UX/UI has facilitated the tool's spread throughout the company

After several months of using Cornerstone for approximately 9,000 employees at the company since July 2023, Ms. Nakano noticed that there were very few inquiries from users.

“Normally, you get a lot of questions about how to use a system immediately after it is introduced, and need time to respond,” says Nakano. “However, Cornerstone has a user-oriented, easy-to-use UX/UI, and we receive very few inquiries. We are very grateful that this is the case.

Focusing Nitto's training environment on Cornerstone has allowed the company to quickly collect information for human capital disclosure.

“Previously, we collected and manually aggregated quarterly data from each training manager in Excel format,” Nakano relates. “However, with Cornerstone, we can now check the latest training status at any time, including external content. We expect to see the status of training by each region, company, and department, which we were not able to grasp as a whole company in the past.”

Nitto plans to fully deploy Cornerstone in its domestic group companies and overseas bases from April 2024, and to promote its use with its global workforce of around 20,000 employees. Cornerstone will also be used to deliver new annual company-wide training programs and manage attendance at face-to-face training programs.

“Cornerstone has created an environment for Nitto to develop and utilize human resources globally. In future, we will continue to support the growth and challenges of employees around the world using this training platform,” says Nakano.

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Nitto Denko leistet als Hersteller von High Performance-Materialien Pionierarbeit bei der Entwicklung neuer Anwendungen, Produkte und der Nachfrage in verschiedenen Bereichen,. Nitto Denko erweitert seine Märkte weltweit und erzielt ein kontinuierliches Wachstum. Das Unternehmen betrachtet seine Mitarbeitenden als wertvollste Ressource. Deshalb fokussiert es auf die Personalentwicklung und unterstützt die Mitarbeitenden bei Herausforderungen am Arbeitsplatz und beim Learning.

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