This year’s Cornerstone Convergence was like no other—but then again, this entire year has been like no other. Though virtual, the conference had no shortage of announcements, energy and predictions for the future as attendees gathered remotely to reflect on the changing world of work. The consensus? Work is undergoing perhaps its biggest transformation yet, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Employers have the opportunity to help employees thrive under today’s difficult conditions and emerge more productive, engaged and happy on the other end. How? Read on for our top five takeaways from Convergence 2020 and learn more ways to set your workforce up for success, resilience and growth and check out this recap video for more!
1. Change Is Constant
It’s tempting to believe that there will come a day when the pandemic is over, and disruption will cease. But even if COVID-19 disappears tomorrow, change will always happen one way or another. Whether it’s technology that redefines a certain element of work, or a law that shakes up hiring practices, there’s no way to know what’s coming next. But that doesn’t mean companies can’t prepare, Cornerstone CEO Phil Saunders said during his Convergence keynote.
The best way to get ready for change is to accept its inevitability, and embrace it as an opportunity for healthy transformation and growth, recommended Jeff Miller, Cornerstone’s CLO and VP of Organizational Effectiveness,
2. Learning Is Key For Thriving Through Disruption
Learning is fundamental to developing the kind of nimbleness that work today requires. From soft skills that make workers more flexible, to hard skills that are required for some roles and everyday tasks, gaining knowledge means personal growth and better professional contributions, analyst Josh Bersin explained. Skills are the currency of the future, and while it’s up to employees to seek learning and development, it’s also up to employers to provide the right learning platform and content.
To be effective, learning content has to be easy-to-digest, relevant and delivered when it’s most needed, typically in the flow of work. And, the platform that content is delivered through must be smart, user-friendly and dynamic, constantly evolving to meet changing needs. "Imagine a tomorrow where skills are obsolete in months not years. Where careers are a portfolio, not a life-time job. Where reskilling, upskilling and unlearning is everyone's job. Welcome to the New Normal," Ira Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions said, reflecting on the Convergence conference.
3. Transformation Requires the Right Toolset
One of the key themes at this year’s Convergence was that anyone can be extraordinary and unbound, meaning uninhibited by yesterday’s constraints or today’s obstacles. But this level of transformation requires technology to enable it, Heidi Spirgi, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, said. Tools like blockchain, skills ontologies, AI and machine learning will play a role in making work better by optimizing key "people" processes, like performance management, hiring and employee development.
"A robot isn’t going to take your job. But unless you master tomorrow’s most important workplace characteristic—adaptability—you may give your job away to one," Wolfe said.
4. Personalized Journeys Will Drive Employee Engagement
Gone are the days of career "ladders." There’s no pre-defined template for development as employees gain more autonomy than ever in shaping their careers, developing their skills and growing as individuals. To support efforts like succession planning and prevent challenges like organizational skills gaps, employers must recognize the importance of personalized employee journeys and facilitate them, providing ample ways for employees to identify their goals and attain new skills.
When given the freedom and resources to learn and challenge themselves, employees will step up to the plate, eventually rising to fill greater roles as they gain new skills—even without a metaphorical "ladder" to climb.
5. Technology Is Important, but Humanity Matters Most
While technology will continue to play an increasingly important role at work, humanity still matters above all else, said Vincent Belliveau, Cornerstone’s EMEA Chief Executive. People should be at the center of every organizational decision, whether it’s the introduction of a different remote work policy, the adoption of cutting edge tools or the rollout of a new initiative.
From iterating DE&I practices to reflect the growing calls for social change, to providing adequate support to working parents as they navigate their new normal, there are so many difficult challenges to solve in the months ahead. As employers and employees continue to grapple with these difficult questions, our shared humanity is the only way forward.
Missed Cornerstone Convergence? Visit: www.cornerstoneconvergence.com. All sessions are available on demand until October 31, 2020. And keep the conversation going! Follow Cornerstone Convergence 2020 on social media channels, visit: Twitter @CSODConvergence, Instagram @CornerstoneOnDemand and Facebook @Cornerstoneconvergence. You can engage with the conversation using #CSODConf20.
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Learning Technologies 2022: key takeaways and learnings
Missed us at Learning Technologies 2022 this year? Here’s a roundup of our activities and sessions at the event. It was great to be back face to face, chatting all things learning and development. It was also the first opportunity to hear the findings from our latest Cornerstone People Research Lab Report, our enlightening global survey on everything skills development. These are some key findings from the Report: Employers and employees aren’t fully aligned on current skills focus. There continues to be a significant Skills Confidence gap between employers and employees when it comes to confidence in their organisation’s current ability to help them develop new skills. This gap not only persisted from 2020, but - on average - grew wider. Employees are not confident their companies are prioritising skills in the future. The research revealed that only 55% of employees are confident in their organisation’s future prioritisation of new skilling opportunities for them. The Skills Confidence Gap narrowed or widened depending on organisational strength. High-performing organisations (HPOs) had a much smaller gap between employees and employers. HPOs not only prioritised skill development at a much higher level than their peers, but their employees also agreed with them — with only an 11% gap between employer and employee perception. Meanwhile, Laggards (low-performing organisations) not only rated their prioritisation of skill development much lower, but less than 20% of employees in those organisations also agreed that skills development is an important objective — a 42% gap. Key Cornerstone executives such as Mark Debono, VP of UK, Ireland and the Middle East and Mark Lamswood, Regional Director of Content at Cornerstone as well as valued customers NSPCC, Essex County Council and DP DHL were all in attendance to share their industry insights and their own compelling stories. Here's a rundown on some of the sessions that were held: Mark Debono: Powering a future-ready workforce On the first day of Learning Technologies, Mark Debono, hosted a session unpacking some of the key messages from our Cornerstone Skills Report. Mark discussed how the playing field has fundamentally changed in the world of work, and the winners are the ones who can collaborate and engage with their workforce. Mark also delved into some of the most common challenges and opportunities facing every organisation including the skills shortage and shared actionable insights on how to efficiently scale your business’s growth and development plans. A key takeaway from the session Mark hosted, was that talent leaders hold the golden thread of connecting people with growth opportunities, bringing in new talent, alongside optimising future-readiness for all. Mark Lamswood and Sarah Spence: Content takes centre stage - How the pandemic and great resignation are super-charging L&D Mark Lamswood and Sarah Spence, Senior Solution Consultant at Cornerstone together discussed how to engage employees and make work, learning and development meaningful for everyone. As we know, learning has changed for good: employees expect personalised, on-demand and impactful development approaches. These are some interesting stats and insights from the session: Interest in learning increased six-fold during the pandemic 4.63 million minutes of learning has been consumed in the UK over the last twelve months On average, interest in learning has tripled, with key topics ranging from unconscious bias, diversity, equity and inclusion to mental health and effective communication NSPCC: Re-imagining the learner experience to improve outcomes for children The session hosted by one of our customers, the NSPCC, was certainly interesting as they discussed how they’re using Cornerstone technology to reimagine the learner experience for Childline, improving outcomes for child wellbeing through learning and development. They elaborated on their approach of blended learning, improving digital accessibility, and making sure all learners can come together to share resources. NSPCC shared their journey of how they have successfully integrated the Cornerstone learning platform and their vision for 2031. It was a brilliant event that led to insightful discussions and informative sessions and indeed fostered a learning environment for all who attended. To read more on the Cornerstone Research Lab Report “Addressing the Global Skills Shortage: Your Path Through the Wilderness” please click here.
Cornerstone + SumTotal
Everything Cornerstone accomplished in Q2
The first quarter of 2022 was a pretty great one for Cornerstone. You may have read our blog about everything we accomplished. So when we say that this quarter exceeded the high expectations we had coming out of Q1, know that we mean it. Mainly because we wouldn't have written this blog if we didn't. In the second quarter of 2022, we were all about growth. Growth in our people, capabilities, expertise and ambitions. Here are just a few of the things we accomplished in Q2: Uncovered leading trends across our industry Expanded our teams and capabilities Secured exciting wins with and for our customers Received consistent recognition from global industry expert Each of these achievements helped cement our position as a leader in learning, skills development, content, and AI-powered people experiences. And even with all that, there's still more to say about what Cornerstone accomplished in Q2. Identifying leading trends across the skills development landscape We kicked things off in a big way in Q2 with the release of our second global research study, Thriving in the Global Skills Shortage: Your Path Through the Wilderness. The report placed a bright spotlight on organisational trends in the evolving skills development landscape, with a specific focus on the widening employee-employer Skills Confidence Gap and the ongoing sense of urgency surrounding skills and talent shortages. The top three key findings from our research were: Employers and employees aren’t fully aligned on skill prioritisation Employees are not confident their organisations are prioritising skills in the future The Skills Confidence Gap narrowed or widened depending on organisational strength Cornerstone CEO Himanshu Palsule summed it up best, calling the research findings a demonstration of "how organisations and their people continue to see skills development as an increasingly important part of navigating their shared future successfully.” Remaining intentional in our business expansions We acquired a full other company this quarter. And we made definitive plans to acquire another. This is how we really kicked our “growth” into full gear. In Q2, we proudly completed the acquisition of EdCast, and with it promoted our intentions to revolutionise the learning landscape. Together, our teams have united and shared ambitious goals to solve the most critical talent and business demands we're seeing in work today. We can’t wait to watch as our shared vision comes to life. The Cornerstone and EdCast teams got to work quickly, announcing an exciting Zoom integration that will embed learning and training tools to help drive productivity and upskilling. And what comes next after the completion of one acquisition? Plans for a second, of course. We quickly followed the completion of our EdCast acquisition with the announcement of our definitive plans to acquire SumTotal. Now, we can’t share too much just yet, but we can say that this partnership will introduce some seriously impactful improvements for our customers in how they identify and develop the skills of the future, engage and grow their people, and adapt to organisational agility. EdCast and SumTotal weren’t the only newcomers on the block, however. We also welcomed two powerhouse leaders to our executive team: Ryan Courson joined Cornerstone as our chief financial officer. A fun fact about Ryan? He previously served as the youngest CFO of a public company, the Seaspan Corporation (no big deal!). Carina Cortez also joined Cornerstone as our chief people officer. Coming from Glassdoor as their CPO, Carina brings a unique perspective on the power of people growth and strong company cultures. Customer success all around the world Q2 was no exception when it came to helping our customers create purpose in what they do. Our successful efforts to help bring their organisations to the next level were reflected in our customers’ expanded partnership offerings, relationship extensions, and many new customers. Just a few of the legacy customers that saw more success with Cornerstone this quarter include: Smith and Nephew CDN UNHCR META O’Neal Allegis Group AmeriHealth Caritas Viking Group Inc. Americold Logistics Indiana Packers Corporation The National Bank of Indianapolis Ziggy’s Home Improvement Vital Farms Vensure Employer Services And new customers finding success as they start their journeys with Cornerstone: Grammar AG ASML Chewy Texas Commission TOI Management Many of our customers took their success to the big screen, garnering award-winning recognition. A special shout out to Suntory Holdings, Cardinal Health, DPDHL, and Estee Lauder Companies for securing big wins from the 2022 Chief Learning Officer in the Learning Elite Awards. Each of these customers was recognised for best-in-class levels of performance across five dimensions: learning strategy, leadership commitment, learning execution, learning impact, and business performance results We're just happy to be a part of it. Our customers weren’t the only ones winning in Q2 Seeing our customers thrive is always a win for us. We don’t mind accepting a little love from our industry, too. Cornerstone received a flurry of recognition from established industry experts and reports, including: Recognition as a Strategic Challenger in the Fosway 9-Grid™ for Talent Acquisition Ranking in HRO Today's L&D Baker's Dozen Named a Leader for Worldwide Modern Talent Acquisition Within Talent Management and Worldwide Modern Talent Acquisition by IDC MarketScape Winner of the 2022 Craig Weiss Top-Ten Learning Systems eLearning Industry’s Top Extended Enterprise Learning Management Systems List Rated as a Leader by HerbertNathan & Co. in the first Scandinavian LMS Report We also welcomed several meaningful awards in Q2 for our products, industry influence, and original content. Some highlights include: TrustRadius Top Rated Awards for Talent Management Winner Women Impact Tech 100 Honoree Top 100 HR Tech Influencers Winner Inspiring Workplaces Enterprise Finalist HR Tech Awards Winner for Best Advance in Practical AI in Talent Development 6-time Telly Award Winner for Cornerstone Originals for excellence in Diversity & Inclusion, Workplace Culture, Sustainability, and Corporate Training Q3 and beyond With the news of our intention to acquire SumTotal, there’s no doubt we will see even greater opportunities to help a larger, more diverse group of customers in Q3. Stay tuned for more on that in the second half of 2022. In the meantime, we’ll keep investing in our products, cross-functionality, and customer engagement to take our people experience, learning, and talent initiatives to the next level. We don’t take all these accomplishments lightly, and we’re proud to say that we’re on a clear path to changing the game in learning, skills development, content, people experiences and so much more. Be sure to check back in Q3 to see the latest and greatest from Cornerstone!