SAP has added new capabilities to its SuccessFactors Succession and Development product, offering customers an automated and more modern approach to running corporate mentorship programs.
Today, most coaching programs require an extensive amount of administrative work from human resources (HR) professionals. In addition to the sheer number of manual tasks required to keep them going, the mentor-employee matching process is often a subjective one, influenced by gut instincts and personal viewpoints.
Tracking progress is another challenge. Career advancement opportunities are often weighed down by slow-to-update spreadsheets.
SAP this week unveiled new intelligent mentoring capabilities that build on the SuccessFactors suite of machine learning based services. The solution turns an inexact, weeks-long process into a data-driven launch pad for productive, career-building programs by employing automation and using a wealth of employee data and company metrics.
"SAP SuccessFactors' new Mentoring offering helps employees succeed by intelligently matching them with the right mentors so they can create lasting connections and collaborate on development, learning and training," David Ludlow, group vice president of Solution Management at SAP SuccessFactors, told eWEEK. "Its capabilities will allow businesses to transform employee development programs and drive organizational strength by automating intelligent recommendations that connect mentees with mentors—instantly performing a task that could consume weeks when completed manually."
Recommended matches are immediately generated based on employees' locations, skills and competencies, a task that can otherwise take up to three weeks if performed manually. "With these advancements in mentee-mentor matching, our customers can create a better employee experience, setting their employees and businesses up for short- and long-term success," Ludlow added.
Dashboards offer real-time reporting and metrics, enabling HR personnel to track the effectiveness of their organization's career-building efforts. And since it integrates with SAP SuccessFactors Talent Management Suite and HCM Suite, companies can use the tool to incorporate employee mentoring and coaching to their talent management processes, including onboarding, employee education and succession planning.
Mentors Make a Difference
SAP is betting that the new features will not only help take a load off overworked HR staffers, but also help its SuccessFactors customers and their employees better seize on benefits of employee mentoring. Formal mentoring programs can encourage racial and gender diversity in the workplace, according to a blog post from SAP Human Capital Management Research unit's Lauren Pytel.
By and large, mentored employees are promoted more often and are more satisfied with their job. They also boast higher salaries. Mentors, meanwhile, are also more satisfied with their career trajectory and achieve higher degrees of success.
Mentoring can also help established workplaces better adapt to the ever-evolving business landscape.
"Most traditional mentorships involve having senior employees mentor more junior employees, but mentors do not necessarily have to be more senior than the people they mentor. What matters is that mentors have experience that others can learn from," Pytel wrote.
"For example, some companies have 'reverse mentoring' programs where younger employees share their experience using social technology with senior colleagues who may not have used these tools before."