The Commonwealth of Kentucky entered 2020 with a fresh outlook on its talent strategy: create a better people experience for its public sector workforce while improving employee performance. This strategy would be supported by a newly implemented performance management platform and a holistic plan to transition paper processes to digital environments for over 18,000 executive branch employees.
Then COVID hit; sending a large portion of Kentucky’s public sector workforce home.
While the number of employees moving to remote work varied between agencies, the demand for digital resources and tools was immediate. In fact, according to Kentucky Personnel Cabinet IT Director Robbie Perkins, 50-70% of all Kentucky state employees accessed online training and learning programs within weeks of the shift home. At the Personnel Cabinet, Kentucky’s centralized government workforce management agency, Perkins said most of the organization’s close to 170 employees work remotely or only come into the office when absolutely necessary these days.
Fortunately, Perkins and team had already kicked off implementing Cornerstone Performance—which Kentucky branded , a centralized performance management system within the Commonwealth’s MyPURPOSE unified talent management system that enables talent leaders to document and monitor skills, performance and areas for improvement at an individual-level, when COVID sent folks home in March of 2020.
Bringing Everyone Under One Digital Employee Experience Roof
Speaking during a recent Cornerstone webinar aimed at diving into Kentucky’s MyPERFORMANCE procurement, rollout and implementation journey, Perkins pointed to several issues that prompted the commonwealth’s move to digital performance management. Among them: disparate and incompatible digital solutions, paper-based performance management processes and systems, no digital onboarding materials, lack of mobile and digital employee resources and a large compliance operation that consumed IT team bandwidth.
Eventually, Kentucky issued an RFP outlining the need for a versatile solution that was 1) affordable and 2) deployable across agencies—enter MyPERFORMANCE. And Kentucky’s workforce appreciated the effort right off the bat.
According to Perkins, "Seldom from a change management standpoint, or when implementing systems, do you get a lot of accolades or claps or ovations. But we actually had people clapping when they heard that we were going to give them an electronic solution for performance management."
Taking a Focus Group Approach to Getting People Onboard
Alaina Myers, Deputy Commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Human Resources Administration, said that one major reason for the success of Kentucky's implementation of MyPERFORMANCE was its Performance Management Agency Focus Group and a survey of its members. The goal of both efforts? To understand how managers planned to use the solution for talent strategy and gain a sense of what employees wanted from a digital performance review experience to complement legacy training and HR programs.
Myers said Kentucky’s PM Focus Group gathered HR and agency leaders across the Commonwealth to understand what worked and didn’t work with legacy processes and procedures that relied heavily on paper. The group also surveyed stakeholders—including employees—to understand what features or improvements they would like to see with a new digital system.
Kentucky’s next phase ahead of MyPERFORMANCE’s go-live was to orient HR and agency leaders around change management and training. Specifically, Myers said that members of the Personnel Cabinet spent the early part of the year traveling to every Kentucky government agency for in-person information sessions and MyPERFORMANCE demos before COVID-related lockdowns and remote work rendered it impossible.
To complement the on-the-ground digital solution education initiatives, Kentucky launched an online orientation program for every government employee, introduced digital training programs for both managers and employees, produced manuals and issued
Using Tech to Help Kentucky Shift to Ongoing Performance Convos
By preparing accordingly to embrace the new talent strategy and platform, Myers says Kentucky was able to see ROI quickly. She and Perkins identified four key areas where the team has seen an improvement thanks to their ability to use technology to support performance conversations:
- Talent managers can capture team bandwidth, skill sets and performance metrics in one platform.
- Agency and HR leaders can monitor specific tasks, keep tabs on workloads and deliver real-time feedback that helps employees better understand how their individual performances contribute to their career growth and agency success.
- Relationships between managers and employees were improved during the pandemic thanks to the ability to facilitate clear, ongoing communication
- Continuing to foster a culture of continuous learning and development
Keeping Kentucky Connected in 2021 and Beyond
For 2021, Myers and Perkins noted that Kentucky’s next phase of digitizing its talent strategy will involve deepening government-wide MyPERFORMANCE adoption and implementation with a focus on employee performance management and enabling employees to take an active role in their development through online learning.
For more information about how the Commonwealth of Kentucky uses MyPERFORMANCE to enhance employee engagement and performance management, click HERE.
Want to keep learning? Explore our products, customer stories, and the latest industry insights.
Cornell University chose Cornerstone to provide a true enterprise system dedicated to promoting learning in a large, decentralized educational environment
Cornell University chose Cornerstone to provide a true enterprise system dedicated to promoting learning in a large, decentralized educational environment. As a leading higher educational institution, Cornell University needed a way to promote learning for its own staff in a large, decentralized educational environment. The team at Cornell initiated a comprehensive search for a new Learning Management platform, which included a review of 400 vendors and products. After shortlisting the field to 11 candidates and extensive demonstrations and customer interviews, Cornell chose Cornerstone. Administrators were impressed with what they called a "robust system," but would users adapt to the new LMS? After a thoughtful implementation, the team was pleased to see that its learning audience flocked to the new system and quickly began taking the training courses they needed. New employees were onboarded. Administrators now had access to new data beyond completion metrics so they could make strategic decisions. Cornell's learning team said that Cornerstone's user interface won employees over with the platform's focus on learning and "one-stop shopping." No other websites or products are needed to complete training and onboarding. Cornerstone at Cornell University is a true enterprise system dedicated to promoting learning in a large, decentralized educational environment.
City of Durham: Expanding Training Access, Evolving a Learning Culture and Improving Employee Satisfaction
Why Cornerstone Sharon Williams, manager, onboarding and professional development, for the City of Durham, began the search for a new LMS that would enable Durham to better manage training and support true development opportunities for every employee. “Cornerstone was brought to our attention by Regina Youngblood, Durham’s HR Director. Once we saw Cornerstone in action, we were thoroughly impressed,” said Williams. “It came down to Cornerstone and one other competitor. We felt that Cornerstone was the partner that would be the most innovative, supportive, and creative. They also had prior experience with our video-based content provider (an added plus).” The relationship with Cornerstone was solidified at the outset. Prior to launch, selected LMS administrators participated in an onsite boot camp. “Training was completely high touch. More importantly, Cornerstone was still there after training was over. The night before launch, we ran into a problem at 9 p.m. Our Cornerstone contact responded within minutes and stayed on the phone with us for an hour,” said Williams. “The level of support that we’ve had and the amount of nurturing has been absolutely phenomenal.” The Results Strengthened brand. Durham branded Cornerstone as City U Learning, which was paired with City U Engagement and a push-pull strategy to drive platform adoption and ensure message consistency. “Branding the Cornerstone LMS as City U Learning has really helped us market the message to employees that it is up to them (‘all about you’) to learn,” said Williams. “We’re challenging employees to lead from where they are by taking charge of learning and using knowledge to advance their career.” Improved employee satisfaction scores. “Employees are excited that there are now options to access learning via multiple modalities (videos, webinars, workshops, etc.) from anywhere and at any time. There is still work to be done, but our employee satisfaction scores are improving.” Increased training completion rates. Currently, the city’s training completion rates are between 65-100 percent, depending on the department. “The Police Department has used City U Learning extensively since rollout. They have their own LMS for technical training but utilize the City U Learning platform for business skills development." “I went to see the Police Department’s senior leaders before rollout. They saw the benefit of having Cornerstone and additional video-based learning options for business skills development. They are now our highest user with a 90+ percent completion rate for core values training.” Delivered learning to thousands with a staff of two. Cornerstone makes it feasible for Williams and one other dedicated training resource to manage learning and development for thousands. “We could not track and train 2,500 people without Cornerstone. We have a broader reach and can be more high touch. Cornerstone enables us to do everything more efficiently and effectively.” Engaged millennials. With Cornerstone, The City can deliver just-in-time learning, crucial for creating a millennial friendly work culture. “Thanks to our City U learning management system all employees can learn anywhere, at any time, even waiting in line or sitting in a doctor’s office.”
Denver Public Library: Putting Learning Front & Center for Employees
Established in 1889, the Denver Public Library (DPL) serves almost 4 million visitors and circulates 9.5 million items a year. Employee learning has always been integral to the library’s operations; DPL has had a training program in place since its founding. Yet with only a small learning program staff of two, keeping up with the demand for training—and high volumes of paperwork—was challenging. All training was done face-to-face, and it was tracked through an Access database, which never delivered a comprehensive view of learning across the entire organization. One person was also tasked with producing an expensive, paper-based training calendar four times a year. “We were doing 300 face-toface classes a year and processing 2,500 paper registrations by hand,” said Jennifer Lay, learning program specialist at DPL. “It was time consuming, and the mountains of paper were ridiculous.” Why Cornerstone In the search for a solution, the library received proposals from 12 vendors and conducted an in-depth review of four learning management systems (LMS). Cornerstone OnDemand’s flexibility was a significant factor in DPL’s final selection. “What really shone for me with Cornerstone was its versatility,” said Lay. “It was the only product we looked at that gave us the flexibility to handle our multi-faceted training program.” While reviewing the Cornerstone Learning Cloud, DPL also connected with other Cornerstone users. “I heard that Cornerstone was continually improving and making functionalities available based on customer feedback,” said Sandra Smith, learning manager at DPL. “My network was telling me that Cornerstone listens to customers and is responsive to their needs.” DPL conducted a creative rollout of the Learning Cloud, sending out top ten lists, creating an e-learning scavenger hunt and conducting in-person classes. On launch day, they took balloons, snacks and user guides to every department. “We used different styles for our rollout to meet different styles of engagement, for baby boomers and millennials and those in between,” said Smith. The Results Dramatically increased training opportunities and attendance. With the Learning Cloud, branded myTRACKS, the library has increased training opportunities by 700 percent. Employees previously disinterested in training are taking advantage of the expanded offerings, and DPL has seen a 435 percent increase in training attendance. “The number of employees accessing training has skyrocketed,” said Lay. “They love the ability to do e-learning in house.” Even the facilities staff are getting involved. Recently, an HVAC technician volunteered to teach library employees about the intricacies of their 538,000 sq. ft. Central Library. “People who were never engaged before are now interested in training,” said Smith. “With Cornerstone, they can find things on their own. They don’t have to wait for a paper product or a face-to-face class to start learning.” Advanced engagement of millennial employees. The Learning Cloud has been a critical tool for engaging the library’s millennial employees. “Millennials want to be motivated and challenged in the workplace,” said Smith. “Cornerstone allows us to give them an individualized learning portal. It’s a one-stop-shop for them, where they can not only learn but also share that learning with their colleagues.” More efficiently tracked training. Now managers can assign training key to improving on-the-job performance, as well as create real-time reports showing which trainings have been completed and when. “Previously, managers couldn’t review statistics,” said Lay. “The Learning Cloud’s reporting capabilities allow us to see who is being proactive in their skill development.” Put learning front and center. By increasing on-demand and face-to-face learning opportunities, and providing an easy-to-use individualized tool, DPL has communicated the importance of ongoing learning for all employees. Employees also know that they are responsible for their professional growth. “Cornerstone helps us put learning front and center every day,” said Smith. “We’re giving employees the opportunity to develop new skills and be prepared for changes coming in the workplace.”