Blog Post

The Importance of Finding Meaning in Work

Cornerstone Editors

Meaning: a word that can typify several things. The classic definition of this word is "implied or explicit significance" or "important or worthwhile quality; purpose."

Digital transformations are effectively reshaping the very nature of work: From the rise of automation in the workplace to the introduction of new advanced technologies, these changes are either confirming some of our traditional business models, or forcing their collapse. Amid so much volatility, employees have felt insecure about the future of their roles for quite some time. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these feelings of instability and unpredictability. Even now, decisions about return-to-office plans and the need for new roles to fill in key skills gaps remain in flux.

In a previous post I spoke of the Cornerstone People Research Lab (CPRL) findings around what we termed "the confidence gap" between employers’ and employees’ perception of their future of work preparedness. In this research, CPRL confirmed what we believed to be true: Employee nervousness and anxiety is on the rise in these uncertain times.

We explored the reasons behind that gap in another recent global skills survey of 1,000 employees and 500 C-level executives and HR managers from around the world. Here, CPRL found that almost half of employees (47%) are concerned that their role will change significantly in the next few years. Additionally, 30% of employees worry that their jobs won’t even be needed in the future. Our research also found that a lack of confidence among employees is pretty common: 21% of employees are concerned that their role will become too digitally technical, 20% are worried that their role will be filled by a more qualified candidate, and 18% believe their job will be automated by a machine.

Amid so much uncertainty, talent leaders are faced with the challenge—and opportunity—to make sure that employees find the time and motivation to learn, consequently quelling those concerns about their role changing and making them feel more valued at work. Through upskilling, reskilling, and new-skilling initiatives, both are possible.

Finding Meaning in Daily Work

Employees are not only in need of more confidence—they want purpose as well. They want to know that what they do everyday matters and has an impact. In our survey, we found that 66 percent of employees said meaningful work is important when choosing an employer.

But what does this "meaning" actually look like in practice?

Our findings suggest that it’s about creating and promoting a sense of purpose and connecting daily work to the organization’s broader mission, vision, values and current climate. Clarity of purpose is central to connecting people to mission. To achieve this, talent leaders can invest in helping their employees feel understood—whether that involves promoting regular conversations with managers about personal and professional growth goals, creating a sense of belonging by valuing and celebrating uniqueness or ensuring overall well-being through health and wellness programs.

Why a More Human Approach Is Good for People and Good for Business

Proactive innovation and creativity happens when employees feel valued, understood and prepared. If talent leaders treat employees as unique individuals with different strengths and skills, and take a more personalized approach to learning and development, that sense of being valued will follow—and help employees thrive and adapt.

Not only does this strategy help boost employee morale, it’s a smart business move, too. When employees feel supported and excited about their work, they’re more likely to tap into their skill set, collaborate with others and reach their full potential. It is this flywheel effect that is the accelerant to the organizational outcomes. And this isn’t just the case for current employees—it also affects prospective employees as well because a learning culture can attract and retain top talent.

Where Meaning Meets Motivation

Finding meaning in work isn’t just a way to get by during trying times or avoiding employee burnout—it’s about making sure your employees are motivated to innovate, create, and propel the business forward. Creating clarity, and demonstrating action against that set of needs helps all of us connect to meaning. And although it might feel more critical in 2021, it’s not just a trend. Whether we’re talking about tough times, new normals or next normals, or some yet undefined term, finding meaning in work is paramount to the success of your business and the well-being of your employees.

For more insight into how leading organizations are innovating the employee experience to meet the moment, please download our report "A License to Skill: Embracing the Reskilling Revolution."

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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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