Blog Post

Breaking Down Blockchain: Making Learning More Transparent and Portable

Ike Bennion

Director of Product Marketing, Innovation and Strategy

Editor’s Note: In our four-part series, Breaking Down Blockchain, ReWork explains the potential of this promising new technology in the world of HR. Check out our previous pieces, on how blockchain is transforming resumes and onboarding.

An embroidered patch stuck to a tiny vest is emblematic for the Girl and Boy Scouts. When a Scout picks up a new skill, a merit badge is both praise and proof. The child’s accomplishment has been verified by an authority figure, and anyone who sees the badge knows the new skill it represents.

At its core, blockchain is this system turned virtual. When adapted for use in learning and development, employees earn digital badges—nodes of data—that are stored in a transparent, verifiable and unchangeable network over the course of their careers. Be it a skill gained through a past role, a credential earned via an online training course or a formal degree, employers can easily access these bits of information when an employee shares their individual blockchain.

There’s more to blockchain than just convenient recordkeeping, though. Not only can it help with credentialing and maintaining a ledger of past learning events, but it can also link learning to compensation to ensure employees are paid on par with their skill sets and make them more mobile within their organization and beyond.

Digitizing Employee Credentialing via Blockchain

To date, the biggest benefit of using blockchain to keep track of on- and off-the-job education has been that these records are verifiable and unchangeable. (Read about the advantage of blockchain and credentialing during onboarding in an earlier post in this series.) But now, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, a resource library for learning professionals, says the flexibility and dynamic nature of blockchain makes it an invaluable tool for credentialing existing employees—not just new hires.

Employees are taking in content from many different sources—attending virtual conferences, taking remote classes, participating in webinars and more. With blockchain, Vander Ark says that employers might even be able to bypass aptitude tests and certain industry-specific requirements (i.e. coding tests for engineers or writing tests for journalists) by trusting a reliable blockchain record.

Using blockchain as a record-keeping system, employees can accumulate verified skills from both internal and external training and development opportunities—and the record can even include informal, small learnings called microcredentials. As Vander Ark explains, most microcredentials require a demonstration of mastery in a prescribed fashion, and there are often several paths to developing and demonstrating a skill. When an employee claims to have developed a skill, an authority must assess and verify it before issuing a microcredential. "The benefit is certainty around the demonstration of the skill," Vander Ark says.

Blockchain Can Also Seamlessly Link L&D Achievements to Compensation

While credentialing is the most obvious use-case for blockchain in learning and development, blockchain can inform compensation, too, Vander Ark says. Earning a particular badge, microcredential or certification could trigger compensation changes like a bonus or even a new pay level. If an employee qualifies for a new compensation package after having completed a unit of learning, blockchain can make this change seamless.

"Blockchain can handle automated transactions easily," he says. Vander Ark gives this example: a school district employee who finishes a masters degree might qualify for higher pay. That employee must first acquire a transcript, then send the transcript to the school district; there is paperwork involved, and the HR team has to notify payroll. Three months and ten hours of paperwork later, the new pay rate is in place.

"With a blockchain record it could happen automatically," he says. "As soon as that college verified the degree, it would trigger an increase in compensation."

The same could apply to gig workers and freelancers who qualify for new levels of payment based on years of experience, certifications earned or the conditions of a shift they’re working, he says. And the gig economy is ramping up. "People are increasingly working from home, and more hiring and recruiting is done remotely as well. More gig economy work is happening and contractors are being hired in unprecedented numbers, especially at large Fortune 500s," Vander Ark says.

Blockchain Supports Internal Talent Mobility

As a network, blockchain has the potential to become a ticket to mobility. By implementing blockchain and a digital badge system, employees might find added motivation to learn, knowing that their accomplishments can easily travel with them if they eventually want to move on to a new role or even a new company. Plus, this portability also fosters a more personal way of learning, because it encourages learners to pursue whatever interests them with the confidence that it’ll be documented and counted towards their career.

"It allows employees to have some choice over what they learn, how they learn, when they learn and how they demonstrate their learning," Vander Ark says. "It really personalizes learning because people have some optionality, voice and choice."

For employers, blockchain makes confirming skills and credentials more straightforward when considering existing employees for new roles or promotions. When a position opens up, they don’t have to rely on an outdated resume from when the employee was first hired—instead, they can refer to a blockchain, which is consistently updated as workers gain new knowledge. And, ultimately, more potential for mobility translates into retention, because employees who are motivated and engaged are more likely to stay at a company than those who aren’t.

Blockchain in learning, even in its early days, is a win-win.

Did you know that Cornerstone joined the Velocity Network to help accelerate the development of a universal blockchain-powered network for HR? Learn more here and follow this series for everything you need to know about blockchain!

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Citadele: Investing in a culture of learning and individual performance management

Customer Story

Citadele: Investing in a culture of learning and individual performance management

Citadele Group is an innovative, full-service financial group for both private individuals and companies. The Group offers a complete portfolio of banking, financial and private capital management services in the Baltic states. Citadele’s mission is to provide more opportunities to its clients by redefining modern banking – it aims to change the meaning of current financial business with innovations and an outstanding client experience beyond the formal frame. With the goal of becoming the Baltic banking champion, Citadele offers multiple career paths and a variety of professional development opportunities for all its employees. Our new path towards ambitious and modern goals also demands a change within our employees’ learning and performance tracking model. Improved tools and solutions are needed to streamline Citadele’s employee progression processes across 37 offices. Why Cornerstone? Recognising that employees are its most valuable asset, Citadele made sure that employees are the top priority in the process of change. Bearing this in mind, Citadele had three key requirements during the search for its talent management solution: the system needed to be easy-to-use; it needed to have the option to involve employees in individual goal-setting; and it needed to track feedback on an ongoing basis and provide tracking for necessary compliance training. The system also needed to feature engaging and motivating content to help Citadele boost talent retention rates. After considering 20 other vendors, Citadele chose Cornerstone OnDemand as it ticked all the required boxes in terms of being both an established SaaS platform and a well-developed system that adhered to all of Citadele’s needs. After considering 20 other vendors, Citadele chose Cornerstone OnDemand as it ticked all the required boxes in terms of being both an established SaaS platform and a well-developed system that adhered to all of Citadele’s needs. The Results Increased productivity. Since implementing Cornerstone Performance, Citadele has seen an improvement in its employees’ performance. The simplified goal-setting, monitoring and continuous feedback system means that employees feel more confident and more motivated at work. That in turn has led to increased productivity levels. According to Citadele’s recent feedback survey, more than 95% of employees expressed satisfaction with the system. Streamlined performance processes. Before Cornerstone, all records regarding employees’ career, training, obligatory certifications and performance appraisals had to be integrated manually. With Cornerstone Performance, managers now receive detailed analytics at the click of a button, meaning that employee goals, training activities and tracking have become optimised and tailored to employees’ needs. Enhanced employer reputation. Citadele strives for the status of best employer in the Baltic region. Partnering with Cornerstone has helped Citadele to attract and retain even more talent in the industry Full compliance visibility. Compliance training was one of the key requirements for Citadele. Since implementing the Cornerstone e-learning module, the company is now confident that all its employees have the necessary training to meet the industry’s compliance requirements. Citadele is also able to successfully track completions in order to meet deadlines. Motivation and passion for learning. Implementing Cornerstone Performance has helped Citadele to significantly raise the ambition and motivation of its employees. Necessary changes in individual performance management have pushed Citadele forward regarding its learning culture. Since then, the company has selected Cornerstone’s e-learning as its next module, in addition to the already launched Cornerstone’s Performance Appraisal System. This will allow each employee to choose their most convenient way to learn, integrating learning into their everyday work.

Announcing the Convergence 2021 featured speakers: Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai

Blog Post

Announcing the Convergence 2021 featured speakers: Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai

We’re counting down the days to Cornerstone Convergence 2021. Get ready to join over 20,000 talent professionals on November 16-17 from the comfort of your laptop at this 100% virtual and completely free event. There’s so much to look forward to at this year’s event, but we’re especially excited to announce this year's special guest speakers, Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai! Levy is an Emmy® Award-winning writer, actor, director and producer best known for his work on Schitt’s Creek. And Malala is the Co-Founder of Malala Fund, a recent Oxford graduate and a Nobel Prize laureate. To get you even more excited, here are two previews of their can't-miss Convergence sessions. Meeting the Moment with Dan Levy We give rise to our greatest work when we embrace the strengths that lie in our individuality and build a shared vision for something better. Join this session to hear Dan Levy share his personal journey of using creativity to overcome obstacles and Meet the Moment. Register to see Dan Levy A Moment with Malala What does it take to move forward in the face of adversity? To pursue a higher purpose, in spite of targeted violent backlash? When Pakistani education activist, Malala Yousafzai was just 15 she learned the answers to these questions as she recovered from an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Join this session to hear Malala share her story of personal resilience and collective purpose in driving global education for girls everywhere. Register to see Malala Even more excitement at Convergence 2021 The next year of work will be all about turning change into opportunities for everyone. Check out a sneak preview of just a few Convergence speakers and informative breakout sessions. Bold Thinkers Dealing with Microaggressions and Healing from Workplace Trauma – Featuring Minda Harts, CEO of The Memo LLC More Bold Thinker sessions led by Jason Lauritsen, Laurie Ruettimann, David Wilson, Josh Bersin and others. Customer Spotlights Delivering skills-first careers powered by AI – From Deutsche Post DHL and Alstom More strategies, tips and advice from the Cornerstone and Saba community in our Customer Spotlight track, featuring Dell Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, Nespresso, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and more. The Content Channel The World Premiere of Seat at the Table – A Cornerstone Original Series Other sessions focused on leading innovations in learning content from top providers such as Cornerstone Studios, TED, ITProTV and Mind Tools. Daily Keynotes Conversations with industry luminaries and Cornerstone executives about reimagining work and Cornerstone’s vision for leading the way. Join us at Convergence and Meet the Moment Convergence 2021 is your opportunity to get inspired, find “ah-ha” moments, connect with your peers and explore the future of work (and your role in it). As a talent leader, you're connecting what your people need to your organization's evolving goals so everyone thrives in this moment. We’ll see you there!

CGL: Improving learning and performance capability through advanced digital solutions

Customer Story

CGL: Improving learning and performance capability through advanced digital solutions

Communities often need help when their quality of life is affected by crime. Homelessness, drugs, alcohol and domestic abuse all have an impact on the local area and this is where the CGL (Change, Grow, Live – formerly known as CRI) steps in. Every year, more than 120,000 people across England and Wales receive assistance to get back on their feet. At CGL, full-time staff and volunteers work to encourage and motivate people to take control of their lives. CGL now has more than 3,000 staff and 1,000 volunteers in more than 160 regional centers. With so many employees across a wide region, keeping track of their progress was proving to be difficult. Previously, there were instances where notes were lost, handwriting was illegible, copies were not being shared, and many of the action points from the meetings were missed. CGL knew they had to address this by empowering its employees and volunteers by implementing a unified talent management solution. Why Cornerstone To overcome its reliance on paper-based records, CGL decided it had to go digital. It chose the talent management tools from Cornerstone OnDemand, selecting Cornerstone Learning and Cornerstone Performance solutions. The solutions enabled CGL to standardise its recordkeeping across the organisation. What happened in one office needed to be replicated in another, even if it is hundreds of miles away. So, for the first time, the performance management process was exactly the same across the country. Through Cornerstone, CGL now has the ability to deliver, track, view and report on all learning and development progress across the organisation. In turn, it brings unity and consistency to all its training modules. Furthermore, through Cornerstone’s cloud-based talent management software, CGL was able to empower its employees and volunteers through learning and development, as well as foster a more aligned performance management process throughout the organisation. The sharing of best practices developed a powerful team of employees and volunteers that could provide the best possible service to those that CGL works with. Results Created central access to learning. Cornerstone has provided CGL with central access to learning and development from any device. It has revolutionised the way that CGL is able to quality assure and monitor both individual and overall service performance. Improved Customer satisfaction. Sandra Eden, Development Manager at CGL in the Midlands, said “Quality performance reviews contribute to positive outcomes and achievements, improved staff engagement and customer and stakeholder satisfaction. The quantitative and qualitative detail driving everything that we do is now easily accessible at the click of a button.” Standardised performance reviews. CGL constructed a thorough marketing plan to prepare for the roll out of the new system across its workforce. With tailored emails outlining clear benefits – both from a line manager’s perspective and frontline perspective, uptake in the first week was 15 percent. So far, just a few months after rolling out the service, 1,791 performance reviews have been created across CGL. Increased employee and volunteer engagement. The newly introduced Welcome Page on the training site has had an immediate impact. An internal Stonewall diversity survey generated only 17 respondents prior to using Cornerstone; three days after a message and link were posted on the new hosting site, the number of respondents rose to 82 – a 482 percent increase. Kevin Crowley, Executive Director – Quality, Governance and Innovation at CGL values the visibility he has over the organisation. He said, “Using Cornerstone to bring performance development online has really given us a powerful tool to more closely align learning with performance and ensure our staff has the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the best possible service to those we work with. We have been able to build up a national picture of our strengths, and can identify and share good practice to ensure continuous improvement across the organisation.”

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