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




SaaS Technology


Chazlee Azevedo
Manager, People Ops

A lot of repetitive questions from employees used to keep the People Ops team at Evernote from spending more time on projects that fostered employee engagement. After adopting Spoke, employees are getting the information they need faster, and the productivity of the People Ops team has skyrocketed.

Before Spoke, Chazlee Azevedo and the three-person People Ops team at Evernote struggled to find as much time as they needed to manage benefits, wellness, onboarding, offboarding, and other responsibilities.

The challenge? A steady stream of interruptions from employees who had very simple questions.

“We have a business space called The Employee Navigator to provide information to employees, and most people typically wouldn’t go there to search. Instead, they’d direct questions to myself or to people on my team. This got to be very distracting, and took our focus away from the projects we were working on. The confusion around where to find resources was interrupting our workflow.”

“We were getting the same questions over and over. We were literally typing the same thing over and over. It wasn’t efficient and I was distracted a lot of the time. I would say I was getting five to ten questions a day.”

Chazlee started thinking about possible solutions.

“I was trying to get people the information they needed as quickly as possible while still providing high-touch service and alleviating my team’s day to day workloads.”

Whatever the solution looked like, it had to be “turnkey.”

“I didn’t want to deal with integration headaches.”

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.

“I had wanted [our engineers] to build a Slack bot to answer frequently asked questions as a hackathon project.”

“But then Spoke reached out to us. 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 Spoke, too.

“I asked the team, Do you guys want your time back? That was really the pitch. They were like, Yes!

With Evernote’s business support teams on board, Chazlee looked to Spoke’s Customer Success team to get them set up.

“It was pretty easy. This is one of the better onboarding experiences I’ve had. How you start off with a new tool is one of the most important parts of the process. I’ve actually set our Spoke experience as my bar.”

With the simple set up out of the way, she rolled out Spoke to Evernote employees, being careful to note that they could still expect a customer-minded experience from the People team.

“I announced our partnership with Spoke  at our bi-weekly all hands meeting, and let [employees] know Spoke was a quick way for them to find information. It doesn’t replace the people team, but rather is an extension of us. Our goal is to help employees, while still being productive ourselves and Spoke helps us do both.”

Employees quickly adopted Spoke into their routines. Chazlee thinks Spoke had a few specific qualities that positioned it for success at Evernote, including a user-friendly, convenient design:

“Spoke has a look and feel that people are used to, which is likely why it has high adoption. It’d be a different story if the technology and the UI weren’t appealing. And it was already part of Slack, which we use every day.”

Most importantly, employees were able to easily and quickly get what they needed from Spoke, 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.”

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

With Spoke keeping employees equipped with the information they needed, the People Ops team has enjoyed fewer interruptions from repetitive questions.

“I hardly ever get questions now. And whenever they do come across my desk, I’ll say, Oh, you can find it in the Employee Navigator. If you ask Spoke, it’ll direct you right to it. It’s super easy. And that’s how I redirect people.”

In addition to these gentle reminders about Spoke, Chazlee has incorporated Spoke into new employee onboarding.

“We added Spoke to the onboarding process so everyone knows what it is. So I don’t get all the questions I used to get right after onboarding, like, Where do I enroll in benefits? How do I get into my 401k? Where are the meeting rooms? Because they know Spoke is the go-to repository of all of our answers so they can go there.”

Reducing those interruptions has dramatically improved the productivity of Chazlee and the rest of the People team.

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

“It’s really about lack of distractions. Every time I was pulled off into a Slack conversation it completely derailed whatever I was doing. All of that back-and-forth multitasking isn’t really helpful when you’re trying to do deep work.”

Chazlee estimates that moving all of those Slack questions to Spoke has given her back up to five additional hours of productive time every week.

“Conversations that used to happen on Slack are now routed to Spoke, which keeps me on track and in control of how I’m spending my time.”

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