Insperity is a professional services organization that helps small- and mid-sized businesses streamline their HR operations, manage costs, and minimize risks. Although Insperity began as a localized business in 1986, the company now has more than 2,700 employees and 60 offices across the United States. They currently serve more than 100,000 businesses nationwide.
With employees spread out around the country, Insperity needed a way for dispersed team members to efficiently share information. Because the company handles sensitive data, they also needed a platform that would store their information securely. And, with policies and procedures changing quickly, they ultimately needed a system that would allow team members to update and approve content quickly.
Before 2015, Insperity was using an in-house content management system that couldn’t keep up with their needs and significant client growth. The system had limited search capabilities. It could also take content contributors two to three days to add new content to the system, making it difficult to keep up with the speed of business. “That original system was static,” says Lisa Jasper, Insperity’s Director of Performance Improvement. “You couldn’t tell what information was current and what was outdated.”
Outdated information poses a significant risk to Insperity as an HR and benefits management organization. “If there’s outdated information that I’m using to talk to a client, that can potentially be problematic. It can affect our service delivery and level of care” says Jasper. “We have to be able to take that information down the moment it’s out of date.”
Insperity knew they needed a knowledge management solution that would allow them to be nimble, updating information in real time and ensuring there was no duplication of efforts across different departments. Their goal was to find a platform that would enable content updates and revisions while also supporting the collaboration and sharing of information across roles and regions.
Insperity initially began using Bloomfire in 2015 as a knowledge management solution for their sales department. They rolled out their first Bloomfire community, which they named Sales Coach, with the goal of giving sales team members across the U.S. one place to collaborate, ask questions of their peers, and find all the resources they needed to be successful.
After seeing high and continuously growing engagement levels with Sales Coach, Insperity realized that they could benefit from expanding Bloomfire, with a new community for the service department and another for the entire company to access knowledge. “Previously, Sales, Service, and Marketing never really talked to each other,” says Jasper. “We never knew what the right hand was doing, so there was content on the old platform that Sales could be recreating to post [in Sales Coach], not knowing that the service team had already created it or vice-versa.”
Insperity recognized that by expanding Bloomfire across all departments, they could reduce the risk of duplicate work, keep departments aligned, and allow employees to leverage the knowledge and expertise of their peers, regardless of their role or location.
Insperity’s service operations division adopted Bloomfire after witnessing the success of Sales Coach. The divisional leaders presented their case to Insperity’s executive team, demonstrating that they had outgrown their in-house knowledge management system as their office locations expanded across the U.S. and advocating for a platform that would give their team members confidence in the internal content available to support clients while expanding tribal knowledge and collaboration.
According to Jasper, the executive team was fully bought in on expanding Bloomfire to the Services organization, and the service division was able to launch their own community, which they call NEXUS. Jasper and her launch team were purposeful with their rollout and started with an eight-month pilot program with Insperity’s HR, benefits, and payroll services teams. Over the course of the pilot, they slowly added more content and users before launching Nexus to the entire service division. Thanks to their successful pilot program, they had early adopters and executive team members who championed the launch and drove buy-in from the entire division.
Finally, after launching NEXUS to the service division, Insperity made the decision to move their company-wide Intranet from an older outdated platform to Bloomfire. Some Insperity employees have access to all three Bloomfire communities, and information that’s relevant to the entire organization is published across every community to provide an additional level of transparency. “It’s been wonderful to say, ‘Everyone in the company needs to know this. Let’s put it out on all three platforms,’” says Jasper.
To help ensure that content is relevant, meaningful, and accurate, Insperity developed a set of content creation guidelines that applies to all three communities. They also have dedicated community and content managers for Sales Coach, Inside Insperity, and Nexus to ensure that contributors are following the guidelines and peers are answering questions in a timely manner. Thanks to this strategy and structure, knowledge in the communities remains trustworthy and easily searchable as the volume of content grows.
Jasper credits Bloomfire with breaking down silos between departments and giving team members a space where they feel comfortable collaborating. She notes that while Insperity used to rely on an internal team to manage content, they now have 100 content curators in NEXUS. . Peers have become more comfortable answering one another’s questions in the platform as well. Jasper notes that when Insperity first began using Bloomfire, about 10 percent of questions in the platform were answered by peers versus subject matter experts (SMEs). Now, approximately 40 percent of questions are answered by peers, with SMEs simply approving the answers. This gives SMEs more time to focus on complex questions and helps ensure that Insperity’s employees get the answers they need to assist clients quickly.
“Hands down, everyone loves the ability to ask a question and have someone from any part of the country chime in and say, ‘Oh, I just went through that. Here’s what I would do,’” says one Bloomfire user from Insperity’s service operations division.
“I really appreciate the response time,” says another service employee. “Most of the time I’ve been getting a response within an hour.”
Insperity has discovered that Bloomfire’s intuitive platform allows users to create and publish content much more quickly than they could in their previous system. Rather than taking two to three days, users can now share content with their department or the entire organization in about five minutes.
Alicia Brewer, Digital Experience Product Manager at Insperity, says that Bloomfire has also helped the organization break away from the traditional linear mindset of storing knowledge and has given them a faster way to retrieve information. “Bloomfire allows for relevant information to pop because those keywords [within documents] are always being indexed,” she says. “Other platforms don’t have that depth of indexing or depth of information retrieval that Bloomfire allows for.”
Another benefit Insperity has discovered with Bloomfire is that everyone has greater insight into knowledge engagement metrics. Content owners and senior leadership can look at metrics such as the top five searched topics, the average response time to questions, and the questions that service providers are asking as they service their clients. This allows the organization to identify new content to create and continually optimize the platform so that they can create better experiences for both employees and clients.
Insperity’s Bloomfire product owners continue to hold quarterly business reviews with the executive team to share results, demonstrate what’s working well, and identify opportunities for improvement. The product owners also meet biweekly with their champions and monthly with their content creators to discuss needs and challenges. This helps ensure that everyone continues to buy into and engage with Insperity’s Bloomfire communities—and that Insperity continues to optimize the communities for their users.
Jasper shares that Insperity currently has several Bloomfire enhancement projects planned, including using what they know about their users’ search behavior to further improve content searchability, using Bloomfire’s curation feature to audit existing content and ensure all information is up to date, and building user personas for all the roles that use Bloomfire.
Jasper recommends that organizations using Bloomfire for one department consider expanding to maximize the value of the platform. “Expanding Bloomfire to multiple departments is definitely a benefit,” she says. “As you continue to get more departments involved, you can truly optimize the technology. We have learned so much by breaking down the silos between departments.”