How Penn Community Bank Enabled Bankers to Leverage Learning During a Crisis
Headquartered in Perkasie, PA, Penn Community Bank is Southeastern Pennsylvania’s largest locally run, independent mutual bank system. Penn Community Bank began using Cornerstone’s LMS and Performance products in 2017 to automate its manual learning processes, unify performance and learning efforts, deliver modern learning content, and get insight into employee engagement. At the recommendation of Sandy Ziegler, VP, director, training & development, Penn Community Bank adopted both tools to complement one another.
Penn Community Bank began using Cornerstone’s LMS and Performance products in 2017 to automate its manual learning processes, unify performance and learning efforts, deliver modern learning content, and get insight into employee engagement. At the recommendation of Sandy Ziegler, VP, director, training & development, Penn Community Bank adopted both tools to complement one another.
Since the initial implementation, the bank has seen impressive results. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the quarantine began, Penn Community Bank needed to quickly deploy a telecommuting policy for their workforce, all of which had previously worked on-site. Penn Community Bank knew it could count on Cornerstone to power critical communication, provide timely learning and training materials and continue to enable them to reach their professional goals, even during the crisis.
A Constant in a Time of Change. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses were forced to pivot to remote work and Penn Community Bank was no exception. Because companies had to shift gears quickly, many scrambled to define remote policies and communicate changes—but for Penn Community Bank, the infrastructure for distributing information and holding employees accountable was already established.
The bank used Cornerstone’s LMS not only to share the organization’s remote policy, but also to ensure that employees understood the materials by requiring their sign-off.
Using Downtime for Learning. With most of its employees working remotely, Penn Community Bank wanted to ensure that they would be able to use downtime wisely. "We turned potential downtime into an opportunity by pushing out compliance training early. This helps set us up for success as we think about emerging strongly post-COVID,” commented Richards.
The company also recognized that the stay-at-home order provided an opportunity for learning and development. It turned to Cornerstone Cares, a centralized hub of complimentary learning materials, to help employees overcome the disruption. The bank selected courses including “Tips for Productive Remote Work” and “Build Work Relationships Remotely.” Already, 70% of team members have completed them. Within a 6-week period, Penn Community Bank saw over 400 course registrations across 190+ unique users, totaling 4,000+ minutes of learning.
And employees have been proactive about sharpening other skills—since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 100% increase in completion of courses from CyberU, a learning content marketplace for Cornerstone LMS users.
Recognizing Performers. When it’s business as usual, Cornerstone Performance enables the bank’s teams to communicate about performance goals, provide feedback and revise goals. With the COVID-19 crisis, Penn Community Bank updated its mid-year goal review to include additional evaluation areas, encouraging managers to recognize workers for adaptability.
“We’re thankful for the ability to create and customize performance tasks to meet our needs in the moment,” says Kirsten Palmieri, HR business partner and VP at Penn Community Bank.
A Post-COVID World. Though the future of work is in flux, Penn Community Bank is looking ahead. Before the pandemic hit, the bank saw success with its shadow program, an opportunity for employees to learn about other departments, and is eager to reinstate it.
As workforces become more flexible, the program gives employees an opportunity to “new skill.” Participants not only experience personal growth, but also add value as potential candidates for open positions. “As soon as we sent the email that shadow positions were available through Cornerstone, they filled up immediately,” Richards says.
From introducing badges that reward learning to debuting “Check-ins” to marry goals with ongoing coaching, Penn Community Bank is always seeking ways to empower its employees. When the crisis ends and workers can return, “we have some very exciting things to look forward to,” Richards says.