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Ask Me Anything

By Marc Pelland

At Thrillworks, we pride ourselves on supporting our team culture. From top down, there has always been a strong focus on making sure that Thrillworkers are not only employed, but they want to come into work because of the people and the atmosphere. When COVID hit in spring of 2020, it posed a challenge to maintaining this culture. With the support of our ops and leadership teams we decided that creating a constant two-way connection with our employees would help keep people connected and working as a team.

Evolving existing platforms

Thrillworks has explored platforms that facilitate contact and collaboration outside of meetings. We have found with tools like Miro, it helps people work together in real-time, Slack in constant contact and Zoom to see each other, but that was only the start. There’s a missing piece we have found that really helps keep people connected outside of having more meetings.

Deconstruction

First, we deconstructed everything we knew about meetings and process. Then we added new ways for people to connect using the technology that’s readily available in the digital era. After those two important steps were discussed and collaborated upon, only then did we connect the dots. We applied systems thinking to prioritize and organize questions into a structure that we could best provide answers and solutions, in real-time and anytime.

Reconstruction

We developed a tool using NodeJS + Socket.io to allow Thrillworkers to submit questions in meetings and throughout their week. We call it Ask Me Anything. It allows for questions to be voted up by others to add priority, create visibility and give employees a chance to be heard. During the discussion, the highest priority questions bubble up to the top of the list and those leading the meeting address them one by one.

Ben Martin, Technical Lead at Thrillworks, created the Ask Me Anything tool a few weeks after joining.

“For me, a cornerstone of the agile process is receiving and acting on feedback," Ben elaborates. "Joining Thrillworks, I loved the concept of the AMAs, but through discussions with my colleagues, realized that not everyone is equally outspoken, especially in front of executives. This inspired me to make a tool that would allow large groups of people to ask candid questions, anonymously or not, and have those questions up-voted by their colleagues to be seen and answered.”

The effect

Ask Me Anything has proven to be a great way for sessions to remain relevant and full of content-rich discussion. The tool has allowed conversation to flow more efficiently, make the most use of time, and increase productivity.

Other applications

Aside from increasing efficiency and productivity, creating a two-way connection with employees can have a greater influence on loyalty and retention. It can also create a connection, loyalty and retention with customers. Here are a few examples:

  • During live broadcasts and promotional webinars, content can adjust in real-time to answer and address the greatest number of questions that customers are asking without having to research later
  • It can allow for follow up with potential customers and further connection points if questions come up afterwards
  • On websites and in app, FAQs can appear organically and be restructured in real-time to address the highest frequency of questions being asked in the moment, making it easier and faster to have questions answered.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about the tool we’ve built, would like a demo, or want to brainstorm ways that it could be beneficial for your team or customers. 

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