How Evernote’s People Ops team found more time to work on big projects by leveraging askSpoke




SaaS Technology
Chazlee Azevedo
Manager, People Ops

Even though Evernote had an internal knowledge base, employees didn’t use it and instead asked the People Ops team – which kept them from spending time on strategic projects. After adopting askSpoke, employees are getting the information they need faster and the productivity of the People Ops team has skyrocketed.

Evernote is a note taking app that lets you capture, organize, and share notes from anywhere across devices and teams. Launched in 2008, named Company of the Year by FastCompany in 2011, and released a full app redesign in 2017—Evernote’s 220 million users prove the company has staying power. The company has improved productivity for individuals and teams by enabling them to store and access their ideas with 5 billion notes and counting. Now, Evernote is improving internal productivity with askSpoke’s AI-powered knowledge base.

The Challenge

Before askSpoke, Chazlee Azevedo and the three-person People Ops team at Evernote struggled to find the time to manage benefits, wellness, onboarding, offboarding, and other responsibilities. The challenge? A steady stream of interruptions from employees who had very simple questions.

Initially Evernote created a business space called The Employee Navigator to provide information to employees, but most people wouldn’t go there to search. Instead, they’d direct questions to the People Ops team which was very distracting and took the focus away from important projects they were working on. “We were literally answering the same thing over and over. It wasn’t efficient and I was distracted a lot of the time.” said Chazlee.

Reducing interruptions for People Ops while providing better service for employees

Chazlee considered asking for a tool to be built internally that could help manage incoming employee questions. What she had in mind was for the engineers to build a Slack bot to answer frequently asked questions. But then she discovered askSpoke.

“It was the perfect tool for giving our team time back while giving employees the information they needed to be happy and productive.”

She had an easy time convincing the rest of the People organization, which included IT and Workplace Services, to make the switch to askSpoke, too. She just asked the team “Do you want your time back?” The answer was yes.

“How you start off with a new tool is one of the most important parts of the process. I’ve actually set our askSpoke experience as my bar.”

With the simple set up out of the way, she rolled out askSpoke to Evernote employees, being sure to communicate that askSpoke wouldn’t replace the team, but rather it’s an extension of the team, and that they could still expect a customer-minded experience.

“Our goal is to help employees, while still being productive ourselves and askSpoke helps us do both” said Chazlee.

Employees quickly adopted askSpoke into their routines. Chazlee thinks askSpoke had specific qualities that positioned it for success at Evernote—a user-friendly design and a seamless Slack integration. Most importantly, employees were able to easily and instantly get what they needed from askSpoke, so they kept coming back.

“If you’re getting exactly what you need immediately, then chances are you’re going to go back to it time and time again” said Chazlee.”

Getting back up to five hours a week to get things done with askSpoke

With askSpoke keeping employees equipped with the information they needed, the People Ops team has enjoyed fewer interruptions from repetitive questions. Chazlee says she hardly ever get questions now, and when she does replies: “If you askSpoke, it’ll direct you right to it. It’s super easy.”

In addition to these gentle reminders about askSpoke, Chazlee has incorporated askSpoke into new employee onboarding which avoids questions about the office and benefits enrollment. Reducing those questions has dramatically improved the productivity of Chazlee and the rest of the People team as well as get new hires contributing to the company faster. Chazlee estimates that moving all of those Slack questions to askSpoke has given her back up to five additional hours of productive time each week.

“What it’s done is give me my time back to do my job. To focus on my projects.”

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