Founded in 2001, WorkSmart started in a 30-by-30 foot basement, providing project and hourly IT support to small businesses. Over the past 20+ years, the company has grown to 100 employees, and become the premier managed services provider of IT solutions for hundreds of small businesses across the southeast U.S.
The company had traditionally trained their new hires through shadowing and direct knowledge transfer between employees, but they wanted a system that brought accountability and consistency to their processes. While combing through more traditional learning management systems, CEO Clay Harris came across Trainual.
“Having one source of truth has been one of the biggest, most helpful things to come out of adopting Trainual.”
<blockquoteauthor>Samantha Burks, Learning & Development Lead at WorkSmart<blockquoteauthor>
A software that hits the ground running with personal implementation
As a company running on the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS), the team at WorkSmart had already documented their core processes (AKA, the primary processes that are central to how they operate). And while there were initially some worries about how to best structure their processes in Trainual, they were quickly put to rest.
“We started with [core processes] at the very highest level,” shared Samantha Burks, WorkSmart’s Learning & Development Lead. “Then we worked within the structure of Trainual to dig down into those core processes and get the day-to-day to-dos accessible to everybody.”
These core process “descendents,” as Samantha calls them, became the main subjects in WorkSmart’s Trainual account. After these high-level subjects, the team added two more tiers of content: role-specific processes and the step-by-step guides you’d need if you were covering for people who were out of the office.
The team structured their Trainual account to get their core and complementary processes documented quickly and ready for their team to access. Part of the reason Samantha and theher team were able to get their account up and running so quickly was Trainual’s implementation service.
This set up support is like a personal concierge service for the first four weeks on the platform. Businesses are paired with a dedicated implementation specialist who helps structure the framework of their Trainual accounts and starts transferring and building content.
“I’m in the learning space, so I think it’s helpful for most people to have a real interaction with a person to explain and answer your questions,” Samantha shared, when speaking about her experience with implementation. “To be able to say, ‘Hey, here’s our structure, and we know there’s a lot of structure with Trainual — how do we fit those things together in a way that works for the long term?’ And [Trainual implementation specialist] Marelena was able to tell us things that were coming.”
“It was really invaluable to have [Marelena’s] help and get us started off on the right foot.”
A documentation tool that brings accountability and consistency
Before switching to Trainual last year, WorkSmart had information documented in another system — but it wasn’t designed to house that documentation.
“We didn’t know who had seen [the documentation] and we didn’t have a way for a manager, for example, to know, ‘Yes, this person has seen this expectation and checked off that they understand that this is how things are done here.’”
The team at WorkSmart didn’t want to replace the on-the-job and shadowing training between employees and new hires — it’s an aspect of their company culture that derives from their core value of personal connections. But having everything documented in Trainual does provide consistency to how processes are trained.
“As we grow, that person-to-person communication becomes a game of Telephone,” Samantha joked. “And so just having something written down is really helpful.”
“That was the key deciding factor for us: having built-in accountability in the platform.”
A centralized platform that houses everything everyone needs
“When I came in, we didn’t have a cross-departmental documentation platform — this was about six months before we adopted Trainual — so I built something,” Samantha shared. “Turns out that I, in my role in the HR department, had built something to help us have information in one place, but other people had their own.”
While the team at WorkSmart had recognized the importance of documentation, too many people had the same idea. Understandably, it was a little difficult to convince people when they each had their own resources for daily tasks — except Trainual had exactly what the team needed.
“It’s been a lot easier to persuade people to shift platforms with the quality of the search in Trainual. Yes, we do want to document in Trainual as opposed to your bespoke place because once it’s there, that adds to the information the AI is using to get you a good answer. And the search works very well to pull up the things you’re searching for.”
“The big thing for us was bringing everyone together and saying, ‘This is the place.’ And that makes it feel much more coherent.”
What makes Trainual a good investment? The answer is short, but sweet: “It’s scalable.”
“It’s a low barrier for entry, to be able to do something and get some value out of [Trainual],” Samantha explained. “And once you do that, you can snowball it. More and more people start to see the value, and more and more people will be able to use it and bring their own processes for their roles and departments.”
And the team at WorkSmart is continuously snowballing their success with the platform. Even now, they’re still building out content that adds to their processes. And as they add more to Trainual, they deliver more value to team members, enabling them to rely on one source of truth to provide exceptional IT services.