28 Apr 2021
FORUM Credit Union Fosters Employee Success with a Powerful Unified Talent Management Solution
FORUM Credit Union lives and breathes its mission of “helping members live their financial dreams” every single day. The Indianapolis-based, fully member-owned financial cooperative believes that enriching the lives of its own employees is the key for staying attentive to member needs. Which is why FORUM looked to Cornerstone to help them build a unified talent management solution, giving them a single place to manage employee performance, development, and growth flawlessly.
- FORUM’s performance management and LMS platforms were completely separate.
- Managing administrative tasks, from scheduling reports to uploading content, was cumbersome and further exacerbated by the previous vendor’s poor customer service.
- Engagement and completion rates on both platforms were low as a result of the poor user experience.
This wasn’t Michelle Baker’s, FORUM Credit Union’s Vice President of Organizational Development, first Cornerstone rodeo. In fact, in a previous life, she had served as a Cornerstone admin and already knew the value that Cornerstone’s solutions could bring to FORUM’s future performance management, learning, and development efforts.
Unfortunately, when she first arrived six years ago, the credit union already had two completely separate performance management and LMS platforms in place that were both under contract and could not be replaced immediately. But that didn’t stop Baker from thinking about the future. “I knew that Cornerstone was going to be a lot better than what we were dealing with,” explained Baker. “We needed a system to grow with us over time, to help us plant deeper roots around learning and development.”
So finally, in early 2019, FORUM implemented Cornerstone Performance, followed by Cornerstone Learning and CyberU later that summer to create a powerful unified talent management solution capable of enriching, engaging, and transforming the credit union’s entire workforce. “Cornerstone’s SMB salesperson really listened to our needs and worked with us to build a package of solutions that would address our primary needs head on,” emphasized Baker.
Fortunately, all that listening really paid off. By the time the COVID-19 pandemic rolled around a few months later, FORUM was in a solid position to move a portion of its onboarding and classroom-led training programs online. “We had to hit the brakes,” said Baker. “But now we had the tools we needed to support the entire organization during this challenging time.” In fact, the shift to digital went so well that FORUM is now planning to use Cornerstone’s technology and collaborative tools in an even smarter way moving forward to help its employees become more flexible workers and learners. “It’s really added to our team’s resilience,” expressed Baker.
Increased engagement. “We had a pretty high delinquency rate before making the transition over to Cornerstone because people dreaded going into the old system,” shared Baker. And the numbers really speak for themselves: On-time compliance training completions grew from 78% to 99% over the course of one year while on-time performance review completions jumped from 92% to 98% over the same period. Cornerstone’s powerful features and functionality are, in large part, to thank for this. “Being able to send personalized email reminders to employees really made a huge difference with follow through,” Baker added.
Customized reporting. “Cornerstone’s customized reporting features are truly amazing,” explained Sarah Stiles, FORUM’s Organizational Development Coordinator and dedicated Cornerstone admin. “I can pull basically anything I need at a moment’s notice now.” This has helped the Organizational Development team create much more visibility and transparency around employee performance and success with both senior leaders and managers alike. “Managers have easy, on-demand access to timely and relevant performance data about their direct reports as well as everyone down the chain,” Stiles explained.
“The Cornerstone Admin Academy and Office Hours made all the difference for me. Whenever I had any questions or simply wanted to find new and innovative ways of using the platform, there was always someone supportive and knowledgeable ready to help.”
Simplified task management. “Consolidating performance management and learning into a single platform gave our employees a central place to do practically everything, from registering for events to assigning compliance training to completing performance reviews and beyond,” said Baker. “It’s all right there, you always know where you are in the process.” This has helped boost user adoption in a big way among both managers and their teams, further fueled by targeted, custom email notifications. Now, FORUM’s team can take full advantage of valuable ‘inbox real estate’ to share tips, best practices, new learning content, and essential information to enrich their employees’ daily lives. Baker celebrated, “The simplicity of it all is absolutely priceless!"
Self-directed learning. “We have been able to shift from a culture of compliance to a culture of learning,” cheered Baker. “Because Cornerstone and CyberU offer a wealth of learning content, well beyond job-related training, it has given our employees an opportunity to invest in their professional and personal development like never before.” Due to the highly specific nature of compliance requirements for financial institutions, much of FORUM’s training content has to be created in-house. The addition of CyberU—primarily for professional skills and development courses—has made it possible for FORUM to scale its learning opportunities tenfold. “Now, we can provide our employees with a wide variety of blended content, on-the-job training checklists, customized curriculum bundles, and other timely resources that we were never able to offer before.” Baker concluded, “We want learning to be embedded into our vernacular.”
Now with about two years of using Cornerstone to build its performance management and learning program under its belt, FORUM is ready to take it a step further with the following:
- Tightening up the performance check-in cycle by deploying more Cornerstone customized emails at key touch points throughout the entire process;
- Refreshing the Welcome Page and Learner Home to give it a more FORUM-branded experience;
- Automating more reports, including those pertaining to compliance training;
- Expanding the online onboarding program—piloted in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic—to create a unified onboarding experience across all departments; and
- Developing a ‘future leaders’ and succession planning program, fueled by Cornerstone Learning, to help employees set and achieve professional goals more effectively.