HR Tech Number of the Day: Modern mentoring tools 

Companies have adopted digital transformation for nearly all business sectors, but HR lags in some areas.
By: | September 17, 2021

As they deal with the Great Resignation, businesses are overlooking HR offerings that could help to retain valuable talent from leaving for greener pastures, new research shows. A new study of 1,400 companies worldwide found that while digital transformation projects are underway, fewer than 20% of companies surveyed have adopted modern, digital HR capabilities in key areas such as reskilling and coaching, mentoring and training.

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The study, conducted by industry analyst firm Valoir, points out that most companies are in the midst of digital transformation projects, with the average company roughly 70% through the process. That said, HR still lags other sections inside most businesses.

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“Despite all the recent hype around employee experience, clearly companies have prioritized digital transformation efforts on customer experience and other areas. Given the Great Resignation, attracting and retaining talent has become a top priority. Digital transformation is crucial for improving the employee experience in today’s hybrid workforce,” said Rebecca Wettemann, CEO of Valoir in a press statement.

What it means for HR leaders

As organizations implement hybrid workplace policies, HR is ripe for digital transformation. And not just in terms of digitizing old training, mentoring and coaching practices but in rethinking how to make employee development more effective, equitable and scalable with enabling tech.

“We found HR lags behind other operational areas such as customer experience when it comes to digital transformation—yet reskilling, training and coaching are key to preparing employees for the changing work practices that digital transformation entails,” Wettemann says. “HR can play a key role in broader DT success.”

Coaching, training and mentoring have traditionally been dependent on in-person interactions. Therefore, companies have not thought of them as areas that could be digital-first, beyond tracking them in learning management systems and talent management apps, she says.

“At the same time, there’s been a reluctance to change the way we’ve always done things—and HR has been focused on modernizing areas such as payroll and benefits management first,” says Wettemann. “Until recently, HR didn’t have a broad choice of cost-effective cloud solutions that could be easily and quickly adopted.”

HR leaders can turn this around. For starters, Wettemann suggests that they highlight their skills by leading digital transformation within their own domain. 

“The good news is that many emerging technologies in these areas are cloud-based, making them relatively low cost and rapid to implement, accessible from anywhere, and intuitive,” she says. “HR can rapidly leapfrog to make digital-first training, coaching, and mentoring a differentiator for their companies.”

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Wettemann adds, “With many emerging [technologies and apps], HR can take advantage of free and freemium models to explore and experiment with digital-first approaches with less risk.”


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Phil Albinus is HR Tech Editor for HRE. He has been covering personal and business technology for 25 years and has served as editor and executive editor for a number of financial services, trading technology and employee benefits titles. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and lives in the Hudson Valley with his audiologist wife and three adult children. He can be reached at palbinus@lrp.com and followed on Twitter @philalbinus.

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