David Hoops, Sales Resource Manager, and Gen Smith, Senior Manager of Sales Enablement, were both members of Better’s inaugural group of 15 salespeople. Fast forward a mere three years, and there are more than 1,000 people on the team.
As they added headcount, both Gen and David found a sweet spot training and empowering others to do their absolute best work, and, in turn, landing people in their absolute dream homes.
But when Gen kicked off the first formalized training for new hires, she ran into a documentation problem; “that's where I first realized there was a lack of a centralized knowledge base when it came to training new hires,” she explains. When she looked into it, she found that the lack of unified company-wide knowledge inconvenienced even long-term Better employees.
Meanwhile, even though David loved the day-to-day interactions with his team, he had reached the point where time spent answering repeat questions was hindering his ability to step back and focus on strategy—much less get a few good hours of focus in without a Slack notification. And when the pandemic forced the team to go fully remote, the issues multiplied.
So, he posed a simple question to his team: How much of your day is spent answering questions?
“In March, before my team launched Guru, our managers said that it was taking a literal third out of their days. So 2 ½ hours of their day on average was being just spent by answering individual one-off questions from the folks on their team.”
Sales Resource Manager
Some people surveyed reported spending more than 3/4 of their workdays answering repeat questions. That’s when they knew there was a significant knowledge gap in their organization and that it needed remodeling.
The first step was finding the right solution, and after comparing different knowledge base offerings, Gen was won over by Guru. Two major features stood out: the power to meet people where they already work, and simple searchability.
In a joint effort with Better’s HR Team, Gen set out to launch both a Sales Knowledge Resource Center and a general Employee Resource Center.
The process of relaunching their new and improved knowledge base with Guru was put on the fast track with the shift to remote work. Suddenly it was imperative to keep all company information in one accessible place.
It didn’t hurt that HR was already on board. “We had HR, and if HR uses it, everyone has to use it,” says Gen. From there, they identified key stakeholders across departments and invited them to a recurring meeting. That group of people became the advocates for knowledge and development at the company, otherwise known as the Knowledge Council. “Since then,” she continues, “funny enough, a lot more of these different departments that we didn't even think of in the beginning now want a Collection in Guru, and they're reaching out to us.”
This new launch sparked unprecedented company-wide engagement. Team members from across the organization and the globe were now saying that they couldn’t get through their WFH-workday without the support of their new informational setup.
When David reran his survey in October on time spent answering questions, the results were a dramatic improvement: “We've been able to drop [time spent] from 33% to 20%. Giving each of our managers about 1 ½ hours of their day back while onboarding over 1,000 people in sales was a very big moment.”
It wasn’t just the sales teams that felt the time-saving benefits of a unified knowledge management system. Everyone from HR Ops to IT analysts reported a newfound level of confidence and productivity.
When asked how she’d feel without Guru, People Systems Analyst Christina Utley says:
“Losing access to Guru tomorrow would mean an influx of 30+ Slack notifications overnight, every night, and each ping would be a basic question that at least 1-3 other people would have also asked. I would also receive 10+ emails overnight, every night.
“My time as an SME would be drained by follow-up, and my work/life balance would suffer as I would likely log in early or stay logged in later in an attempt to close out all comms. Guru has freed up an incalculable number of hours for myself and my team in HR. We are a touchpoint for most employees, and as we scale, our new employees also intuitively reach out with repetitive questions. Guru has more than leveled up our onboarding process and remains an invaluable resource in keeping our company aligned on org-wide knowledge.”
“If I lost access to Guru tomorrow, my life would look similar to Robinson Crusoe’s life when he was stranded on the island. Being able to be independent and have the knowledge at your fingertips all in one space was such a game-changer.”
By initiating this knowledge management revamp, Gen and David have given their coworkers hours of their day back; streamlined Better’s remote onboarding process, and equipped team members across the company with the information they need to help customers become homeowners. “I'm so happy that we can provide people more peace of mind while they're working from home,” Gen adds with relief.
That’s what a knowledge management system is really all about: keeping your company-wide information under the same roof, even when you can’t be.