Customer Story

How Town & Country Markets Feeds Its Workforce with Value-Driven Learning Content

Town & Country Markets was founded in 1957 out of a shared interest in bringing fresh, high-quality groceries to Seattle-area Bainbridge Island. Until the founders (sons of immigrants who hailed from Japan and Croatia) teamed up, the island didn’t even have a supermarket. So the trio introduced Town and Country Markets—a place staffed with employees who had a passion for food and for serving the needs of the community.

T&C Markets has since grown from that single store to a regional operation with six locations and over 1,000 employees. But despite its growth, the company stays true to a set of core values that, based on the original vision of the founding families, drive every business decision and customer interaction—even as grocery customers are looking for things like technology-driven shopping experiences, a return to local produce, and food delivery services.

“What [people are] looking for is always changing,” Central Market Store Director Tom Hall told Kitsap Daily News. “How they connect, interact and celebrate food is always changing. We have to be in tune with that and adjust to people’s needs.”

T&C Markets’ most recent industry challenge? One much closer to home: How to consistently communicate its core values to over 1,000 employees (and growing) across locations. The company decided to revitalize its learning program to infuse T&C Markets’ core values into its existing compliance and training processes. To get there, the company partnered with Cornerstone OnDemand to turn this vision into reality—ultimately developing a continuous, intentional, and engaging learning and development program for its employees. From tutorials on how to organize a cash register to lessons about environmental sustainability, infusing core values into each lesson has helped T&C Markets employees connect their daily tasks to the larger mission the original founders set out to achieve.

Promoting Company Values Through Continuous Learning

T&C Markets’ values, which range from Diversity & Inclusion to Knowledge & Development, have always been a guiding light for the company.


As T&C Markets continued to grow, that need became ever more dire. Nicki Sunwall, Learning & Development Manager and Skye Tucker worked to implement Cornerstone’s learning software—specifically the Cornerstone Create Tool, designed to help businesses leverage existing learning content and create new lessons using pre-built templates. T&C Markets went with Create to easily develop new content, tailor specific courses to different roles and departments, and deliver both new and existing learning content seamlessly across the company. The Tool also allowed them to infuse their values into each and every lesson—or in some cases, create entire lessons devoted to those bespoke values.

Today, the Cornerstone learning platform, branded internally as “The Learning Compass,” is a continuous experience for employees. New hires are invited into the platform to take a series of introductory lessons, including one that goes over each of the company’s values. Moving forward, employees receive lessons monthly. These lessons ensure employees are up-to-date with training and compliance, empower them to explore new areas, and create opportunities to keep T&C Markets’ values top-of-mind. Continuous learning helps onboard new employees and upskill existing employees, but more importantly, it highlights the imperative value of knowledge and development (one of T&C Markets’ core values).

Intentional Learning and Development

For T&C Markets employees, finding time for learning can be challenging: It requires them to leave the store floor, taking time away from assisting customers.

“We know our employees’ time is already really precious,” Tucker says. “So when we’re taking them off the floor and giving them space to learn, we always want to make sure that’s time well spent. ”

This commitment to intentional learning is multifaceted: First, to help minimize disruption to the workflow, T&C Markets created new lessons in the style of Cornerstone’s Microlearning® philosophy. Focused on individual concepts delivered in minutes, microlearning helps employees make time for development—minimally disrupting their shift.

Second, T&C Markets’ learning content does more than provide information to employees—it also connects back to a larger goal or initiative by uncovering the “why” behind the “what.”

Lessons about kitchen safety, for example, teach employees how to properly operate specific equipment. They also explain why compliance is so important to the company. This learning strategy ensures employees are equipped with training and knowledge, while keeping customer experience top of mind.

Take one of T&C Markets’ recent lessons for front-end checkers as another example: This lesson not only teaches employees how to keep registers organized, but also explains how it will help employees work effectively with people in their department—true to its “People Working Together” value.

Increasing Employee Engagement

Beyond ensuring employees know how lessons tie back to both company priorities and its values, T&C Markets works to ensure the actual content of the lessons are interesting, too. Most lessons incorporate multiple forms of media. One lesson about one of T&C Markets’ core values might include photos, videos, statistics, or interviews.

T&C Markets’ learning content also often features members of its leadership team or managerial staff. A lesson about Stewardship features expertise from Tony D’Onofrio, Sustainability Director at T&C Markets, and Susan Allen, the company’s Senior Brand Development Manager. Featuring subject matter experts adds color to the content and contributes to overall understanding of the lesson. Employees can also easily put faces to names at the company.

“These leaders often travel to different markets, and folks will say, ‘Hey, I saw you in that video. I know who you are,’” says Nicki Sunwall, Learning and Development Manager at T&C Markets. “And they now have connections with not only our core values and our company culture, but with members of our leadership team.”

T&C Markets also looks for methods outside of the platform to increase learning engagement. For example, the company launched a friendly competition between each of the six markets to drive participation—and the approach paid off. T&C Markets’ gamification-driven learning strategy resulted in a 100% lesson completion rate in many of its markets. T&C markets also hosts regular, interactive discussions about lessons to encourage staff to share what they’re learning—and even what they’d like to learn more about.

Fostering A Culture of Learning at T&C Markets

T&C Markets continues to communicate its core values to employees, creating a culture where workers are excited to learn. In fact, when asked about their learning experience thus far, a majority of employees are interested in more learning opportunities. The values-driven approach is a competitive differentiator for the company, since more employees today are motivated by mission and purpose.This commitment to learning can also drive retention, with 70% of survey respondents in one study reporting that job-related training and development impacts their decision to stay with a company.

Building on Foundational Values

What’s next for T&C Markets? The company’s leadership is currently discussing the creation of more operational, compliance-like trainings using Cornerstone. T&C Markets plans to experiment with new types of content like instruction manual videos that feature employees across teams and locations, sharing guidance on how to do their jobs most effectively. As T&C’s leadership receives more employee insights and feedback on learning and development content, the Create Tool will let them effortlessly tailor content to meet the evolving needs of their employees.

While T&C Markets’ method for distributing learning content is fresh and modern, the themes are as old as T&C Markets itself—and it’s safe to say to say its founders would be proud that these values are as relevant now as they were at the very start.

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New Belgium engaging the right job candidates

Customer Story

New Belgium engaging the right job candidates

New Belgium found the right candidates faster, enabled collaborative hiring, and support company growth with Cornerstone. New Belgium Brewing is a nationally renowned craft brewery that produces high-quality, Belgian-inspired beers. In just over two decades, New Belgium has grown to become the third-largest craft brewery in the U.S. The company is recognized as one of Outside magazine’s “Best Places to Work” and one of the Wall Street Journal’s “Best Small Businesses.” New Belgium is known for its high involvement culture—employees receive benefits such as paid sabbaticals and trips to Belgium after milestone anniversaries. The company’s unique management style makes the sourcing and recruiting process more intensive, as supporting this environment requires evaluating both a candidate’s skill and their potential fit within the company’s culture. As an added challenge, the company’s recent growth— construction of a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, and an expansion of their sales force—means recruiters must increase sourcing efforts while simultaneously reducing time to hire. Why Cornerstone With Cornerstone Recruiting, New Belgium found a highly configurable, integrated solution that is flexible enough to adapt to the company's existing recruiting process. The solution also will easily expand with the company as business and workforce needs increase. "One of the most important aspects of Cornerstone Recruiting is its flexibility," said Greg Churchman, talent sage for New Belgium. "Every organization is different in how they recruit. The recruiting solution adapts to us." With Cornerstone Recruiting, New Belgium can go beyond merely tracking and evaluating candidates, to creating ready talent pools, building custom career sites and leveraging employee referrals. New Belgium is currently integrating Cornerstone Recruiting with Cornerstone Learning, Cornerstone Connect and Cornerstone Performance, key to managing the entire employee lifecycle. The Results Find the right people for the right jobs, in less time. With the Cornerstone Recruiting, New Belgium can find candidates who are both a skill and cultural match much faster. “We’re fortunate to get 200 to 300 applicants for any job opening. Our challenge is how we get through those applicants to find the people who really want to work here and self-select into our culture,” said Jennifer Briggs, HR director for New Belgium. “Cornerstone enables us do that in less time, which means we have more time to engage with the right candidates.” Enable hiring collaboration. Hiring new employees is a team effort at New Belgium, and company leaders rely on the recruiting solution to support collaboration on candidate assessments. "Our teams across the country can now work together to make joint hiring decisions,” said Briggs. "When we hire people, we have teams of people who look at applicants to say, 'should we hire that person into our team?' Even if we have a remote team of five people, that team is able to collaborate. They can see the same data and operate from the same place." Review remote candidates and support hiring needs throughout current and future expansions. With a growing national sales force and expansion into a second brewery thousands of miles away, New Belgium relies on Cornerstone Recruiting to engage with and review remote candidates. "We're looking to add some wonderful salespeople to grow our brand across the country,” said Briggs. "Cornerstone provides us with a one-stop-shop to source and recruit great candidates, independent of their location or ours."

Content Anytime digitally supports multi-national skills-based transformation

Customer Story

Content Anytime digitally supports multi-national skills-based transformation

Headquartered in Paris, BNP Paribas Group operates in 72 countries and serves nearly 33 million clients worldwide, focusing on retail banking and services, corporate institutional banking, and investment solutions. The Learning and Development team at BNP Paribas wanted a Content solution that provided more up-to-date modern content, was easy to plug and play, was available at a reasonable cost, and reflected the professional diversity within its organisation. With Cornerstone Content Anytime (CCA), BNP Paribas gained all that and more. CCA scales with their business, transitions them away from classroom training, and is available anytime, anywhere. “Content Anytime contributes to our employees’ development by providing instant access to a diverse range of online training that is current, engaging, and informative. One day, Content Anytime will be part of our culture, and it will be part of who we are as a brand as well,” says Nasser Zabbar, learning & development manager at BNP Paribas Real Estate UK. In 2017, BNP Paribas set an aggressive business plan for the next four years. They called it the Road to 2020. To help the company achieve these goals the HR team created their own subset of this plan and turned to Cornerstone Content Anytime to help them achieve the goals of the Road to 2020. BNP Paribas talent goals and focus As a subset to the BNP Paribas strategic vision of the Road to 2020 — its 2017–2020 business plan — the HR team constructed their own talent plan with employees at the core. This plan focused on employees’ learning and development (L&D) and strives to continuously improve the employee experience by: Anticipating future required skills brought about by digital transformation Understanding employee learning needs in-depth Creating personalised and relevant HR offerings Across all business entities, each L&D team is committed to continuous learning and development of their employees. 4 key L&D focus areas for 2020 Technical business skills Soft skills Transformation (digital, agile, remote working) Compliance The challenges they faced Needed to make training easy, accessible, and relevant across the organization (ATAWAD) Wanted more up-to-date, modern learning content library that is aligned with soft skills and digital transformation Needed a library of content that supports multiple languages and learning preferences to engage their diverse employees. Needed to make training easy, accessible, and relevant across the organization (ATAWAD) Content Anytime as an enabler for modern, blended learning Previously, leadership and management training were outsourced, and when Zabbar led an effort to bring this in-house, CCA became an enabler for a blended-learning solution. The approach was to use online content through the CCA Leadership & Management subscription as a precursor of what was coming. When the employee trained on one subject, the L&D team would suggest some slightly different content on the same topic within CCA to reinforce the prior training. As an example, during the seasonal appraisal period, Natalie Williams, L&D coordinator at BNP Paribas Real Estate UK, would put together playlists of relevant content that touched on performance reviews. These playlists focused on topics like how to have good or difficult conversations, how to give feedback, and how to prepare for a performance review. Offered variety, supporting the unique learning needs of a diverse workforce For BNP Paribas, diverse cultures and multiple languages are the norm. This is even more pronounced at BNP Paribas Luxembourg. As a small, landlocked European country, Luxembourg draws a major portion of its workforce from its surrounding neighbours, including Belgium, Germany, and France. BNP Paribas Luxembourg (BGL) employees speak German, French, and English. With the recent purchase of a subsidiary of another bank, they had an influx of Dutch speakers as well. Because of this diversity, they were looking for a solution that embodied a variety of pedagogical approaches, different languages, and different modalities due to the move away from classroom training, different levels of content, and of course, cost-effectiveness. Content Anytime hit the mark offering a diverse variety of content in multiple languages and formats, which felt culturally relevant for their global workforce. Additionally, the BNP Paribas Real Estate UK unit is composed of commercial, rural, residential, and central functions with a diverse age group ranging from recent graduates to seasoned professionals. Williams remarked, “This required the need to keep pace with the likes of Snapchat, YouTube, and Netflix, which were more fast-paced and provided engaging content. Cornerstone Content Anytime (CCA) was likened to be the best match versus other providers.” Provided content anytime, anywhere — especially during COVID BGL recognised that the anytime, anywhere, any device approach for training was the new reality and required good content libraries. Once COVID hit, soft skills development became a priority for BNP Paribas Luxembourg. There was also a need to work on remote working skills and habits and even more specific work topics such as Remote Management and Remote Selling. That drove the necessity to rollout Content Anytime quickly to meet these needs. In the soft skills area, BGL did have a lot of courses available in its training centre. Before the COVID crisis, they were prepared with a training strategy set up to digitalise the training they offer. With the pandemic, the need became urgent and the discussions with Cornerstone accelerated in order for BGL to be live with Content Anytime in May 2020. One important criterion for them was the need for a UX experience that was smooth and seamless for the users. Starting in 2019 and even before COVID, BGL had already begun moving away from classroom learning. Frederic Hieronimus, head of training and development at BGL, shared that BGL had previously seen that in-person classroom learning was preferred to digital online learning. Classroom training brought people together, and there was a social element where people preferred to meet in-person. In order to market online learning, they had to be cognizant of this and offer shorter, more convenient learning options. COVID changed the paradigm dramatically and made the switch and uptake of digital content expand dramatically. BGL’s estimate of learning content consumed digitally is likely to hit 80 percent for 2020 primarily due to COVID. In the time post-COVID, BGL still would like to retain a blended learning approach as they still see the need for contacts between individuals from different job functions, divisions, and sites. They want a balanced approach between digital content and classroom content. In the future, they plan on moving towards hybrid, blended learning solutions where there is opportunity to do some pre-work utilising Content Anytime offerings to supplement face-to-face learning. Williams also feels that down the road, basic soft skills training will not be provided in the classroom. She observes that online content is getting better and better, and people’s appetite to acquire information through digital sources is growing. BNP Paribas Real Estate UK is looking to make it 70/30 percent (virtual vs. in-person or Zoom). How BNP Paribas drove adoption of Content Anytime They started running a pilot Through the guidance of its Group counterparts, the L&D team of BNP Paribas Real Estate UK was the first of the Group’s entities to select and implement the Cornerstone Content Anytime library in October 2018. They started with a pilot session engaging around 20 employees from different regions and different departments in order to ensure the content worked for the employee base, and that the solution was robust. They built marketing tools to drive excitement and adoption Once CCA Professional Skills and CCA Leadership & Management subscriptions were launched, building awareness and adoption was an ongoing and multi-step process. The Real Estate UK unit’s internal launch campaign included contacting each office, enabling email pushes, creating a Star Wars-themed video, and building playlists shared through email signatures to drive adoption. Some users shared that they thought the new content was great and pointed out particular courses. During a re-launch in September 2019 due to the introduction of Learner Home, the new LMS home page, the user interface provided for a better experience. Visually, the new website looked a lot more like Netflix and iTunes, for example. Williams applauded, “The ability to create playlists through Learner Home was super cool.” Learnify — A BNP Paribas Luxembourg marketing tool According to Rebecca Wong, programme manager, group HR strategy & transformation with BNP Paribas Group, “...the biggest failure we have seen in terms of content is that if you just leave it in the system, no one is going to take it.” Wong continued, “...I think that is why Cornerstone Cares [a free platform featuring online courses designed to help anyone protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, practice self-care to manage the stress and isolation of quarantine, stay productive while working from home, and mitigate or eliminate unconscious bias] was a big success [because of good marketing].” Prior to CCA, most training offers had been done using the “pull” model where employees identified training they wanted and had their manager approve the request. CCA enabled BGL to shift more towards a “push” model where a playlist was created and used to “push” offerings each month. Each month since BGL went live with CCA in May 2020, the team creates a playlist revolving around a theme that is linked with the orientation of the bank or with current worldwide news. For example, with Mobility Week taking place in June, the June playlist centred around “mobility” which focused on internal career transitions with topics such as creating a CV and interview techniques. July’s playlist was focused on “resilience,” and August’s playlist topic was “remote working.” BGL branded the CCA training offer “Learnify” and uses playlists to create a blended learning approach. Those playlists are promoted on the Connect community pages from Cornerstone. To further market Learnify, headphones with the branded Learnify logo were also distributed. In terms of managerial development, BGL decided to purchase a CCA Leadership & Management license for each manager. They had already developed a workshop focusing on seven competencies and wanted to push content linked to those skills. Skills-tagging for course content was very important to ensure relevant coursework was aligned with BGL’s managerial competency matrix. The path forward Audrey Matton, project officer of solution, deployment & service learning with BNP Paribas SA Brussels, concluded, “As a global multinational, we are pleased to be able to introduce and recommend innovative and tested learning solutions to our diverse employee base across our varied business entities. Content Anytime provides a lever in that direction. Currently, the BNP Paribas Group already has more entities waiting in the wings to subscribe to Content Anytime within a group frame contract.”

Siemens delivers modern learning experiences

Customer Story

Siemens delivers modern learning experiences

A critical part of delivering development to large organizations like Siemen includes seamless integration between learning platforms and e-learning content. Siemens leverages the combined strength of the Saba Cloud development platform and OpenSesame's comprehensive learning content. With the seamless integration of these eLearning courses into Saba Cloud Learning, Siemens can provide its employees with real-time access to cutting-edge content matched to their learning plans. As a result, Siemens has achieved efficiency and productivity gains, while also providing the modern, agile learning experience its employees crave.

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