Customer Story

Accolade: Engaging employees and streamlined content sharing

Founded in 2007, Accolade is a personalized health and benefits solution for employers, health plans and their members. Using a blend of compassionate people, clinical expertise, and intelligent technologies, Accolade brings employees and their families a trusted advisor for every healthcare experience, while acting as a trusted partner for plan administrators as they foster healthy populations and effective benefits programs.

The Challenge

Accolade needs its employees to be both well informed about the healthcare industry and well-versed in a number of intricate and rapidly changing processes. For this reason, the ability to effectively train its Health Assistants to a high level of expertise is essential.

Yet the company’s previous learning management system consistently came up short. “We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the tool to do what we needed it to do,” said John Parsell, manager of learning at Accolade. “It was a real struggle on a day-to-day basis.”

Parsell and the team felt consistently hampered by the system. “One of the biggest issues was that we couldn’t actually set up a curriculum. It was difficult to provide our employees with access to the content that they needed, and to do it on a consistent and quality basis.”

Why Cornerstone

Accolade needed a comprehensive, flexible LMS that could capture and sustain user interest. “We wanted to be able to engage our employees, to do more than just send out a course and track if somebody had completed it or not,” said Parsell. Any new solution also had to be compatible with Workday and scalable to meet the company’s growing talent needs.

A few Accolade employees were familiar with Cornerstone OnDemand. “We had team members who had used Cornerstone in the past, so [the platform] already had a really good reputation within the company,” said Parsell. “We thought it would be a major improvement.”

To ensure an effective rollout, Accolade took full advantage of the ability to completely customize and brand Cornerstone, creating AccoladeU—a learning and development portal that reflects the Accolade brand and culture. “It’s everyone’s one-stop shop for where they go for their learning needs,” Pam Seplow, Vice President of Talent and Development. “It’s helped drive adoption, and as we continue to launch new curriculum curated for specific groups, we do that via AccoladeU.”

The Results

Increased employee preparedness. Since implementing Cornerstone, Accolade has seen an increase in new hire readiness. “Today, our team comes out of the onboarding experience, well prepared for what their job is going to feel like every day,” said Seplow. “We have a higher percentage of employees becoming client-ready, meaning that they’re out of training and they’re able to take calls on their own, then we’ve ever had before.

Decreased training time. Not only are more new employees reaching client readiness upon completing training, but they’re getting there in half the time. “We recently reduced the time that it took us to onboard a new hire,” said Parsell. “We took them from six weeks in the classroom down to three weeks. Cornerstone’s capabilities provided us with the opportunity to convert more content to self-paced media and serve it to our learners in a way that makes sense. This saves time and allows us to focus on application of skills in the classroom vs lecture.”

Simplified reporting and increased visibility. Before Cornerstone, tracking course completions and other metrics was both convoluted and time consuming. “We had these crazy spreadsheets about who had taken what courses. Reporting was managed manually,” said Parsell. “Today, we can create a custom report for basically whatever we need. It’s super easy.”

Streamlined content sharing and standardized messaging. With Cornerstone, Accolade can reuse curriculum and enable content sharing across business units. “When we developed our regional sales executives’ curriculum, we were able to take a lot of those materials and put that into a curriculum for other departments,” said Parsell. Reusing and sharing content across departments also eliminates the risk of creating redundant or off-message content.

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