An election year in the U.S. is an uncertain and transformative time for all Americans—but it's particularly impactful for HR leaders in government.
This year, HR leaders in government are preparing for the reality that they have to do more with much less after the President's Executive Order freezing all Federal hiring (except for some public safety organizations and the military). With fewer opportunities to bring in new talent, departments are paying special attention to retaining high performers and developing current employees to ensure their organizations continue to succeed and thrive.
Our 2017 annual Human Capital Management for Government (HCMG) Report, conducted in collaboration with WBR Digital, emphasizes this increased focus on talent development in federal and state governments, as leadership development was the most commonly reported staff need. But investing in talent development has its own challenges: On top of the hiring freeze, the majority of leaders (71 percent) are entering this year with the same budget as last year—which means they need to ensure resources go to their most effective learning and development programs and practices.
Here are three key strategies government leaders are using to understand, cultivate and retain top talent in their departments in 2017:
Invest in Peer-Based Programs
This year, only six percent of government leaders feel that their "leadership and knowledge management" efforts are very successful. To improve results without increasing total operating costs, departments are exploring ways to foster growth organically—such as mentorship programs, collaborative projects and lunch and learns.
Angela Bailey, Chief Human Capital Officer at the Department of Homeland Security and one of the leaders interviewed in the report, explains her approach to grow everybody from the bottom up and the top down. "[We] create teams where it doesn't matter what your grade level is, and anybody can lead them if they have a passion or interest in leading them," she says. "It gives them an opportunity to have a more seasoned or experienced person to help coach them through the experience, as well as to step up and lead something."
Tune Into the Data
As government leaders attempt to strategically allocate resources to development, it's important to understand the long-term impact of all efforts. Big data can illuminate trends and provide insight that HR leaders may be missing in their own observations. In fact, 49 percent of respondents reported that data is a very important component of their overall efforts.
At the Department of Homeland Security, for example, data analysis revealed that employees who begin in TSA law enforcement often follow a similar career path: moving through TSA to Customs and Border Protection to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and, eventually, to the Secret Service. "You wouldn't know that if you didn't look at the data," says Bailey.
Instead of seeing it as a competition between departments, Bailey says it's seen as a natural progression that the agency needs to support through more attuned learning and development. "Now we can ask how we enhance this path and make it better for not only them, but also for the agencies and their abilities to carry out their missions," she says.
Focus on Retention
An important part in developing top employees is obviously keeping them around: Only 4 percent of respondents said they're "very successful" at identifying and retaining high performers. Of course, in order to understand how to keep employees at your company, it's important to know why they stay or leave.
For many employers, this information is gathered at exit interviews. But Bailey and her team have found that collecting data when someone's already on their way out the door isn't the most impactful or effective strategy.
"We used to have a 'top down' driven strategy where retaining top performers was always thought about purely in economic terms," she says. "Now, the strategy that we are deploying is to sit down, for example, and have interviews with the employees. Not just the top performers, but with all of the employees, to find out why they stay. Because often waiting to ask until someone has exited the agency does us no good."
To learn more about developing and retaining high-potential talent in government, check out the full study here.
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Cornerstone Partners With Microsoft to Bring Learning into the Flow of Work
Making time for learning during a busy workday is challenging. According to a recent survey, a majority of employees reported thattime is the biggest barrier to their development. But over the course of the pandemic, and even in the years before, we’ve seen how quickly business needs—and therefore, the needs for employee skills—change. Learning is more important than ever and needs to be delivered in new ways that drive accessibility and information retention. To help companies remain truly adaptable and nimble, they need to integrate learning into the flow of work. It’s why Cornerstone and Microsoft are partnering to make learning in the flow of work possible and support employees’ growing learning needs. Both of Cornerstone’s LMS platforms (Cornerstone Learning and Saba Cloud) will be integrated into Microsoft Viva—Microsoft’s new Employee Experience Platform (EXP)—to make it easy for employees to discover, share and engage with learning content without having to switch back and forth between solutions. "Cornerstone is bringing great value to organizations by integrating its solutions within Microsoft Teams, right where employees are working every day," said Kirk Koenigsbauer, COO, Experiences + Devices at Microsoft Corp. "The new Microsoft Viva empowers employees to make learning and development a natural and intuitive part of their daily work." How Cornerstone Powers Learning in the Flow of Work on the Microsoft Employee Experience Platform Powered by Microsoft 365 and experienced through Teams, Microsoft Viva seamlessly helps your organization build human connection, foster growth and wellbeing, and drive peak business performance. And now that experience encompasses learning, including the integration with Cornerstone. Incorporating learning opportunities from Cornerstone’s LMS offerings into Microsoft Viva Learning makes it easy not only to access learning, but also integrate it into the flow of work. Employees using Teams can seek out, share and/or assign learning content based on their current needs. For example, if an employee is struggling with their workload, a manager could engage in a real-time 1:1 conversation and based on that discussion, serve up training on time management or organization skills. This way, in addition to providing real-time coaching and feedback, the manager is also able to give their employee development resources in a timely and relevant manner. In another instance, an employee that’s familiar with HTML but hasn’t used the skill for a while might find a quick refresher course—rather than spending time and energy re-learning through trial-and-error. For more on the power of this partnership, watch this video announcing Microsoft Viva Learning Removing Barriers to Learning Cornerstone and Microsoft’s collaboration will help remove barriers to learning and empower organizations and their employees to grow and adapt for the future. Our learning solutions contain training to meet employee needs across on-demand learning, compliance and career development. Through this partnership and through Microsoft, employees will soon have the ability to access learning where they are, when they need it, to power stronger individual and company performance. As a leader and pioneer in learning, we’ve accumulated the largest pool of learning data and insights in the world over the course of our 20 years in business. We are thrilled to share that experience, expertise and passion with Teams and its users. Read the full announcement to learn more about Cornerstone’s partnership with Microsoft.
Cornerstone Cares Free Learning Portal Recognized for Online Learning Innovation by EdTech Breakthrough
Today, we are honored to share that EdTech Breakthrough, a leading market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies and solutions in the global educational technology market, has selected Cornerstone as the 2020 winner of its "Adaptive Learning Solution of the Year" award in the second annual EdTech Breakthrough Awards program. This year’s program attracted more than 1,750 nominations from over 15 different countries throughout the world. Helping K-12 teachers transition to online learning With more than 55 million U.S. students displaced from school closures due to COVID-19, thousands of educators were forced to quickly adapt to an online learning format, requiring them to rapidly transform how they teach and engage with their students. Responding to this vast and pressing need, Cornerstone leveraged its internal expertise in online learning to create a free content playlist as part of its Cornerstone Cares solution for teachers, offering best practices and tactical information as educators shift to this new way of teaching. To date, over 70,000 people have visited the site since its launch in March, in addition to the millions of users who leverage Cornerstone Learning and Content Anytime through their organizations’ portals. A critical need for adaptive learning solutions "Both the significant increase in online learning consumption by learners on the Cornerstone Learning platform and the free resources offered through Cornerstone Cares demonstrate the critical need for adaptive learning solutions that provide relevant and authentic content," said Lisa Hartley, AVP of Growth Products at Cornerstone. "We are extremely proud to contribute to the dedicated educators during this difficult time and this 2020 EdTech Breakthrough Award is a fantastic validation of the hard work and innovative thinking from the entire Cornerstone team." This specially curated Cornerstone Cares playlist features courses such as "A Teacher’s Guide to Online Learning," designed by former teacher and Head of Cornerstone Studios, Summer Salomonsen, Ed.D. The resource includes bite-size, informative videos and downloadable guides that elevate the conversation from "How do I teach online?" to "How might I continue to connect with and impact my students online?" Due to teachers being under a significant amount of pressure with limited time to make this transition, the content is short, digestible and available on any device or platform and also easily downloadable for those who don’t have online access at home. Learn more about EdTech Breakthrough and Cornerstone Cares If you want to learn more about the 2020 EdTech Breakthrough Awards and see a complete list of winners, please visit their site. You can also check out Cares.CSOD.com to access learning content on a variety of critical topics that can help you transition to a remote working or teaching environment, manage stress and mitigate unconscious bias - all for free on Cornerstone Cares.
Cornerstone Earns Multiple 2020 Top Rated Awards by TrustRadius
As a global people development leader, Cornerstone is obsessed with enabling our clients to achieve significant business results through world-class learning, recruiting, performance and HR technology solutions. Because innovating for the success of our clients is our top priority, we are honored to be named a leader among Corporate Learning Management, Talent Management and Employee Performance Management solution providers! The recognition by TrustRadius holds significant value to our company as these lists are based purely on above-average customer satisfaction ratings for business technology. Since 2016, the TrustRadius Top Rated Awards have become the industry standard for unbiased recognition of B2B technology products. Based entirely on customer feedback, they have never been influenced by analyst opinion or status as a TrustRadius customer. Learn more about the TrustRadius Top Rated Awards and hear from verified users on how much they value Cornerstone: â— Corporate Learning Management â— Talent Management â— Employee Performance Management Are you a Cornerstone client and looking to share your own feedback? Please leave a review here!