State of Nebraska: Preventing talent attrition and improving training at the State of Nebraska

Situated on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States, Nebraska has a population of 2 million and is a major producer of beef, pork, corn and soybeans. The State of Nebraska employs 17,000 people across 80 divergent agencies, which range in size from two to 6,000 employees.

Since 2001, Nebraska state personnel had been operating with a limited human resources (HR) technology infrastructure that primarily functioned as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Although integrated with payroll and benefits, the system lacked functionality in key operations such as learning, performance and succession, and reporting capabilities were extremely limited. In addition, because the State allowed each of its 80 agencies to customize the data independent of any statewide directive, the same data fields were used in 80 different ways.

Why Cornerstone

When Governor Dave Heineman challenged the State of Nebraska to operate as one employer, state personnel faced the complicated task of consolidating 80 talent management methodologies into a single, statewide system. The department immediately began the search for a comprehensive software solution that would facilitate the standardization of HR processes across the state, deliver relevant, actionable metrics, and allow for the identification of current talent, skills, gaps and relevant training.

After a comprehensive review of leading talent management systems, state personnel implemented Cornerstone’s cloud-based solution. “Having an integrated suite was paramount to us,” said Ruth Jones, director of state personnel for the State of Nebraska. “First, we don’t have the staff to manage multiple interfaces. Second, we have highly demanding agencies, and they need to be able to access real-time, updated data. Cornerstone makes this possible.”

The Results

Fostered employee engagement. Using Cornerstone Learning, the State provides targeted development opportunities designed to improve performance—and ensure the right person is in the right job. “Engagement is a big deal for us,” said Charles Roberson, organization effectiveness manager at State of Nebraska. “These blended training opportunities keep our employees more engaged. And engaged employees are happier and more productive.”

Prevented talent attrition to the private sector. Amid restricted budgets and increasing retirements, retaining high-performing talent is a primary concern for the State. Cornerstone Performance has enabled the State to both engage and promote talent internally between agencies. “We don’t want to lose our high-performing individuals to the private sector. Yet they may already be at the highest level in their current agency,” said Jones. “With Cornerstone, we can not only track training and performance across multiple agencies, but move high-performing employees from agency to agency.”

Attracted and retained millennials. With Learning, the State can offer millennials dynamic learning and social opportunities, key to engaging a generation that places a premium on collaboration. “Traditionally, people have viewed state employment as lacking upward mobility or technological advancement. As we draw in younger talent, we need to be more flexible and show we’re doing a lot of fun and exciting things,” said Roberson. “Cornerstone helps us achieve this with more engaging learning opportunities, individual career paths and social collaboration.”

Improved compliance management. Via Cornerstone, state personnel can now access a holistic view of the agencies’ development and compliance metrics, including training hours per employee, training associated with accreditation standards and status of required classes. This enables the State of Nebraska to better manage compliance across all agencies.

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