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How Cornerstone University extended and accelerated learning globally

The Cornerstone University (Cornerstone U) team had a bold vision for completely re-imagining the customer product learning experience. They needed a platform that would easily connect their global customers in a personalized and engaging way to the constantly evolving learning resources while also being able to evaluate the impact of the learning successfully. Luckily for this team, utilizing the capabilities of the Cornerstone Extended Enterprise learning solution enabled Cornerstone U to achieve this goal and much more.

You’ve worked hard to design and develop learning offerings with the learners in mind. You’ve tried to understand their behavior and motivations. You’ve asked yourselves, “Why would our learners need this training? Why would they want this training? What performance outcomes do we want them to achieve from this training?” You’ve tried to be inclusive and apply a global mindset in everything you do. Different regions, for example, have different ways they want to receive communication and consume content.

How do you deliver engaging content and captivate your ecosystem’s external audience — your customers, your partners, your resellers — with a personalized learning experience for each of their team members that helps them meet their goals and, simultaneously, drives results for you? Such was the dilemma that the Cornerstone U team faced.

With a plethora of valuable products and role-specific education programs that it had carefully cultivated, Cornerstone U needed a delivery mechanism that was readily available, easy to use, flexible, collaborative, and scalable. Knowing that such a platform existed in its own backyard made leveraging Cornerstone’s best-in-class Extended Enterprise solution the logical choice.

Cornerstone Success Center is a scale engine

When the Cornerstone U team utilized the Cornerstone Success Center (CSC) as its Extended Enterprise solution, they optimized the way they presented learning, leveraging the strengths of the CSC to drive strategy. CSC enabled learners to take advantage of a multitude of core and advanced product functionality training courses and to stay in the loop with quarterly product releases.

Access to the CSC — for Cornerstone’s entire talent management product suite learnings, not just for the particular product a customer licensed — begins on the first full day of an organization’s onboarding into their Cornerstone journey. The huge CSC portfolio of content creates personalized learner experiences and helps increase administration confidence through the various learning programs. At the same time, customer executive sponsors can also be assured that their organization will always have an expert on their team through the Cornerstone Certifications Program, and they can continue to invest in their people through Cornerstone U’s offerings.

A collaborative tool wields its power

CSC also powers another type of learning, the impact of which is immeasurable but extremely valuable, nonetheless. Cruz explained, “We cannot discount the social learning aspect that the CSC enables. Customers are eager to collaborate with their peers, share talent management best practices, ask Cornerstone experts advanced functionality questions, and provide feedback to Cornerstone. This extended education can be seamlessly achieved via the CSC.”

Learn it Live, Learn it Now, and Product Academy during COVID

Cornerstone U has thousands of learning assets that are being used and bundled in a smart way to support customized learning experiences for its 12,000+ global customers. The Learn it Live (virtual ILT sessions) and Learn it Now (on-demand videos, guides, and toolkits) courses are some of the most popular. Through the years, Cornerstone U actively sought customer feedback to improve further and introduce new learning programs. The team listened to customers and surmised that learners wanted more in-person training, so Product Academy — indepth product boot camps held at four of its major U.S. and European offices and led by Cornerstone U’s Global Training Team — was developed. E-commerce was also enabled globally on the CSC, so class payments and exams were easily handled and, most importantly, made signups fast and simple for customers.

Even COVID, in early 2020, did not dampen the thirst for Cornerstone U’s Product Academy learning offerings, which had to switch to 100 percent virtual. In fact, tracking progress from 2018 through 2020, registrations, attendance, and completions for these boot camp sessions accelerated during COVID. Likewise, the Learn it Live participation and Learn it Now consumption also saw an upward trajectory. All the statistics demonstrated how the Extended Enterprise platform seamlessly accommodated Cornerstone University’s transition to a completely virtual format during the first half of 2020.

A win-win for all

According to Cruz, “We also celebrate our learners by enabling badging and My Skills for recognition when they get product certified. We use the CSC to track Product Certifications, and we then use a third-party credential authenticator Credly to maintain certification integrity. We also use coupon codes to connect customers with special perks and discounts.”

Cruz added, “For our customers’ system administrators, our goal is to make sure that we have learning content for every single component of the product, every type of learner level, and every type of learning style preference. We want learning to be seamlessly embedded in our customer’s experience as it’s been proven that customers who invest in learning the product are more successful using it; they require less support, are more satisfied, and able to recognize ROI quicker than those that don’t invest in learning.”

Cruz noted, “Based on our study, customers who complete the Fundamentals training submit 35 percent fewer functionality questions to our Global Customer Support team. The real benefactors of this decrease in support cases are our learners, as this means that they have already mastered the skills needed to confidently administer their organization’s Cornerstone investment. The CSC allows us to automatically assign training so all new users can jump-start on their basic training within a few hours of getting access. We really want to make it easy for our customers and delight them through the process of learning and optimizing their Cornerstone solution. In the CSC, we can see what learners are saying about our content through course ratings, evaluations, and posts in the different communities. Reporting on these metrics is important so we can constantly evolve, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately improve the overall customer learning experiences.

What’s in store for 2021

For 2021, Cornerstone University plans to continue to embrace the enhancements in the CSC while pushing to evolve and ensure that meaningful learning opportunities are being created for its customers’ overall learning experience.

Katie Ballantyne, AVP, Cornerstone University, concluded, “Our customers are experts in talent experience, and that really sets the bar high for us and the experience we create. By using Cornerstone’s own Extended Enterprise solution, we’re able to thoughtfully personalize learning for every product and every stage of the customer journey while making sure the experience is engaging and easy. It’s also simple for our team to keep our constantly evolving content upto-date, manage learning sessions, collect customer feedback, and measure the impact of our programs.”

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