Customer Story

Symphony RetailAI and Cognita Schools: Successfully deploying a centralised HR process while meeting local needs

When you’re a global organisation, the idea of remote work is hardly novel. Coordinating employees spread across different countries and time zones has always been part of the job for HR departments of widespread organisations. However, managing this complexity is never easy, and success lies in choosing the right strategy: Is it better to have multiple decentralised local approaches, or a single centralised global one? Besides having a global footprint, Symphony RetailAI and Cognita Schools couldn’t be any more different. Yet they have both found success in managing their global teams by adopting similar approaches that leverage an AI-powered platform.

How did AI make remote work both doable and effective?

Both Symphony RetailAI and Cognita Schools, who already used Cornerstone HCM solution, leveraged this further to ease the transition into full-scale remote working during the pandemic. For many of their employees located across different countries, to whom remote work was very familiar, using one system helped to streamline communication, as well as make HR information (such as contact info, company policies and more) easy to access and update for all. At Symphony RetailAI, employees were given access to materials pertaining to mental health and remote work, to enable them to access support on-demand. Meanwhile, Cognita Schools incorporated their onboarding programme into the Cornerstone platform, making it simple for new starters to navigate the new world of work.

How has this system benefitted the mental wellbeing of employees?

Symphony RetailAI and Cognita Schools have both made mental wellbeing a top priority during the pandemic. Symphony RetailAI ensured that access to relevant support was easily available to all employees. The company invested in mental health training packages, some of which could be self-directed, to appeal to those who may want to self-support. Symphony Retail AI also promoted communities to encourage managers to share their knowledge and experiences. As Symphony Retail AI introduced quarterly check-ins this year, Cognita Schools is already benefitting from this particular functionality. In fact, through employee feedback, Cognita Schools discovered that scheduled check-ins for a specific time and date actually caused more stress than it alleviated. So instead, employees are now free to take charge of their own check-ins, scheduling and moving them around as they please and booking them as often as they choose. This flexibility has enabled Cognita Schools to adapt to the needs of its employees.

How is Symphony RetailAI using the platform to answer questions about and promote inclusion?

Having an inclusive culture at work is critical for a healthy workforce and organisational success. Symphony RetailAI conducted a survey to assess employees’ perception of its efforts to be a diverse and inclusive employer. Whilst scores were extremely high, the company wants to continue the conversation around diversity as well as expand its initiatives to promote an inclusive culture. Symphony RetailAI has invested in diversity and inclusion training packages, including unconscious bias training that now forms part of the onboarding process. Applicants applying to jobs through the platform are anonymised to avoid any bias in early-stage recruitment, and the system itself is run in several languages.

How can using an AI-powered HR platform ensure employee medical information is collected and stored securely?

For Cognita Schools, Cornerstone’s functionality has proven indispensable when it comes to collecting and storing medical information. Cognita Schools experienced challenges surrounding the amount of medical information being stored across systems in different details for different purposes in different places. Using one platform to collect and store this sensitive data, where information is inputted directly by the employee, has not only saved time from an HR administration point of view, but also made the storage and updating of this information far more efficient, secure and compliant.

A global, centralised strategy has brought many benefits to Cognita Schools and Symphony RetailAI. Using Cornerstone’s platform both cuts down on time-consuming administrative tasks, while also giving employees an easy and intuitive way to interact with HR on various levels to improve their experience.

About Symphony RetailAI

Symphony RetailAI is a leading global provider of role-specific, AI-powered revenue growth management solutions and customer-centric insights for retailers and CPG manufacturers across the entire value chain. Our proven, industry-leading, AI-enabled software, coupled with the industry’s only conversational natural-language AI interface, CINDE, provides key users with proven prescriptive and preemptive recommendations that make it easy to identify end-to-end growth opportunities, activate plans, and realize measurable profit and revenue growth. Our solutions are specific to key decision-maker roles focused on profitable growth across the retail value chain from source to consumer. With our strong global partner ecosystem, we serve more than 1,200 organizations worldwide, including 15 of the top 25 global grocery retailers, 25 of the top 25 global CPG manufacturers, thousands of retail brands, and hundreds of national and regional chains. Symphony RetailAI is a SymphonyAI company. More at Symphony RetailAI.

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Spotlight on Electrolux and Ageas: Preparing for and maintaining impactful learning programs

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Driving business outcomes from an investment in learning content requires an engagement strategy that makes learning materials available and accessible to employees. Organisations need to launch and maintain learning programmes effectively to ensure they have maximum impact on both employees and the business as a whole. Both Ageas and Electrolux have successfully launched digital learning programmes, each taking steps to maintain and sustain engagement. How did Electrolux prepare to launch its learning campaign? Electrolux manages organizational learning and knowledge management with formal learning networks, Internet-based knowledge, as well as a company-own education facility. Learner engagement is one of the most important aspects for Electrolux to continuously develop talents. Therefore, Electrolux offers a plan for a learner engagement campaign that includes four main steps. 1. Knowing your audience Electrolux conducted interviews with employees to ensure the company’s learning and development strategy would meet their needs. In doing so, the company was able to connect learning content with the right audience. 2. Connecting it to your brand Electrolux believes using familiar, consistent branding helps make learning more memorable to create a long-term impact on its employees' behaviours. 3. Make it relevant and engaging Based on external and internal insights, Electrolux discovered that more frequent quarterly learner programmes cultivated higher levels of employee engagement than one large campaign launch. Employees were also awarded badges for each completed course, with leader boards to gamify the learning experience and motivate employees to participate. 4. Track performance for key insights Electrolux tracked and used metrics from the programme to gain deeper insights about its course completion rates. Using a previous campaign as a benchmark, Electrolux found that the success of their new learning strategy exceeded expectations. How did Ageas build an impactful learning content strategy? Ageas launched its digital learning platform two years ago but has always been conscious not to overwhelm employees with its vast library of learning material available. Ageas adopted a three-pillar strategy to reduce unnecessary noise and guide its people to the right learning content to spur their growth and development. 1. Generate one voice Key messages were planned each month from business, wellbeing and learning perspectives. These key messages were conveyed through links and content shared on Ageas’s digital platform to ensure messaging was aligned and consistent. 2. Make it relevant Ageas created its own competency framework to guide learners and help connect them with the most relevant learning materials. One such framework is “Technical Heroes”, which consists of nine core competencies that employees see right away on the landing page, each with links to relevant materials. By specifying the key areas of development and making learning material easy to access and navigate, learners are able to focus on what is most relevant to them. 3. Weave learning content into the digital onboarding journey Ageas has integrated its remote onboarding processes into the digital learning platform. Leveraging a combination of suggested learning materials (specific to the job or function of the employee) and live induction sessions has enabled a smoother, more consistent onboarding process. The impact of a successful learning strategy Investing in the best learning materials is only half of the equation. If learners are not interacting and engaging with the materials, the investment is not accomplishing its purpose. Learning must be at the core of every business decision, and leaders must inspire employees to take charge of their own development journeys. With a collective growth mindset throughout the business, the opportunities for innovation are vast.

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