by Shayne Thomas
07 Jan 2020
Success Story: Lions Eye Institute
Success Story: Lions Eye Institute How the world’s most renowned eye bank and ocular research center transformed the employee experience by combining both performance management and learning and development under a single platform.
“I love Cornerstone. It’s so easy to use. And it’s eliminated some of our challenges by making it easier to reach all employees across our districts.” — Tiffany Meredith, Manager of Donor Information, Lions Eye Institute
The Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research is the first and only combined eye bank and ocular research center in the world, “empowering researchers to conduct real-time studies of healthy and diseased ocular tissue leading to a greater understanding of the events that lead to blindness.” In short, this is how the non-profit organization lives up to its inspiring mission of improving the quality of life of people who are blind or visually-impaired.
Lions Eye Institute has grown significantly over the years, expanding into new service areas like tissue bank services, therefore creating an immediate need to expand its workforce, too. And as we all know, a fast-growing workforce creates a whole slew of growing pains—beyond simply recruiting new talent to fill all open roles.
“When you become a full-on tissue bank, you bring on a lot more employees,” explained Tiffany Meredith, Lions Eye Institute’s Manager of Donor Information. “We have six districts around the state of Florida, six areas where we’re training and managing performance and compliance. With the expansion, it became very, very important to our organization that we could reach all our employees at one time with the information they need to do their jobs.”
Since 2014, the non-profit organization has relied on Cornerstone’s PiiQ solution for managing performance reviews, alongside an external learning management system (LMS) to manage compliance training. However, in the face of rapid growth, it has become abundantly clear that keeping both performance management and learning and development in their respective siloes wasn’t going to be a recipe for future success. The non-profit organization needed a more effective and streamlined way to recruit, manage, develop, and grow talent. They also wanted a better way to measure, track, and benchmark their success against other similar organizations.
“Within our LMS, we couldn’t track what employees were learning, how they were logging in, or completions for each manager. PiiQ had been great for performance, but we had outgrown it,” said Meredith. “We needed a system that had more functionality and customization, a platform we could grow with.” That’s when they knew it was time to upgrade to Cornerstone Performance and Cornerstone Learning, officially unifying both performance management and learning and development under a single platform.
In 2018, the Lions Eye Institute finally made the transition from PiiQ to Cornerstone—and completed the full implementation within three months. The biggest concern at the onset revolved around the transfer of data from one platform to another. Fortunately, the Cornerstone team was well prepared to take on this challenge. “We had a lot of new employees who weren’t yet in PiiQ,” noted Meredith. “But Cornerstone gave me a template, and once I had that, it was pretty much cake. The template really set the tone.”
“Cornerstone was on top of it every step of the way, helping us get this program up and running with both the migration templates and ongoing guidance, as well as the self-paced training program for Cornerstone administrators. I could not have asked for better. We couldn’t have done it without Cornerstone.” — Tiffany Meredith, Manager of Donor Information, Lions Eye Institute
Since migrating from PiiQ to Cornerstone, the Lions Eye Institute has generated some pretty incredible results and achieved new levels of success. Here’s a quick overview of their achievements to-date:
- Increased operational efficiency
“There’s so much more we can do in Cornerstone.”
One of the biggest perks of making the migration from PiiQ was to take advantage of Cornerstone’s broader set of features and functionality, including enhanced customization and robust reporting capabilities. The second benefit of combining both performance and learning under a single platform was ease-of-use, creating noticeable time savings across the board. “We’re all busy and have a hundred things to do in a day,” expressed Meredith. “We’re not using multiple systems to get the same information anymore. Using Cornerstone makes multitasking so much easier. Everything is just one click away.”
- Instant access to business-critical information
“Being able to house all of our SOPs in Cornerstone has worked miracles for us.”
The Lions Eye Institute, like similar medical organizations, must comply with strict government regulations. This includes ensuring that all employees, whether on-site or in the field, always have access to 276+ standard operating procedures (SOP) and other critical FDA documentation. Having instant access to this information has been a game changer for the entire Lions Eye Institute team. “We have a lot of staff working remotely. They’re not close to an office, but still need answers quickly,” emphasized Meredith. “With the Cornerstone Learn app, our field employees can simply access the SOPs on their phones, which has been a great asset.”
- A complete picture of employee performance
“With Cornerstone, we have insight into individual performance. We can set and track goals.”
Bringing both performance and learning under Cornerstone has given the Lions Eye Institute’s HR team and managers alike a leg up in understanding what 360-degree performance really looks like. Whether to assess individual performance goals or to confirm compliance training completions—and everything else in between—Cornerstone’s solutions have made it easier than ever for the Lions Eye Institute to drive employee success. The most immediate benefit was access to actionable metrics. “Managers are now able to track and trend the completion of learning assignments within the Cornerstone platform. From an HR perspective, you can monitor and track evaluation completion for employees as well as managers and directors,” underscored Meredith. “This helps better streamline the process and prioritize time management.”
- Streamlined onboarding
“The acquisition increased our workforce significantly. But Cornerstone made the transition so much easier. Putting new employee information into Cornerstone is simple.”
When we mentioned before that the non-profit organization has recently experienced massive and rapid growth, we weren’t kidding. Following the acquisition of a new company—which now accounts for 98% of current employees—the Lions Eye Institute had to quickly setup, onboard, and train its new employees. Of course, Cornerstone made this quick and easy for the team to manage. Creating new employee profiles, matching employees up to managers, assigning required training, and automatically generating login welcome emails only takes a matter of clicks. “Everything is set up within Cornerstone so that new employees automatically receive the right training. It’s so simple,” explained Meredith. “Even if I’m on vacation, people automatically get the curriculum they need. I love that aspect of Cornerstone.”