Guru’s value is well-known among customer-facing teams (like sales, customer success, and support) for surfacing knowledge in real-time, but access to verified knowledge when and where you need it is useful for every team — external-facing or not. Internally at Guru, we use our product across all departments, unifying our organization’s collective knowledge so we can all work more effectively together. One such internal use case is for our People Operations team.
Here’s an overview of how we use Guru to organize our People Ops’ HR knowledge, empowering our employees to be autonomous and confident when it comes to internal knowledge.
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Centralizing a knowledge base
One of the biggest benefits of using Guru for HR resources is that it unifies all knowledge so that every employee can access it when and where they need it. Often, HR documentation exists in clunky PDFs or docs that are cumbersome for HR teams to update and frustrating for employees to access. By organizing all of our HR knowledge in Guru, our People team can set up the information in a way that’s easy to find and digest.
Thanks to the bite-size nature of knowledge in Guru, we can parse out information into smaller chunks and build on themes by linking between Cards (individual pieces of knowledge in Guru), rather than referring employees to large documents that end up feeling like information overload. If an employee knows exactly what they’re looking for, they can enter a simple search in Guru and find that exact Card and read only the information they need, instead of having to do a Command F and scan through a long PDF. Guru also suggests related knowledge, so a user can see that other employees who looked at this particular piece of knowledge also looked at other related pieces of knowledge, which lends itself to discovering knowledge in a logical and self-guided way.
Another key use case for Guru for HR is in giving what we refer to as “soft knowledge” a place to live. Things like the guest wifi password, how to connect to the printer, or how to refill the coffee machine fall under the category of useful knowledge that employees need to know, but doesn’t always have an intuitive place to live. Do you pin the wifi password to the office Slack channel? Do you send out a communication with instructions on how to troubleshoot setting up a Zoom room?
With Guru, we can add any employee-facing information to our knowledge base, big or small. We can also include information that employees may not necessarily think to search for but that we want them to know. For example, some organizations have guidelines for Slack etiquette or room booking. An employee may not think to ask, “When is an appropriate time to @ the general channel?” or “Is it okay to book a four-person room for just myself?” but if that soft knowledge lives in Guru, they can see those best practices laid out before they inadvertently commit a workplace faux pas.
In the same vein, Guru is also ideal for disseminating information in a non-obtrusive way. If a certain policy gets an update that isn’t pressing, we can indicate in Guru that the knowledge is new without having to ping everyone to check it out. Guru also displays newly created knowledge within the activity feed, so if a curious employee sees new HR knowledge being created, they can check it out on their own.
Solving for HR headaches
Guru also helps our People Ops team operate more efficiently. Making HR knowledge easily accessible for everyone saves time for both our team and the broader company. One of the biggest pain points for HR teams is having to answer the same questions over and over again. Without a solution like Guru, it’s difficult to make those FAQs easy to reference, but now when our team answers a question well and sees the concept click with the inquiring employee, we can take that exact answer and add it to Guru for the rest of the team to reference.
Documenting all types of knowledge, including formal processes like benefits information and informal or soft knowledge like FAQs, also frees up our People team from having time-consuming transactional conversations. Often, if an employee has questions about an HR process and they can’t find the answer documented anywhere, they’ll want to have a meeting with our team to walk through the process. While we love to help our employees, one-off transactional meetings to walk people step-by-step through a process isn’t an efficient use of our People team’s time. Using Guru to break out clear and easy-to-find instructions clears up our calendars to be able to spend time meeting with people about deeper, more complex problems they may be having.
Perhaps the single most important Guru feature for HR teams is verification. Guru features a trust status that lets readers know if what they’re reading is ‘verified’ knowledge or not, when it was last verified, and by whom. That way, employees never have to wonder if they’re reading the most recent version of a policy, and HR professionals never have to worry whether people are following an outdated iteration of a process.
On the flip side of that, the revision feature in Guru helps HR professionals preserve all versions of policies. If there’s ever a dispute on a procedure and an employee says “That wasn’t the policy when I started working here,” our People team can actually look at the revision history of a piece of knowledge and find out exactly what the policy was when that employee started.
Another feature we pay close attention to in Guru is ‘searches producing no results’. For example, if we see that five employees have searched for “maternity” and our knowledge base returned no results, that tells us that employees are curious about our maternity leave policy and that we don’t have sufficient knowledge about it in Guru. This is helpful because if an employee searched for something and didn’t find it, there’s no guarantee that they’ll raise that topic to HR themselves. So by using analytics to see what people are looking for without them having to tell us, we can do a better job of building out our knowledge base.
In addition to empowering our People team to operate more efficiently, using Guru for HR knowledge also empowers our wider employee base to be more self-sufficient and comfortable with internal processes. By making all knowledge accessible in Guru at any time, employees can approach learning at their own pace. Rather than throwing the entire employee handbook at new hires on their first day, we can refer them to Guru during onboarding to review policies on their own time. And better yet, we can designate Cards “must reads” and then see who has actually reviewed them or not, in case anyone needs a nudge to get reading.
This easy access to knowledge also empowers employees to find answers on their own without needing to bother someone else. With Guru, users can search for knowledge in the browser extension on top of any webpage, like our benefits portal, or directly in Slack. They can also ask questions in the Guru web app and Guru will suggest any relevant knowledge. Or if none exists, Guru can suggest a subject matter expert to turn to. Sometimes a barrier to asking a question is not knowing who to ask or being embarrassed to do so, so Guru eliminates those hurdles.
Using Guru for your internal knowledge
No team operates in a silo. At Guru, our sales team benefits from security team knowledge, our CX team benefits from product team knowledge, our marketing team benefits from operations team knowledge, and everyone benefits from people team knowledge. Unifying all knowledge in one place, verifying its accuracy, and empowering employees to access it where they work creates a more productive and efficient workplace.
For more information about how HR teams can make use of Guru, drop us a line.