Spokane Teachers Credit Union Case Study
1 November 2021
Founded in 1934, STCU has long realized the value of continuous learning. “We’ve always had a really strong development culture,” said Derek Tyree, director of talent development at STCU.
Yet STCU’s commitment to employee learning wasn’t well served by the credit union’s existing learning management system (LMS). “There was a lot of negativity toward the system,” said Tyree. “Our old LMS was seen by employees as a compliance tool that they had to use. It certainly wasn’t a system they wanted to use.” This attitude impeded the team’s efforts to switch from a push to a pull learning strategy.
STCU engaged in a comprehensive RFP process. “We knew that Cornerstone could provide us with the content library, flexibility, and scalability to meet our development needs,” said Tyree. The team also wanted an LMS that would address key administrative challenges, including tracking and reporting, development planning, and integration with other systems including ADP.
The Cornerstone implementation team played a key role in ensuring an effective rollout. “I really appreciated the way that Cornerstone responded. I loved that part of the relationship, Cornerstone’s openness and willingness to listen,” said Tyree.
Enabled self-directed learning.
Empowering learners is a core part of STCU’s development philosophy. “Only nine months into launching the LMS, we were up to 700 hours of self-directed learning that wasn’t part of a formal learning plan. Prior, we were getting less than 20 hours of training per year,” said Tyree. “It’s the greatest thing because our employees are embracing learning for learning’s sake, not because they have to. We have classes on technical, soft, and leadership skills that aren’t required, via the CyberU content library within Cornerstone, and people are signing up for them.”
Improved employee engagement.
STCU teaches Instructor-Led Training (ILT) classes for member service and other soft skills while leveraging the LMS for any pre-work and post-work course assignments. “When we look at our overall engagement numbers, talent development and training has always come up as a major reason that people feel engaged. Employees know that we’re invested and supportive of their growth, not just professionally, but personally,” said Tyree.
Increased user adoption.
The team saw implementation as an opportunity to both install Cornerstone and reevaluate existing processes. “Our whole goal around implementation was to take the LMS from being a system that employees were required to visit, to a system that employees wanted to visit,” said Sara Spurlock, talent development manager at STCU. “We focused on three areas—content, user experience, and collaboration.” The team branded the Cornerstone interface to reflect the STCU brand and also invited employees to name the new LMS. “They came up with EmpowerU, which really speaks to our culture of learning. Whether they’re learning about desk yoga, Spanish or leadership, EmpowerU is a resource for them to enhance their skill set.”
Reduced administrative burden.
One of STCU's top priorities when searching for a new LMS was to find a system that would free administrators from tedious, repetitive work that took them away from valuable L&D initiative. “Today it takes just one click to create a report,” said Spurlock. Being more efficient is a must, but for Tom Dotson, senior instructional technology specialist at STCU, Cornerstone goes one step further. The system enables him to say “yes” more often to managers and employees. “I have a lot of people come to me with requests. Can Cornerstone do this? Can we incorporate this into Cornerstone? I’m constantly able to say, ‘Yes, we can do that. Yes, we can add that.’ As an administrator, that’s a great feeling.”
Enhanced reporting capabilities.
Prior, STCU had little access to meaningful metrics on employee learning, but they are setting baselines and accessing real-time insight into development initiatives. “We tracked 18,000 hours of training of all types in 2018,” said Tyree. “I can finally pull great data and provide really good comparisons on our programs. We can see where improvements need to be made.” The team will begin using the data to benchmark STCU’s development programs against other credit unions and banks. “We’re making an investment in our people and can now show the results of that initiative.”