New Media Have Role
In HR and Mentoring
Using the Internet
and Intranet to deal with employees and for mentoring is in its relative
infancy, a keynote speaker told a luncheon audience at a professional
development session held April 26 as part of APEGGA’s three-day Annual
Paul Johnston, a human resources
specialist with Ernst & Young Consulting Services in Calgary, said
compared to business-to- business Internet activity, "business-to-employees
is just starting to receive attention. It’s certainly a poor cousin to
business-to-business as far as usage and industry impact (are concerned)."
However, some firms increasingly
are using electronic tools in the areas of employee self-services and
enterprise knowledge management. It allows employees to tap into the collective
knowledge of their organization and also breaks down geographic barriers.
Mr. Johnston noted that professional
development traditionally has occurred through a combination of internal
and external training, and through mentoring.
Companies’ ability to leverage
technical knowledge and experience, he said, is "one of the drivers
of their success in the marketplace." With knowledge ( "the heart
and soul of the value of an organization") dispersed more widely
among more individuals in different locations, he added, "the effectiveness
of mentoring often diminishes."
"The electronic knowledge-base
supports the traditional mentor role, allowing mentors to focus on the
more important elements and to handle a large number of students."
A consequence is employees
who, with the appropriate tools, take greater charge of managing their
careers. More effective employees, should speed delivery of products and
services to the market.
"Using the Internet
or the Intranet for knowledge management," said Mr. Johnston, "is
both a daunting yet powerful approach for getting the information out
of people’s heads and into an accessible and transformable format."