How VanMoof’s growing team stay in tune around the globe
What if you had just joined a rapidly growing company with a challenging mission, but had to slow down because the information you needed to do your job was either scattered or undocumented?
This is what faced Martijn Hazelaar, Digital Manager at Dutch bike-meets-tech company VanMoof. And it's not an unusual story. According to a McKinsey study, employees spend 20% of their time searching for information. That's one full day out of the week! You get it and you'll probably agree that a team has bigger fish to fry than digging around for scraps of knowledge.
Rather than leaving the team's knowledge in the hands of a chosen few, Martijn set out on a mission to democratize it. If those people were unavailable or left the company, people at VanMoof would get stuck. Also VanMoof is distributed all over the world. And you can't really browse people's brains remotely, right?
VanMoof is the leader of the ebikes market. They designs and sells fully integrated smart tech e-bikes built to transform your city commute - and hopefully create a more sustainable future. They employs 260 people with operations all over the world and grew to 500 people in a year. They are now scaling to 600+ people in 2021.
So, here's the objective: if you want to grow distributed operations and teams with ease, you need to find a place to share knowledge that anyone can adopt, quickly. And as the future of work is coming faster since Covid-19, you need a solution enabling asynchronous & remote work. Let's see how VanMoof handled it.
The solution, Slite vs Confluence
Martijn led the way. He's a tech-savvy guy, and he previously used Confluence. It is powerful and so can be complex to adopt for less tech-savvy people. However when looking for a knowledge sharing solution, you should think about the end-users first.
When the word spread about finding a solution to centralize team knowledge, some employees came to him to present Slite as an option. He found out that one team was already using and benefiting from it, which was a sign that the company-wide adoption could be kickstarted. Your team knowledge can't support your growth if people don’t adopt the platform where the knowledge is.
Martijn chose Slite because it's more user friendly for less tech savvy people while encouraging people to better work together. Slite enables less meetings & the ability to align teams asynchronously wherever they are.
“As we're growing fast, the ease of adoption is a crucial element when choosing a new solution. You can see Slite is more friendly, and its similarities and integration with Slack make it easier to adopt” —Martjin, Digital Manager at Vanmoof
Martijn first created two introduction notes on the VanMoof Slite: One that clearly explains the objective of having Slite as the company wiki and a note that explains how to kickstart it for each team at VanMoof.
Inform everybody through email of the change & reminders in Slack*
Time it right
Share your vision
Remove any uncertainty
Set up two voluntary workshops, mainly about how to use a company-wide Wiki
Pro-actively move every document and information on Slite even for other teams, and it worked!
Special channel in Slite on how to use it where they copied the Slite user handbook
“Slite is easy: It takes longer to explain the need and benefit of a company wiki in than explaining how Slite works.”
At scale, you can't afford to spend time explaining how to use the platform to hundreds of folks. You need the minimum amount of friction. Knowledge must spread fast.
Two months after subscribing to our paid plan 70% of VanMoof were actively using it.
How they use Slite today
They store all the information their employees need to do their work. From new employee onboarding guides, guides for their global retail stores, people operations guides, and the collaboration space for each team.
Slack integration to share knowledge and answer questions through their primary communication tool.
Authentication through Gsuite Single Sign on to control access (SSO).
User administration and permissions is done using Slite Groups to easily control access.
One channel about the general information, admin and for new employee onboarding.
Each team has a channel where they centralize their documentation, their processes and all their internal collaboration as weekly meetings.
All channels are public so knowledge is transparent across teams.
The Brand Store channel supports operations and shows everybody what's going on like important projects.
Slite became the go-to place for all of VanMoof's team information within only two months. And two months is quick when your team is spread all over the world.
They achieved the two goals they had to support the growth of their operations.
Centralization of all their knowledge in one place, rather than 5 different apps and tools.
Make it easy and fast for anyone to access the information, so people spend less time asking or searching around their information.
Now knowledge-sharing supports VanMoof operations and their international expansion. Martijn paved the road so new hires don't end up in his situation.
“Now my team and the team knowledge are walking hand in hand, truly joined at the hip.” —Martijn Hazelaar, Digital Manager
✨ The unexpected side benefit
It not only offers better access to knowledge, but also aligns teams on their activities. It gives structure to their projects. Martjin noticed a clear improvement in the quality of the team's work.
“When your team writes and documents what they are doing, it pushes them to think better and scope their work better. This is the kind of collateral advantage Slite brings us.” —Martijn Hazelaar, Digital Manager
What’s a Rich Text element?
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
How to customize formatting for each rich text
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Brieuc Sebillotte is our Sales & Customer Success lead. Working closely with customer facing teams, his role is to make sure every prospect and customers enjoy the async life. Brieuc lives in Marseille, France. He often rides his Renault Kangoo to discover the best spots on weekends and holidays in Europe! Find him @Brieuc1 on Twitter.
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