CEO INTERVIEW UNIBLY
New Success Stories - Asia
CEO Interviews - exclusive for HR Digital Today
with market leading HR Tech pioneers - Unibly
From left to right co founder Joash based in Hong Kong, Eddie, Chief People Officer and Joash John Lim co founder based in Singapore.
Thankfully more and more of us have benefited from education which led onto corporate training in our chosen field. Some also have the benefit of a mentor. The chances of this arising are growing but, up until now, no signs were emerging of technology being harnessed to improve the process - to start, manage, and energise a mentoring program. Step up Unibly.
The founders are, to this day, grateful for the mentoring they received especially as it led to the idea that is Unibly today.
Please give us an overview of the UNIBLY service and how did you get the idea.
Unibly uses technology to help organisations start and manage their mentoring programs more efficiently and effectively.
More than 70% of Fortune 500 companies and leading institutions have an internal mentoring program. My co-founder and I participated in a few of them, but found that they were managed very poorly. So we decided to start Unibly to help make mentoring fun and easy for both the participants and administrators.
How do you help program managers?
The old way of managing a mentoring program is tedious and time-consuming. It involves manually updating Excel spreadsheets, countless email exchanges, and dealing with unresponsive participants.
Unibly makes administration more efficient by automating mundane tasks such as updating data, sending reminders and keeping track of mentoring outcomes.
How are you different from competitors?
Most of our competitors are expensive legacy software built upon old technology. They are bulky and overly-sophisticated for the average user. You can think of it as driving a decade-old manual transmission car.
Unibly is a mobile-friendly cloud-based solution designed to make mentoring fun and easy for both participants and administrators. User experience is very important to us. We incorporated many social media features such as a Facebook-style newsfeed, Tinder-style matching, WhatsApp-style chat, Google-style task list. You can think of it as driving a sleek automatic transmission car.
Are you seeing a pattern in the type of user or sector of commerce?
We have identified 2 main user groups.
Educational institutions form a major part of our client base. Unibly supports their alumni-student mentoring programs as well as industry-specific career mentoring programs.
Innovative companies form another important part of our client base. These are enlightened companies that acknowledge the value of their employees and take active measures to groom and engage them. Mentors are usually selected from their senior management and matched with prospective mentees in more junior positions.
What is your pricing model
We charge between US$2 to US$5 per user per month depending on the total number of users. We also give preferential rates to non-profit organisations.
Why does a company want to spend money on the service?
Companies or organisations with an existing mentoring program can gain cost-savings by using Unibly technology to automate time-consuming administrative work.
For companies who are still considering the benefits of mentoring, I urge them to invest in their employees and build a knowledge-sharing culture. The long terms benefits in productivity and engagement far outweighs the minimal costs of starting a mentoring program.
For educational institutions contemplating about starting a mentoring program, there are many benefits. For one, engaged alumni are more likely to contribute back to their Alma Mater. Current students also benefit from increased opportunities by interacting with their mentors.
How does your newsfeed make mentoring more effective
One of the key objectives of mentoring is knowledge-sharing. The newsfeed makes mentoring more effective by allowing knowledge-sharing on a broader level.
Traditionally, mentoring is done 1:1 between the mentor and mentee pair. The problem with this is that participants are unable to tap into the collective knowledge of the community. The solution is to have a newsfeed where everyone can share ideas and contribute to each other’s learning.
How is confidentiality handled
From a technical perspective, we do not require personal information such as mobile number or birth date during registration. All chat logs are stored in our servers and will only be released if requested by the client in writing. We take data privacy very seriously and will not release any user information to third party vendors.
How are mentors and mentees matched together
There are two ways mentors and mentees can be matched.
The first method is assignment, where mentors and mentees are allocated to each other by the administrator. This can be done via the administration panel.
The second method is self-selection, where mentors and mentees can request to connect with each other. An internal matching algorithm suggests the most suitable pairings to users based on similar characteristics. The match is successful if both parties are willing.
How do the automatic prompts help to facilitate the mentoring process
Many mentors and mentees do not know how to proceed in a mentoring relationship. What should I do after successfully matching with my mentoring partner?
The automatic prompts serve as signposts towards the next step. For example, an instruction will be given to introduce yourself as soon as you successfully match with your mentor or mentee. After a few weeks, another prompt will be sent to remind the mentee to request for a meet up. After the meet up, mentors will also receive regular prompts to follow-up with the mentee’s progress.
We believe that such handholding and guidance is necessary for effective mentoring to occur.