News story

Effective communication among top learning trends for employees

LondonLearning NewsCornerstone OnDemand

New Cornerstone research reveals major uptick in demand for professional skills development and self-directed learning.


Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., a leader in learning and talent experience solutions, today revealed a significant uptick in the demand for learning content at work, driven largely by professional skills development courses. Findings from more than 1 million learners globally gathered from aggregated anonymised customer data found a 30% increase in overall active learners since last year, with more than 50% of total minutes spent learning dedicated to professional skills development. Some of the most popular topics within professional skills include project management, time management, business acumen, emotional intelligence, and effective communication. 

As Cornerstone’s 2023 Talent Health Index reveals, nearly half of employees don’t believe they have what they need from their employer to build the skills they will need for the future, placing a spotlight on the growing disconnect between employees and employers and fuelling anxiety among today’s workforce.

Reflecting this desire for increased development opportunities, Cornerstone data reveals:

  • Consumption of online learning content across all topics and skills saw a 38% increase in the time spent on training year over year.
  • Self-directed learning continues to show strength as learners spend 72% more time consuming content they actively seek out compared to learning that is assigned to them.
  • In the first half of 2023, the number of employees proactively consuming learning content grew 43% YOY.
  • The first half also saw a 35% YOY growth in the time employees spent learning.
  • Content related to professional skills proved to be a main driver in the self-directed learning category with topics like effective communication appearing among the top topics that continue to drive the highest volume of registrations.

As the demand for professional development opportunities and relevant learning content grows, companies that are investing in technology to support learning and development demands are seeing proven benefits.

“I've been using Cornerstone’s content solutions for a couple of months now and I must say it has been a game-changer for me and my team,” said Adriana Viveros, Senior Instructional Designer at County of Orange. “This streamlined process has saved us so much time and effort in managing our content. In a nutshell, Cornerstone has revolutionised our content management and creation process, thanks to its user-friendly playlist creation and publishing, efficient filters, and team collaboration capabilities. It's an indispensable tool for learning and development teams, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to streamline their content management efforts.”

“At World Wide Technology, we are focused on equipping our people with the most relevant learning and development opportunities through content they desire and will truly benefit from,” said Libby Becker, Lead Learning Consultant at World Wide Technology. “Since implementing Cornerstone’s content solutions, our L&D programme has seen the benefits of a streamlined content experience. Cornerstone has allowed our L&D team to consolidate how they search, discover and preview content in an intuitive way, which, in turn, has helped in implementing a more informed content strategy across our business.”

With a commitment to developing content that helps to build the skills of the future, Cornerstone’s industry-leading Content Anytime (CCA) provides customers with access to thousands of premium learning courses that are expertly curated and constantly evolving with current and future business trends. Coupled with Cornerstone Content Studio – an AI-powered, highly intuitive content curation, discovery and insights platform – Cornerstone customers can experience the power of AI and awareness of context to dramatically simplify how they discover new learning content and better align their content strategy with business goals. Content Studio is currently available to CSX customers and will be rolling out to EdCast customers later this month and SBX customers early next year.

“Employees today are more motivated than ever to find continuous skills development opportunities inside their organisations,” said Karthik Suri, Chief Product Officer, Cornerstone. “Proven by recent data trends, there is a clear and sustained focus on professional skills development, providing HR leaders with an incredible opportunity to provide increased content that is actively sought out and will result in a sound investment. The right learning content can play an instrumental role in building stronger communicators, strategic thinkers and higher functioning teams."

Additional Information

About the Data

Cornerstone Content Anytime data is pulled from an internal Cornerstone Content Analytics tool which aggregates content provider usage across Cornerstone Learning customers. All learner data is anonymised and reported at the customer level, including active learners, course registrations, course completions, and time spent learning.