HR tech news this week: June 28-July 2

Walmart’s solution to teaching workers kindness? Virtual reality: It’s no secret that the past year has been a balancing act of emotions. COVID-19, a contentious election and civil unrest have made empathy and hard discussions imperative and have caused emotions and polarization to run high. It also has been a difficult year for employees who work at brick-and-mortar locations like Walmart and interact with customers. To help its workers have hard conversations, Walmart has relied on virtual reality training that enable employees to prepare for these incidents and practice kindness during stressful and challenging times. Read more here.

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Why resilience should be one of HR’s top priorities: HR Tech Conference keynoter Marcus Buckingham, author and head of research, people and performance at the ADP Research Institute, has conducted extensive research on the topic of resilience over the last year and says it’s a concept that HR leaders must become intimately familiar with in the current talent market. Before his keynote at HR Tech, get a look at the latest research in this Q&A. Read more here.

Remote work lessons Zoom is building into its post-pandemic workplace: Nearly a year-and-a-half into the pandemic, employers are at a “tipping point” on remote work. Zoom Chief People Officer Lynne Oldham, a more than 20-year HR veteran, says previous on-site mandates “proved archaic” during the pandemic, and employers are finally recognizing that flexible work situations are the key to future organizational success. Read more here.

HR Tech Conference 2021–How workforce tech needs to evolve: When we began planning for the 2021 HR Technology Conference, it was clear that we had to showcase one of the most important workplace topics coming out of the pandemic, namely how work and workplaces must adapt and evolve to succeed in the future, or the “new normal.” In fact, this topic is so important to our community that for the first time we have designated an entire track of sessions we have called “Future Ready Workplace,” writes conference Chair Steve Boese. Read more here.

Are you doing enough to leverage tech for employee relations?: It may not be surprising that, during 2020, social and political conflict–along with ongoing challenges due to COVID-19–helped position the employee relations (ER) function as a vital factor in shaping positive employee experiences. Yet, without a strong focus on analytics, reaching those ER objectives will be an even tougher challenge, according to HR Acuity’s fifth annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study. Read more here.

HR tech Number of the Day: data-driven diversity: Cultivating diverse leadership has been identified as one of the top priorities of today’s HR leaders; however, aiming for and realizing success are two very different things. According to a new report from Gartner, Diversifying the Leadership Bench, HR has considerable work to do to bridge the gap between the goals for and realities of having diverse leadership–and much of it centers on using DEI data better. Read more here.

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Boese: 3 ways the pandemic is fueling HR tech innovation: We at HRE and the HR Tech Conference are starting the annual process to determine our Top HR Products of 2021. Although we are too early in the process to divulge details on products up for consideration, I thought it would be interesting to share some general observations from the submission review and explore how they could impact your own organization’s thinking about new HR technologies, writes columnist and HR Tech Conference Chair Steve Boese.  Read more here.

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].