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Clif Bar doubles down on its commitment to self-directed learning
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Case Study

Clif Bar doubles down on its commitment to self-directed learning

"We encourage employees to be empowered and selfdirected in their learning endeavors. We want them to own their development."
Jennifer Freitas
Director of Learning

Clif Bar & Company believes in being a “different kind of company.” This same ethos has helped fuel its unique approach to self-directed learning: equipping employees with the right tools to take charge of their own development and growth.

Clif Bar’s learning and development team wanted to build a dynamic culture of learning. But doing so required overcoming a reliance on manual processes and a lack of centralized learning content. Thanks to the powerful combination of Cornerstone Learning and Cornerstone Content Anytime (CCA), Clif Bar brought “Epiphany Labs,” its learning hub, to life. And since then, it’s where all the learning magic happens.

Results

Reinforced cultural synergy. “Cornerstone’s reputation as an employer really vibed with our culture,” expressed Jennifer Freitas, Clif Bar’s director of learning. While not a “result,” per se, this says a lot about the importance of cultural alignment in decision-making processes.

Improved learning strategy. “We focused purely on the mechanics of learning and less on building a holistic learning strategy,” said Freitas. “Now, we can focus on the ROI of delivering quality learning to our people.” The biggest benefit of a learning management system is the ability to scale learning to meet employees’ development needs while also being able to measure the impact of that strategy.

Strengthened leadership. “In 2020, we launched a new blended learning leadership program, called ‘Leader Trek,’” explained Freitas. Clif Bar used on-demand content from CCA to supplement its instructor-led training to offer a more flexible and comprehensive learning program, especially useful with people working from home during the pandemic.

Increased engagement. “A lot of new on-demand content comes with every Cornerstone Content Anytime quarterly update,” said Brandon Hodges, Clif Bar’s learning and development specialist. “And because the production quality of Cornerstone’s content is amazing, our people see real value in it and are coming back regularly for more.”

Supported remote learning. “I cannot imagine not having our learning hub during the pandemic,” expressed Freitas. “We used it for everything, from employee onboarding to leadership training to remote working seminars to stress management workshops.” This helped the company continue to support employees in a remote workforce environment.

Addressed evolving learning needs. “The pandemic has taught us a lot about how to address employee needs in a more thoughtful way,” explained Hodges. The most popular course titles in 2019 included “Use Stories to Engage Your Audience” and “What Makes a Good Story?” while in 2020, employees gravitated to “Watch Out for Burnout” and “Reduce Workplace Anxiety.”

Next Steps

Clif Bar is already devising new ways to amplify the company’s self-directed learning culture:

  • Encouraging employees to leave ratings and feedback to the coursework Boosting completion rates for eLearning courses
  • Creating closer alignment between on-demand content and live learning sessions
  • Building learning journeys focused on developing greater skill agility

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