“Do I need training to use this?”

Perhaps you already have an answer to the question in the title. But before we get to that, we need to understand the situation.

Sitrion has been working with many diverse companies on their employee app initiatives via our Sitrion ONE employee communications app. The first use case of an employee app is often to drive employee engagement through better and easier communications between central communications professionals and employees. That’s an awesome use case by itself because it helps to make sure the workforce is more informed about the key things happening in the company. Beyond that, it is quite common for companies to look to things that users can do for themselves in an employee app. This post is about how Sitrion ONE makes asking questions smarter and more impactful.
 

Create real-time Q&As for employees

Being able to easily do HR use cases directly from a mobile device (get a vacation balance, submit or approve a request, etc.) or look up key documents for information are common stories of empowering employees to do certain tasks themselves. Sitrion ONE makes these capabilities easy to enable. Eventually, some companies start looking at use cases where the employees initiate a conversation instead of just responding to central communications. Asking a question seems like a great capability for users. If I don’t know the answer to something and I don’t know or can’t reach anyone who does know, why not just grab my phone and send out the question?

This has been one of the most popular use cases for enterprise social platforms. A user can send out a message and get answers from people she didn’t know existed. Over the years, we’ve seen a bunch of great success stories from our customers doing exactly this (e.g., finding a person in South America who could answer a packaging question for a person working in Ireland). But every now and then, there’s an example like this:

Employee 1:
Can I use this forklift without training?

Employee 2:                                                                                         
No, it isn't safe. You need to be certified before you use a forklift.

 

Streamline the right answers

The trick with sending questions out to a general audience is that sometimes you get answers back that are not really helpful. You can see this in almost any public place on the internet. Sometimes this approach is great, but as we worked with Sitrion ONE customers, we wanted to find an approach that better fit their environments.

What we came up with is really simple for users but takes advantage of the sophistication of the Sitrion ONE platform. In the example above, Employee 1 would tap an “Ask Question” button in her Sitrion ONE app. She can take a picture and attach it to the question. When she sends her question, she gets a copy of it in her productivity stream. But the key is that the question is only visible to designated experts in her company. One of them can respond, and she will get a push notification as well as see the response directly on the question post. This lets us avoid the case where a “helpful” non-expert gives an answer.

We immediately put this capability to use internally. Now when an employee has a question about the Sitrion ONE product, she just taps the button and asks her question. The question goes to an approved group of product management personnel who can give a quick and authoritative response.

So if you have scenarios where you want users to initiate a conversation (ask a question, submit an idea, share a picture of a competitor product display, etc.) and you want those inputs to go to specific experts, 
Sitrion ONE has a really great solution. ONE can do a lot more than that, and you can  find out here, but sometimes just making sure nobody is doing anything dangerous is pretty awesome by itself.

Brian Kellner, Chief Technology Officer

Brian Kellner is responsible for Sitrion's product strategy and development. Brian has held product or development management positions for over a dozen years. Most recently he was Vice President of Enterprise Products for Webroot Software. Brian holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Management from Colorado Tech.

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