An Interview with Yumi Alyssa Kimura, Co-Founder of LEAD Tech, Inc.
Now that we are well into the new year, we’re ramping up for the 4th annual HR TechXpo—as our community continues to look for new ways to solve human problems with technology.
This year the event will take place in both San Francisco and Seattle — where HR professionals can explore technology from early stage startups to enterprise-sized providers. We’re excited about this expansion of HR TechXpo and about helping professionals in the Pacific Northwest find innovative solutions poised to impact the workplace—all in a low-pressure setting.
Both events will also contain a Pitch Competition for the audiences to discover the hottest technology solutions affecting today’s workplace. One interesting solution that I came across in last year’s Pitch Competition in San Francisco, was LEAD.
LEAD is a smart mentorship application platform that supports employees’ career growth by managing the mentorship programs for organizations. It also provides leaders with anonymous data insights on a demographic level to help inform your efforts to improve company culture and employee retention.
I spoke recently with Yumi Alyssa Kimura, Co-Founder of LEAD, asking her about the pitfalls of employee retention programs and how LEAD’s technology solves some of these issues.
Greg: “I have seen a few mentorship platforms. Can you tell me more about how LEAD works, and what’s unique about LEAD?”
Yumi: “Sure. We built LEAD to provide a single platform to foster mentorship and support career growth while solving HR’s biggest challenges: enhancing company culture and retaining employees. We provide a detailed database of mentors and mentees. The platform supports cohort groups and allows employees to find new mentors both internally and externally. The platform also manages mentor-mentee relationships through goal setting, meeting schedules, notes, and feedback from each mentorship project. LEAD provides data insights for organizations to better support their people at a demographic and team levels.”
Another unique part about our LEAD platform is that we allow employees to keep their own mentors regardless their employment status with the company, so they don’t need to worry about lose their mentorship projects and connections.”
Greg: “These days culture is a hot topic for many human resources professionals. What does LEAD provide that’s different than a culture survey?”
Yumi: “Mentorship programs can help companies with their culture by providing powerful programs such as ‘reverse mentorship’. However, LEAD provides so much more than a simple mentorship program! LEAD can tap into your HRIS to figure out employees’ thoughts at a cluster level. Clusters are defined by department, demographic, and location. Traditional measurement tools, like culture surveys, fail to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias and they rarely provide the complete picture. You need one timely, reliable and simple indicator for people and company culture. Enabled by AI, we are able to extract key information to provide aggregated data reports that survey might not have captured. Our goal is to have zero blind spots.
Let’s say you have an HR team who is hiring diversified candidates and making efforts to foster inclusive company culture, yet the company’s turnover is still high. Now what?
A lot of solutions out there focus on unbiased recruiting, but once you get those diversified employees into your workforce, the under-represented employee groups quit sooner than the rest of employees. They might feel your culture is not supportive or inclusive. They might feel discriminated against or harassed. There are not many other software solutions to handle this matter.”
Greg: “In your HR TechXpo pitch, you stated that LEAD supports internal as well as external mentorship programs, plus individual mentorship relationships. Can you tell me more about how it all works?”
Yumi: “LEAD offers cross-organizational mentorship, allowing users to keep data and contacts when moving from one organization/job to another. We also digitize external mentorship exchange programs, and individual mentorship projects. We maintain security and privacy on the individual level, as we only provide anonymous, aggregated reports about what people need.”
In the meantime, watch your emails for news about the 2019 HR TechXpo events that will take place in both San Francisco and Seattle.
Greg Morton is a corporate strategy and growth development specialist and Chief Executive Officer of Next Concept HR Association.