Blog Post

Cornerstone Data Tells a Story: Online Learning Is Key as Organizations Shift to a New World of Work

Heidi Spirgi

Chief Strategy and Growth Officer at Cornerstone

As people navigate a new world of work, there has never been a greater demand for learning opportunities. In the many roles I personally play in life—leader, mother, wife, friend—it has been no easy task learning how to support my team at Cornerstone and help pivot the business while caring for loved ones at home and from afar. Like many others, I’ve come to realize that connecting with teammates virtually, managing our time effectively and balancing work and life are skills that need to be developed and nurtured over time. And in a moment of time where many of us are either struggling to focus at home or finding it difficult to check out from work without an office, it’s critical that we reassess our skill sets and make time for our personal and professional development.

For the past two decades, Cornerstone has been helping organizations recruit, hire, train and manage their people. At the core of these initiatives has been online learning and development. Whether providing compliance training or helping employees enhance their skills, we’ve been collecting learning data from millions of people over the years, which has enabled us to pull key insights and trends about how people are learning, what they’re learning and how that has changed over time. While we’ve used this data to inform our product decisions and roadmap, you’re going to see us bring this data to life through the Cornerstone People Research Lab. This is our new research lab within Cornerstone that is going to be identifying and sharing emerging trends that will give rise to new work models.

The launch of the Cornerstone People Research Lab couldn’t have come at a more impactful time. As COVID-19 completely disrupts the world of work as we know it, we have seen a greater demand for online learning from organizations and their people. New insights from Cornerstone data suggest organizations are relying on online learning to help their people adapt to new work models, such as remote working, and enable them to become more productive and efficient while staying healthy during this uncertain time.

In March alone, people across the globe engaged with 27.5 million hours of content on Cornerstone’s learning platform. And, when looking at our Cornerstone Learning clients, nearly half (40%) of them saw an increase in logins in March compared to February. These clients experienced a significant spike in logins, 135% on average. What’s more is that we’re seeing this trend across both the corporate and academic sectors, which is particularly meaningful as millions of students and teachers transition to online learning for the first time.

As we collectively navigate this new world of work, I invite you to explore the data that tells a meaningful story around the need—and want—for individuals and organizations to adapt in the face of change.

What Does the Data Say?

While digging into the learning trends in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen a heavy increase in search activity, a notable rise in mobile learning and an increase in repeat visits—all of which show that the demand—and potential—for online learning is greater than ever before.

On top of the uptick in logins on the Cornerstone Learning platform, we’re also seeing an increase in people taking online courses, especially in those countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands saw a 2X increase in course registrations; South Korea saw a 5X increase; and Japan saw a dramatic increase at 70X from February to March.

While the upward trend is significant, it’s not entirely shocking. Let me tell you why. There’s an incredible amount of knowledge and skills we all need to acquire to adjust to any form of new realities, whether that’s onboarding for a new role or learning how to manage a remote team for the first time. Learners are hungry for ways to set themselves up for success—whether it’s picking up best practices for virtually communicating with coworkers, useful time-management tips or smart ways to stay healthy while working from our couches and kitchen tables (which just so happen to be among the most popular courses taken in March 2020).

Searches for online courses on digital tools, working and learning remotely and stress management have dramatically increased on the Cornerstone Learning platform. For example, comparing the first half of March to the second half, there was a 3x increase in searches for "Google Classroom," a 2x increase in searches for "Learning at Home" and a 1.7x increase in searches for "Stress Relief." Employees aren’t simply waiting around for guidance; instead, they’re taking learning into their own hands to better navigate new work environments and take care of their mental health. And studies suggest that this kind of learning—done in the flow of work, to meet an immediate need—increases learning retention.

Now more than ever, employees need the flexibility to learn anywhere, and anytime, rather than in one-size-fits-all Powerpoint presentations, mandatory lectures or multi-hour courses in conference rooms. And our data from the last month backs this up: Without many of the constraints associated with an office environment, workers are actually taking more time to learn and doing so in ways that fit their unique schedules and preferences. Mobile logins increased by 3x in one week at the end of March, and usage from the Cornerstone Learn app continues to increase significantly month over month in 2020, up 45% in March over February.

Let’s Prepare for a New World of Work

We can see that individuals and organizations are clearly ready to take advantage of online learning courses that will help them improve their work and their lives.

In fact, according to a survey of 900 telecommuting professionals done in partnership with YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, Cornerstone found that 60% of respondents prefer remote work and will expect a remote work option to be offered as a benefit after re-entry. Organizations will need to be prepared for that expectation of flexibility—even though many hadn’t necessarily before COVID-19. But only about half of those same respondents stated that their employer had preparations in place for them to transition to remote work.

Rather than fight this evolution, companies should lean into the opportunity to create a more agile workforce that can weather future crises and downturns. A renewed focus on learning, including thoughtful online resources and development opportunities, is what’s going to help businesses—and all of us as human beings—thrive.

For more insights on the state of work and learning in the future sourced from millions of workers across the Cornerstone Learning platform, visit:

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Cornerstone Partners With Microsoft to Bring Learning into the Flow of Work

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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

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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 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

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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: ● Corporate Learning Management ● Talent Management ● Employee Performance Management Are you a Cornerstone client and looking to share your own feedback? Please leave a review here!

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