If your job doesn’t make you as happy as it used to, you’re not the only one. People have been talking a lot about “The Great Resignation,” which is when more than 90% of workers think about quitting their jobs. One Prudential survey found that 80 percent of people who planned to leave their jobs said they were going to look for new jobs with more growth opportunities.
New job growth can come from a lot of different places, like hard work, luck, having the right network, changing priorities, etc. But mentoring is one way to speed up growth.
Chronus CEO Seena Mortazavi told Built-In, “Mentoring helps a lot of people who need that kind of help to move up in their careers.” “And it does this in a way that makes the playing field more fair. Some people who don’t have as many chances as others do very well when they find the right mentor.
Chronus, a company based in Seattle, was started in 2007 by people who used to work at Microsoft and thought that the mentoring they got there was important to their careers. But in 2007, a lot of corporate mentoring was done by hand, and things like written notes and spreadsheets were used to keep track of it. Chronus’s founders thought they could make a tech platform that would help enterprise companies run their mentoring programmes and connect mentors and mentees in a more purposeful way.
After more than a decade, the need for good mentoring is greater than ever, and Chronus wants to take advantage of this. On Wednesday, the company said that Level Equity had given it $78 million to help it grow. This is the company’s first time getting money from venture capitalists.
Chronus’s platform makes it easier to keep track of different parts of the mentorship journey. It helps big businesses set up mentorship programmes and helps them grow. It matches mentees with the right mentors by using AI and advanced algorithms. It helps mentors and mentees through the process by giving them a list of things to talk about and making it easy to set up meetings. It also looks at key statistics to see if the mentorship programme is helping and gives the company ideas for how to improve the programme.
Chronus is used by some of the most well-known companies, like Uber, MetLife, and four out of the five companies in FAANG. But Chronus’ mentorship software isn’t just used by businesses. Big Brothers Big Sisters and Nationwide Children’s Hospital also use it.
Mentoring has always been an important part of growing up, but in the past year, this need has become more clear.
“We had what they called the loneliness epidemic even before the pandemic,” Mortazavi said. “Everyone felt very alone, and from a social point of view, I don’t think our minds were in a good place.”
This epidemic of loneliness was made worse by the pandemic when we couldn’t talk to people at work or in our personal lives.
“Even more so in the last year and a half, we just want to connect with other people. People you used to talk to at the bus stop or at work by the water cooler don’t talk to you like that anymore,” Mortazavi said.
Before the pandemic, Chronus had already set up its platform for virtual mentoring. It had its own mobile app and a built-in video conferencing tool. Mortazavi said that this was why Chronus customers were thankful for the company’s software when they had to switch to working from home.
The Black Lives Matter movement and protests for racial justice also came back to life last year. This made a lot of companies promise to improve their efforts to be more diverse and include everyone, but many of them didn’t know where to start.
It turns out that having a good mentor from a diverse group of people is also a good way to help people from different backgrounds get ahead at work.
Mortazavi told Built In that mentoring makes a big difference, especially for employees from different backgrounds. “Because we’ve seen that companies can become something like clubs. If you let people mentor themselves, the people at the top will naturally gravitate towards people who are like them. So, you end up with a group of leaders who are all the same. If you are an employee from a different background, you might miss out on this chance if you don’t have a mentor who can help you break that cycle.”
He went on to say, “Since we can keep track of data, we can show how mentoring has really changed people.” People who have mentors are more likely to stay with the company and get promoted. If you look at it through a diversity lens, you can really back up these claims with data analytics. That was a very strong argument for why you need a formal mentoring programme to reach these important DEI goals that organisations are so focused on but haven’t been able to make progress on.
Chronus had a tailwind from the need for better DEI tools at work and the feeling of being alone. Mortazavi remembers that the business did poorly in the second quarter of 2020, when the pandemic was just starting. But the company had its best quarter ever in Q3 2020, and Q4 2020 was even better.
This is why Chronus finally decided to invest in growth. Most of the business came from word of mouth, but with this new money, the company plans to step up its marketing efforts to meet rising demand. It also wants to grow the company by paying for a hiring push that adds jobs all over. This includes jobs in engineering, sales, marketing, customer success, HR, and more.
“We are growing for sure. We used to hire people quickly. And we’ll be even more aggressive about hiring in the future,” Mortazavi told Built In.
All of this growth is meant to help companies see how important mentoring is. Because once they do, it will have an effect on the careers of a lot of people.
Mortazavi said, “What we’re seeing is that there’s a chance to keep coming up with new ideas and put a lot more money into our thought leadership.” “And part of that is getting the industry ready for mentoring that will work in the future because the way we’ve always done it won’t work with how things are in the future.”
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