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Canon increasing internal hires by 25% & engaging high potentials

Canon delivered more learning interventions and effective learning at similar costs, standardized performance management, created an internal talent pipeline and succession plans, identified hidden employee skills, addressed retention of high potentials.

Canon is enriching lives and businesses in incredible new ways. While often recognized for its photography products, Canon also provides document and information management services, 3D printing, and mixed reality technologies as well as medical imaging solutions to customers around the world.

Canon Europe has more than 18,000 employees working across 22 regional offices. Yet a continued reliance on highly manual processes left the company with little visibility of requirements and trends around talent development. As part of a large transformation initiative, Canon has established several programs to develop capabilities, which include updating core HR practices such as performance management, and employee and leadership development.

“Our HR processes varied broadly across the region. Whilst we encourage local ownership on how to apply HR practices in the markets, the lack of consistency did not allow us to drive the business-critical talent priorities across regions,” said Patrizia Seifert, talent and resourcing director EMEA at Canon Europe. “We mainly used Excel and Word to manage our talent agenda.”

These local processes weren’t just inefficient, they were costly. “We were spending a lot of money on a variety of talent and learning activities, but could not achieve the ROI we strived for,” said Seifert. “We were also seeing a high attrition rate in our high potential groups due to lack of visibility, and access to learning and career opportunities.”

Why Cornerstone

In the search for a SaaS-based talent management solution, Canon reviewed numerous vendors. Canon needed a unified solution that would ensure the consistency of the learning and performance management experience for every employee.

“One of the most compelling value propositions was that Cornerstone enabled the integration of our entire talent management process. We wouldn’t have to buy multiple systems to manage the employee lifecycle,” said Seifert. “Cornerstone was also flexible enough to adapt to our needs and fully support the employee-led approach we have towards talent management.”

Canon has since rolled out Learning, Performance, and Succession. Seifert and her team have already seen tangible improvements in learning, performance, and employee engagement. She credits these results to the platform, Cornerstone’s Client Services team, and of course the internal change processes across the region. “With Cornerstone, it’s a partnership. We have a good dialogue with the team. They continue to share better ways of working and best practices. From the beginning, they allowed us to take ownership and be part of the process.”

The Results

Delivered more self-directed learning with more impact for money spent. Seifert, Pieterse, and their teams can now provide standardized learning opportunities that enable employees to play a pivotal role in their own development. “Cornerstone helped us move from a heterogenic, localized learning approach to one that is aligned across all business units and markets. We’re seeing employees take more initiative with Cornerstone. They’re no longer waiting for the company to decide their future, and they’re taking an active role in their own development,” said Pieterse.

Standardize performance management and increased review completion rate. Prior to Cornerstone, Canon’s performance management process lacked standardization across the company’s 22 regions. Today, Canon employs consistent performance criteria and creates transparency of key priorities from the CEO down. 60 percent of employees see a clear link between the company vision and their work. Employees are also more engaged with the review process. “84 percent of employees set their goals this year,” said Seifert.

Created an active internal talent pipeline. Canon’s previous reliance on external agencies to source talent was costly and overlooked the company’s ready internal talent. “Regions wanted to have a proper supply of talent in key positions, but internal recruiting practices were based on local data in spreadsheets,” said Seifert. “With Cornerstone, we have real-time access to our current employees’ resumes and career plans. As result, we’ve increased our percentage of internal hires.”

Addressed retention of high potential employees. One of Canon’s biggest challenges was their high attrition rate in high potentials due to a perceived lack of growth opportunities. “We’re now making a statement as a company about how we do talent management. It’s not a hidden activity,” said Seifert. “Employees can take ownership of their career paths and the perception of career opportunities provided increased.

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