Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (Turner) is a global entertainment and media leader. The company creates and programs news and entertainment for a variety of media. In addition, Turner owns several successful media brands, including CNN, Cartoon Network and TNT.
Managing the lifecycle of 13,000 employees is never easy. For Turner, the process was even more challenging because of multiple outdated talent management systems. “We had talent systems that were outdated and nothing more than simply ‘good enough,’” said Claude Anderson, manager, talent systems, at Turner. “Online performance reviews were just enough to get by. Our in-house LMS could only manage instructor-led classes. Our performance review tool wasn’t talking to our LMS. There was no synchronicity between systems.”
Compliance training was also an issue: courses were emailed, and completion depended on the honor system. “Employees had to email us to say they completed a course. You can imagine how difficult that was to track,” said Anderson.
Turner’s talent systems and analytics team wanted to replace their existing systems with one platform. “We were seeking a unified solution with correlation among modules,” said Anderson. “It had to be easy-to-use and have full branding capabilities. We wanted it to have the look and feel of a Turner system and not something made by a vendor.”
Turner began implementing Cornerstone in 2009. The system is fully Turner-branded, which has increased user adoption, and it’s accessible to associates in every country in which the company conducts business. According to Jessica Julian, senior analyst, talent systems, at Turner, “Associates now have one place to go for learning, performance, succession and compliance, and they’re able to do it themselves. Cornerstone has been a big win for making things easier and more streamlined.”
Turner’s talent initiatives have grown alongside Cornerstone, with the company improving their own learning and performance processes as Cornerstone adds new functionality. “We’re leveraging Cornerstone to position Turner’s talent management and development for success,” said Anderson.
Increased compliance training completion rates. Via Cornerstone, associates receive auto-reminders regarding incomplete compliance training; alerts escalate automatically to managers if they are ignored. “We lean on Cornerstone to do the policing for us. We don’t have to chase people anymore,” said Julian.
As a result, completion rates have skyrocketed, and compliance has increased upward of 90 percent. “If you use Cornerstone Learning for no other reason, use it for compliance,” said Anderson. “It eliminates a giant margin of error and the manual work of assigning and tracking training. You can set it up and watch it roll out.
Created synchrony between talent management processes. “Cornerstone has allowed us to synchronize multiple facets of the employee lifecycle and make sense out of what were previously standalone activities,” said Anderson. “In one particular development program, an employee’s self-assessment on competencies drives a development plan. Training is then suggested based on the assessment’s outcome, and he or she can register for the appropriate courses.”
Enabled frequent, meaningful reviews. With Cornerstone Performance, Turner has increased the frequency of reviews during the year, making them more meaningful to associates’ productivity, learning and development. “Our people were getting bored by not having engaging conversations,” said Julian. “We’ve eliminated ratings altogether. With ratings, associates would be discouraged if they scored a two out of three and think they were fine if they got a three. It wasn’t meaningful.”
Turner uses Cornerstone to inspire associates to add goals, connect throughout the year and create opportunities to improve performance through learning. “Managers and associates are more satisfied,” said Anderson. “People discuss how they’re doing and are taking hold of their careers better than before.
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