Connect with us


The Herman Trend Alert: Turnkey Mentorship Using Artificial Intelligence

We know that mentorship works and over the years we have encouraged thousands of employers to reap its benefits. Unfortunately, while mentorship works, it must be done right to succeed.


Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia, a strategic business futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker. Archived editions are posted at

Photo credit: Arnau

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, “The No. 1 employee benefit of choice for millennials is personalized career development.” We at The Herman Group have often said that employees around the world are looking for three things: training and development, career-pathing and life-work balance. takes care of the career-pathing piece. As an example, studies show men will apply for a job when they have only three of 10 of the requested qualifications, while women will not apply without seven of 10. One of the benefits of this platform is that it creates equal access to career-pathing for all employees.


Mentorship works, but. . .

We know that mentorship works and over the years we have encouraged thousands of employers to reap its benefits. Unfortunately, while mentorship works, it must be done right to succeed. That is why we are so enthusiastic about Clearly a wonderful play on words, this product has been tested by a number of big name companies and every one of them has adopted the product after testing. That’s an impressive track record.

Why is NextPlay so effective?

In the past, the problems with mentorship programs have dealt with training and consistency. Ellen, NextPlay’s artificial intelligence (AI), takes the guesswork out of the equation. Ellen chats with employees and matches them with potential mentors. After that, many mechanisms happen organically.


Not only does the program include online training of mentors and mentees, but the program fosters a company culture of “meaningful mentorship moments.” Customized to each company, the mobile app features personalized onboarding, reminders, feedback and training. It even prepares mentees for their meetings with their mentors by setting expectations and including suggested questions to ask in the reminder.

Real-time analytics

Companies can track employee progress and increased retention in real-time to see the difference the program is making. And like most AI, Ellen more than pays for herself. She allows employers to mentor an entire department for the cost of hiring one entry-level employee. Plus, typical user companies will save $250,000 in hiring costs and lost revenue per entry-to-mid-level employee mentored by someone at their company.


Results achieved

Some well-known brands have been testing, including Lyft, Slunk and Asurion. A whopping 90 percent of their matched mentors and protégés keep in touch after the initial three meetings. Not only that, but after experiencing Next Play, 25 percent more employees “strongly recommend” working at their company. That kind of an increase in company loyalty is extraordinary.

This kind of customized turn-key mentorship program will be a godsend for both companies and mentees. We expect Ellen to have a long and prosperous “employment history.” Though Ellen from NextPlay is the first AI-augmented mentorship program, it probably won’t be the last. We are excited to see the future that this AI can help forge for companies smart enough to invest in their employees, sooner rather than later. We also expect to see AI growth in other similar areas, like fostering feedback between employees and their supervisors.



Sponsored Content

Going the Extra Mile(s) with Iridium Spark Plugs