Personalized career development is no longer a perk for the privileged few at the top. An intelligent mentoring app called Ellen is matching mentors and mentees from all levels of the organization. Launched by San Francisco-based NextPlay.ai, Ellen is popular with a growing number of major companies worldwide, including the United States and Asia. Unlike traditional manual mentorship tools, the machine learning algorithm generates better matches at a massive scale by factoring in numerous, individualized parameters.

For companies, mentoring can boost succession planning, diversity and inclusion efforts, and employee retention. Employees at one organization were 25 percent more likely to strongly recommend working at their company after six months of participating in the program. Another customer identified a multimillion-dollar business opportunity after Ellen linked a mentee in product development with the director of sales.

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