From Paper to Power

By | June 21, 2024

Co-authored by Glen Sard, Michigan Medicine HITS Business Customer Experience

Michigan Medicine Cornerstone

Using innovation and tremendous teamwork, Michigan Medicine recently transitioned its entire annual performance management process – which formerly relied on “paper”-based forms – to the Cornerstone Talent Management platform, a modern cloud-based system. The successful effort results from close collaboration among partners, including Michigan Medicine Human Resources, Health Information Technology and Services (HITS), the Department of Nursing, and the Department of Communications.

Between September 2023 and April of this year, Michigan Medicine staff gained access to a centralized hub for new performance tools and resources. These tools and resources are located right alongside the learning and training resources that launched in November 2022. It is one place to see their learning and performance at Michigan Medicine.

The HITS Workforce Applications team, led by manager Laurel Barnes and team lead Jamie Croy, brought the technical aspects of the project to life. They leveraged their recent experience moving Michigan Medicine’s online training curricula and learner transcript history into the Cornerstone platform, which included over 8 million rows of data from the old “MLearning” system.

Because the Performance Management process impacts nearly every one of Michigan Medicine’s approximately 25,000 staff, Croy stresses that it was crucial to involve these stakeholders throughout the process.

“We held monthly meetings with a cross-functional team that included a wide variety of divisions across Michigan Medicine to discuss configuration decisions and receive feedback, documenting needs for each of the various groups,” says Croy. Similar meetings were held with nursing leadership to review their separate performance evaluation process, helping create a positive process for leaders and employees.

Employee Experience program manager Jeannette Miclette emphasizes the many benefits of the new system, including scheduled check-ins that provide opportunities for real-time feedback and assessment of progress toward goals – both job-specific and in professional development.

The ability to create and update shared goals allows for alignment and transparency among teams. A system that encourages and supports communication between leaders and their staff helps individuals be heard and connected. It opens opportunities for bolstering skills and revealing opportunities – ultimately enhancing their experience working at Michigan Medicine.

Jeannette Miclette

To support a successful transition, HR Communications manager Maggie Dominguez delivered a robust and flexible outreach strategy that resonated with stakeholders across the institution. She provided regular project updates and highlighted various resources, including instructional videos, how-to guides, and drop-in sessions designed to prepare managers and staff for the change.

Kathy Dunnuck and Rob Wonnacott from Nursing Information Services co-led the nursing performance rollout. Dunnuck appreciates the collaboration between the nursing department and the workforce applications team, emphasizing their effort to meet the specific needs of various nursing roles. “It’s just been a great collaboration,” Dunnuck says. “The team has been so patient with us and accommodating our needs for five customized versions of the evaluation tools for our various nursing roles,” adding that additional versions will be developed to accommodate our advanced practice nursing roles. From bedside care to specialized roles like flight nurses and educational nurse coordinators, the team prioritized including their diverse requirements in the new platform.

Dunnuck mentioned that moving from challenging paper processes to a streamlined electronic system made reporting easier and improved evaluation efficiency. She values the team’s patience and determination to make the new system as close to the old paper-based one as possible, ensuring a smooth transition. She praised their persistence, continued support, and quick responses after the switch, which contributed to joint success.

“This project was the most collaborative I’ve worked on due to its scope and impact,” Dominguez says. “The team involved in making decisions was very intentional in listening to our customers and developing a nuanced understanding of their needs, challenges, and concerns.”

Croy agrees. “I attribute much of the success of this project to the collaborative efforts involving the core team members, as well as all the departments and units that participated in sharing requirements and business processes, participating in user acceptance testing, and providing general feedback as the project developed.”

Because Cornerstone is a cloud-based system, the technical team will apply regular updates to ensure that customers always benefit from the latest technology and functionality. This also provides opportunities to consider adding enhancements as they are suggested by our Michigan Medicine partners.

Transitioning Performance Management and Learning to the Cornerstone platform provides an easier, better, and more comprehensive experience. This change aims to support all members of the Michigan Medicine community in achieving their career aspirations and lifelong professional development goals. However, Barnes adds: “The most exciting part is…no more dealing with paper-based performance evaluations or ‘lost’ evaluation files!”