Cornerstone Reports Significant Increase in Online Learning as Organizations Transition to Remote Work Globally

With more than 27 million hours spent on Cornerstone Learning in March 2020, new data from the Cornerstone Institute for People Development suggests online learning and skill building have never been more important

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--()--Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSOD), a global leader in people development solutions, today announced that the Cornerstone Institute for People Development (CIPD) has identified trends suggesting the demand for online learning has increased exponentially over the past few weeks as individuals and businesses adapt to a new way of working.

With millions transitioning to remote work, and K-12 teachers setting up virtual classrooms for the first time, workers are striving to acquire skills that enable them to be more productive and adaptable while working remotely. The Cornerstone Institute for People Development revealed that in March 2020, learners spent 27.5 million hours on Cornerstone Learning – 6x more than the next largest corporate learning provider – which comes on the heels of Cornerstone being named a top 10 most popular app by monthly active users on Microsoft Azure. Additionally, this recent surge underscores how organizations are also turning to online learning to pivot their businesses by educating and aligning their workforces around new work models, new programs and new cultural initiatives.

The following insights from CIPD support the pivot organizations and individuals are making to training and self-development during this pandemic:

  • Nearly half (40%) of Cornerstone Learning clients saw an increase in logins in March compared to February. Moreover, these clients experienced a significant spike in logins, 135% on average.
  • By industry, the insights reveal nearly 60% of healthcare clients, and nearly 50% of public administration, education and non-profit clients, reported an uptick in logins. For example, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. saw a 20x increase in logins in March. Furthermore, the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, which provides technology grants to non-profit organizations, experienced a 103% increase in logins and a 75% increase in course registrations across its client base in March.
  • The data also reveals a 50% increase in companies moving their in-person trainings to a virtual, online format, with the verticals most affected being healthcare, finance and education. Shifting to a 100% remote workforce, one of the largest e-retailers in the world is transforming its instructor-led trainings into a combination of online training available on social platforms and in Cornerstone Learning.
  • The renewed focus on online learning can be seen worldwide. Organizations in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands are seeing major increases in usage, with a near 2x increase in online learning usage from January to March. In South Korea, clients are seeing a 5x increase in online learning usage. In fact, the largest technology manufacturer in South Korea saw a 7x increase in online learning usage during the same time period.

Comments from clients on the news:

  • “In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we were able to urgently ramp up ventilator production and leveraged Cornerstone Learning to rapidly manage and support the certification of extra employee shifts. It was amazing how quickly Cornerstone was able to respond to the critical need, resulting in a 116% increase in course registrations in March. Our experience with Cornerstone over the last few months has been one of increased collaboration and support,” said one of the largest medical manufacturers in the world.
  • “Cornerstone has been instrumental in enabling San Mateo County to pivot and meet workforce needs during the shelter in place,” said Gabe Aponte, Management Analyst, Training & Development, San Mateo County. “Right before the pandemic hit, we had implemented a new eLearning program with courses from Cornerstone Content Anytime. As soon as our employees started working from home, we saw a 500% spike in course completions. The on-demand online curriculum has been a lifesaver for employees needing to learn new skills as they adopt to this new normal.”
  • “After turning to Cornerstone last year, we are seeing a strong shift to digital learning across the company,” said Johnny Lee, Learning & Development Platform Lead of the largest technology manufacturer in South Korea. “We now have the flexibility to introduce different types of learning through structured curriculum and are bringing intuitive experiences to our employees. To maximize how our employees are adapting to this trend, we are planning to curate position-based career paths to help them learn the skills they need to continue growing well into the future.”
  • “We were not surprised to see this huge uptick in online learning by our teachers, administrators and employees. We are very proud of the impressive initiative shown by our district staff during this crisis,” said one of the largest school districts in the U.S.
  • “We are committed to providing learning opportunities for our thousands of mentors across the country, particularly as agencies navigate the shift to online mentoring,” said Christie Wilson, Director of Training, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “We’re incredibly proud of our mentors who are taking learning into their own hands and showing up for their mentees during this difficult time.”

With the global workforce acclimating to this new work environment, Cornerstone sought to further understand which skills workers want to learn the most. By partnering with YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, Cornerstone recently surveyed 900 workers who have transitioned to working from home during the pandemic. The data revealed the majority of these workers believe they have skill gaps in the areas of work-life balance (54%), time management (51%) and active listening (40%) now that they are remote.

To address these skill gaps, workers are turning to online learning to improve these sought-after skills. More data uncovered by the Cornerstone Institute for People Development found:

  • Of those 27.5 million hours spent on the Cornerstone Learning platform in March, the most popular courses consumed by Cornerstone learners included ‘Time Management: Working from Home’, ‘Build Work Relationships Remotely’ and ‘Tips for Remote Collaboration.’
  • A dramatic increase in learners searching for online content on digital tools, working and learning remotely and stress management. For example, comparing the first half of March to the second half, there was a 3x increase in searches for “Google Classroom”, a 2x increase in searches for “Learning at Home” and a 1.7x increase in searches for “Stress Relief.”
  • HR teams are responding to employee needs by creating and pushing out relevant COVID-19 training at a record pace. There have been over 1.8 million COVID-19-related courses assigned and 11,000 new COVID-19-related courses created, primarily by healthcare clients. Plus, over 56,000 COVID-19-related courses have been taken through Cornerstone Cares, a free public learning resource launched in March.

Without being tethered to conference rooms, CIPD data also revealed people are working – and learning – in more flexible ways. Mobile logins increased by 3x in one week at the end of March and usage from the Cornerstone Learn app continued to increase significantly month over month in 2020, up 45% in March over February. The new insight suggests workers now have the ability to make time for learning while momentarily unplugging from their day-to-day work – and are taking advantage of the opportunity to use a myriad of devices.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the move toward a new remote work model and requires new capabilities to be successful in this modern world. If businesses are to adapt, so must their people,” said Heidi Spirgi, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Cornerstone. “Creating a renewed focus on learning in the workplace – remote or otherwise – is good for business, great for their people and may be the key to more sustainable economic resiliency for all.”

As a result of COVID-19, we can expect to see these trends in online learning become a more permanent fixture as businesses accelerate their shift to more flexible work environments. For example, research from Global Workplace Analytics suggests we could see a permanent shift to more remote work. And the YouGov survey states nearly 60% of respondents said they prefer remote work and expect their companies to offer a remote work option as a benefit after re-entry. The impact of this pandemic underscores the fundamental business value of providing employees with online information, resources and development opportunities as we permanently shift to a new work model.

Additional Information

About Cornerstone

Cornerstone is a leading global people development company. We believe people can achieve anything when they have the right development and growth opportunities. We offer organizations the technology, content, expertise and specialized focus to help them realize their people potential. Featuring comprehensive recruiting, personalized learning, modern content delivered in the flow of work, development-driven performance management and holistic workforce data management and insights, Cornerstone’s people development solutions are used by more than 3,600 global clients of all sizes, spanning more than 40 million users across 180+ countries and 40+ languages. Learn more at

About the Cornerstone Institute for People Development

The mission of the Cornerstone Institute for People Development (CIPD) is to generate data-driven discoveries about the world of work today and identify emerging trends which will give rise to new work models. Its two primary areas of focus are corporate learning and development trends and issues related to the experience of people at work.


Deaira Irons

Release Summary

New data from the Cornerstone Institute for People Development reveals 27.5 million hours were spent on Cornerstone Learning in March 2020.


Deaira Irons