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Higher education tips, guides, and best practices
How to go from attrition to attraction
Cornerstone recently attended the CUPA-HR Virtual CHRO Summit, which provides leaders in higher education the chance to meet, hear from thought leaders, and discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for higher education HR. The past two years and the pandemic have seen higher education facing a number of challenges, including how to manage a virtual workforce, teaching in a virtual world, a decline in student enrollment and a high turnover of employees. The Summit sessions provided insight and actionable steps for CHROs. Here are our top takeaways from the event and how Cornerstone can help higher ed overcome the challenges in the market today. Challenge 1: Attrition The Great Resignation has impacted every industry across the country (perhaps the world). The pandemic provided employees with time to reevaluate what they wanted from their professional life. The result has been record-high turnover as employees look for more flexibility, higher salary and better work-life balance. Job resignations are still up 23% above pre-pandemic levels and are showing no signs of slowing down. The high labor demand is pushing employers to pay higher wages, which presents a unique problem for higher education: Competing for wages with the private sector is a futile battle. Many CHROs at the event shared that higher education no longer feels relevant. The public industry's advantages — retirement benefits, healthcare, and longevity — are not valued by younger generations. Challenge 2: Attraction The challenge of younger generations valuing flexibility and pay over the benefits is not going away anytime soon. Without the ability to compete, it will be essential for higher ed to focus on their internal talent. The best way to help people achieve their full potential and stay with your organization is to provide opportunities for development. That means investing in the technology and learning content necessary to provide your people with the career pathing and development they crave. Many institutions are still using archaic systems that are cumbersome and antithetical to creating a culture of learning. Institutions need the tools to build personalized skill profiles for employees that can help identify non-traditional candidates and create career pathways for people that might otherwise have been overlooked. A robust skills profile tied to learning content empowers employees and higher education institutions alike. Challenge 3: Retention Give your people a reason to stay, grow and develop with you. The future belongs to organizations with the courage and mindset needed to reimagine how they work. The right learning culture and technology to power it can help higher education institutions: Design personalized skill development and a path to get there Define career paths and set goals Find engaging, relevant content that matches the skills employees want to develop Explore careers that are a fit for those skills Connect with coaches and mentors who have mastered skills Connect to an internal marketplace of job opportunities that align with skills In a poll at the conference, the most valued skill needs in their leader was confidence and the most lacking skill in leadership was communication. Keep learning at the next CUPA-HR Virtual Spring Conference Join Cornerstone at the next virtual summit on April 19-22. You’ll have more opportunities to explore the challenge of attrition and attraction in higher education with your peers. Visit the Cornerstone booth to learn how AI-powered, skills-forward talent management solutions can help higher education create a culture of learning and skills development with a modern learning experience.
How to build resilient learning strategies for Higher Education
Institutions need to be nimble, flexible, and proactive to respond to times of crisis and disruption. You need to keep staff connected, build trust in online learning tools, promote remote collaboration, and create a culture that embraces online learning—especially as more and more people demand flexible and remote work options. With the right online learning solutions in place, institutions can build new competencies around remote collaboration and online learning that can make their employees more effective and impactful in everything they do. Even better, these solutions can help faculty and staff proactively take control of their own learning and development like never before. Cornerstone’s learning solutions have helped these two institutions respond quickly to ever-changing circumstances by positioning faculty and staff to serve their broader communities and stakeholders more effectively: Pima Community College give employees a “home base” for staying connected As the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, Pima Community College (PCC) worked hard to create a sense of normalcy for its employees. They encouraged employees to shift their focus to training and development by tapping into the new EmployeeConnect digital learning hub, which was built, designed, and deployed in less than 48 hours using Cornerstone’s Learning and Connect solutions. EmployeeConnect quickly became critical for keeping PCC’s employees informed and engaged at all times. It offers up-to-date information on the latest campus developments, guidelines for safe work practices, and also provides a way for employees to stay in touch via forums, instant messages, and Q&A message boards. This created a space for employees to get answers to questions about payroll and benefits just as much as they could get real-time updates on the college’s evolving crisis management plan. During the pandemic, EmployeeConnect became a catalyst for improved adaptability, resilience, and flexibility among the college’s employees. It allowed PCC employees to not only deliver great experiences to its stakeholders, but also to take the time to focus on their own learning needs. As a result, PCC saw a huge uptick in compliance training, with 468 (of over 2,300) or roughly 20% of employees completing this training between March and May 2020. For these reasons alone, the college plans to make EmployeeConnect a central part of the day-to-day employee experience, well after life begins to return to ‘normal.’ Arizona State University sustains and strengthens its existing culture of learning Your institution’s existing culture is one of your biggest assets year-round—and can be your greatest resource for overcoming an unexpected crisis. For Arizona State University (ASU), it was crucial to maintain and enhance its culture of inclusive learning and community leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why ASU harnessed the power of its CareerEdge learning platform to help employees stay connected with each other and remain focused on driving its distinct culture of learning forward. Aside from simply offering online learning tools to its now predominantly remote employees, ASU also leveraged CareerEdge to provide relevant and timely well-being resources, including a new remote tele-therapy service. This made it possible for ASU to keep spirits high by offering courses on topics like stress management and successful remote working. By encouraging people to take charge of their own learning and development, ASU helped its employees become more resilient in the face of disruption. Deploying CareerEdge during the COVID-19 pandemic also taught ASU that implementing new technology doesn’t have to take months or even years. Instead, responding quickly to changing circumstances enables institutions like ASU to provide its staff with the tools they need to overcome challenges and disruptions in real-time. Finally, CareerEdge helped ASU sustain and strengthen its key priorities around continued communication, collaboration, and compassion by delivering courses on diversity, empathy, and bias recognition. These courses aren’t just a way to bring ASU’s distinct culture to life; in light of the social justice and equality movements growing around the world, the skills and competencies taught in this coursework are proving to be more important and timely than ever before. As a higher education institution, your number one priority for employees must be to help them adjust to whatever challenges they face All in all, higher education institutions must stay nimble, responsive, and resilient in the face of change. Online learning is not just the future of learning; it’s in the ‘here and now.’ It’s the perfect time to embrace the many advantages that go hand-in-hand with online learning. With the right strategies, tools, and solutions in place, you can give your faculty and staff a more effective and personalized way to succeed , even under the most challenging of circumstances.
Higher Education: How do you build a culture of compliance?
FACT: There are over 265 federal regulations surrounding higher education, many of which change every year. The Council for the Advancement Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has developed 48 sets of functional areas that include civil rights, privacy and information security, international, campus safety, environmental, and financial categories. In addition to these regulations, higher education institutions also need to navigate compliance training for the Campus SaVE Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and Title’s IX’s sexual harassment and misconduct rules. Overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Tracking, reporting, and delivering information on higher education compliance is a complex, labor- and time-intensive process, often requiring the use of multiple, discrete systems across several different campuses. It’s also expensive: a study by Vanderbilt University concluded that the total annual cost of compliance in higher education is up to $27 billion, or up to 8% of total campus operating costs. It’s no wonder some institutions simply hope they can meet requirements without investing in an expensive and time-consuming verification process. But when it comes to keeping your institution in compliance, hope is never a viable strategy. Noncompliance can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in the most extreme cases millions, in fines and leave institutions susceptible to criminal prosecution, private lawsuits, and reputational damage. For these institutions, not meeting federal regulations resulted in significant losses and reputational damage: One private school was fined $210,000 partially for neglecting to report crime on campus, putting them in violation of the Clery Act. The President of a large public research university was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the mishandling of sexual abuse complaints. How Can Your Institution Begin Building a Culture of Compliance? Institutions have an ethical responsibility to identify, report, and correct non-compliance issues, be it fraud, campus crime, or data errors. According to Paul Mayer, principal consultant at The Bonadio Group, compliance within higher education institutions needs to become “part of the fabric of routine operations,” with the culture of compliance “recognizable internally and externally throughout the institution.” Vanguard universities recognize that creating a true culture of compliance requires more than hope or good intentions. To that end, these institutions are relying on powerful learning management technology to not only track and report on compliance but to deliver the right compliance training to the right employee at the right time. For any higher education institution, large or small, private, or public, a learning management platform can: Reduce time and labor costs of compliance training, tracking, delivery, and reporting. Too often, institutions rely on disparate learning systems and vendors to manage compliance. This is not only expensive and time consuming—it also increases the likelihood of compliance failures. In contrast, a learning platform enables organizations to efficiently deliver, track, and report on all types of training. Instead of wasting time aggregating data from multiple systems, institutions can manage and report on regulatory training from a single source. Increase visibility via a strong and transparent reporting framework. Just because compliance officers haven’t identified issues doesn’t mean that an institution is in line with regulations. After all, you can’t fix what you can’t see. A learning platform that provides ongoing transparency and powerful reporting capabilities—one that records visible completions, non-completions, and responsibilities in real time—is crucial to identifying small compliance errors before they balloon into big legal problems. Facilitate compliance collaboration across teams, departments, and campuses. A learning platform makes it easy for all employees to access key resources and share compliance best practices. Sharing responsibilities spurs progress, cuts response time, and provides crucial checks and balances along the way. “Compliance has to be about collaborations,” says attorney Claire Hall, owner of a prominent higher education consulting firm. “Once you know what the obligations are, achieving them is not as difficult.” Enable centralized oversight with decentralized implementation. Keeping track of individual compliance requirements can be daunting for decentralized organizations. A unified learning platform can help by enabling the establishment of common standards, increasing visibility across every campus and department, and providing administrators with a fully transparent view of all compliance information in real time. Start with the Right Learning Technology Implementing a unified learning platform helps institutions fulfill the ethical duty to meet changing regulations—and avoid lawsuits, fines, potential shutdowns, and unwanted media attention related to non-compliance. Cornerstone’s Learning Suite, used by over 100 of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and reaching over half a million users, reduces the time and effort required to manage compliance, while simultaneously unifying learning, increasing visibility, and streamlining reporting to regulatory bodies and stakeholders.