When it comes to training tools for small and midsize businesses, keeping everything organized, easily accessible, and up-to-date is crucial. Whale pulls together company training and knowledge base materials into one place for team advancement and measurement. Read our full review below to learn more about how Whale helps you digitize your company’s onboarding and training processes for better growth.
Whale: The Good and the Bad
Whale has a lot going for it as a tool for managing and organizing SOPs and training. But we also want to honestly call out some places where it falls short. Use our breakdown below of its strengths and weaknesses to quickly assess whether this software is right for your business.
What Whale Is Good At
Whale is designed to minimize the time and effort it takes to manage company documents, especially those related to onboarding and training. Below are several features that make Whale stand out from other, similar software.
Easy-to-learn interface: Some document management tools boast simple-to-grasp interfaces, like Google Drive. Others, like Microsoft SharePoint, are chock-full of features but a bit confusing to navigate. Whale blends the best of both worlds by being feature-rich, easy to use, and visually appealing all at once.
This type of interface is essential for organizations that have employees who need to access documents daily but may be averse to learning new platforms or just not particularly tech-savvy. Whale’s clean design makes navigation a breeze for everyone, from brand-new employees to seasoned software pros.
Custom learning paths: Your team likely needs more than a one-size-fits-all solution in order to document and run training and onboarding in line with your internal processes. Whale’s training paths are entirely customizable, ensuring that each team member receives exactly what they need to learn in the order they need to learn it.
For instance, your marketing team requires a different set of training materials than your accounting department. With Whale’s custom learning paths, you can assign a personalized training flow to the members of each team that can be tweaked and updated as needed. Everyone gets kept in the loop with regard to their specific department’s needs.
Built-in reporting and tracking: Whale features robust analytics that track onboarding and training for each team member and department. Using the tool’s reporting and tracking features, you can quickly identify areas where employees may need additional training or path modules that slow the process down too much. Whale reports break everything down into granular levels, allowing you to gain insights into your processes, teams, and employees.
Excellent automation: After the initial setup and implementation of Whale, the software takes over document management for you. When you upload new documentation, Whale automatically categorizes it and sends it to the appropriate team or process to ensure that it gets into the right hands. Whale will even work with you one-on-one as you roll out the system, ensuring that you get everything set up the way you need it from the start for better future automation.
Time-saving templates and AI: Whale is one of many companies that has rapidly adopted AI technology into its software. With its AI Assist, your team can quickly draft company documents and procedures. Whale also offers a decent array of templates with predefined text and sections for creating common documents, preventing the need to start from scratch each time.
Helpful browser extension: The Whale browser extension is a unique feature that shares additional suggestions to users as they work through their training documents. Your team can set up knowledge-based suggestions during specific parts of their training processes.
Then, as people move through the training system, the browser extension tracks where they are and pops up those suggestions to give learners more context or helpful resources. For instance, you might link an inclusive language guide and company messaging tips as someone navigates through a section on branding consistency in email marketing.
What Whale Is Lacking
Whale is somewhat new on the scene compared to other document organization and training software, so it still has a few kinks to work out. With that said, these are minor drawbacks that we wouldn’t be surprised to see fixed as the product, and its user base, continues to grow.
Full document formatting: Whale allows users to import documents from other tools, like Microsoft Word, or PDF files to edit and store in the interface. However, import results can vary widely. Docs imported from Microsoft Word, especially, can sometimes end up with formatting issues, creating more work for editors to create the finished product. Fortunately, Whale’s easy-to-use smart editor makes it little trouble to nudge these imported docs back into proper shape.
Integrations: Whale states that over 1,000 integrations are available to connect your company’s other tools to the software. However, these integrations are mostly only available through Zapier, which means an additional tool to get all your connections in one place. Zapier is also an additional cost if you need a plan other than the free basic offering. Otherwise, you’re limited to a few direct connections with tools like Google Drive, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and, if you use the browser extension, Google Chrome.
Role-based pricing: Whale uses seat-based pricing that charges between $5 and $15 per month per user. This structure might work well for smaller businesses using the tool mostly for document organization. However, businesses that need the training features on higher-priced plan tiers might find it pricey.
There is no option for role-based pricing with Whale, though. Therefore, a new trainee costs the same price as an HR manager to use the software, despite the fact that they’ll need fewer permissions and features. Companies with more than 50 employees could have a hefty monthly bill compared to other software options with more flexible pricing.
Branding capabilities: Many companies prefer to have their company documents and training materials branded with their logos and colors to make them easily recognizable as originating from the organization. Whale does offer the ability to change colors and upload images and videos for company branding, but that capability is only available on the pricier Growth and Scale plans. Whale also has yet to add a hex color selector, which is imperative for pinpointing a brand’s exact colors.
Whale Pricing & Options
Whale is available in three plans: Starter, Growth, and Scale. Starter is $5 per user per month and delivers the essential features for document organization.
Companies using Whale for onboarding will need either the Growth or Scale plans for $10 or $15 per user per month, respectively. These plans add must-haves for training, like training flows, contextual suggestions, and integrations.
Companies may choose Whale for a few different reasons. Below, we’ll discuss the three main ways businesses use Whale to improve their documentation and employee development processes.
Whale for Company Knowledge Management
Whale’s most prominent offering is the centralization and organization of company documents. Businesses can use Whale to store training materials, guides, playbooks, and policies for easy access by team members.
The Starter plan provides affordable pricing for companies with simple training processes that don’t need the bells and whistles of higher-priced plans.
This software is highly searchable, helping your team find the content they need quickly. You can also assign documents to specific team members so they can find them in their interface.
If your company currently uses a different platform to store documents, like Google Drive, you can transfer your documents to Whale using the import feature. Documents move into Whale’s smart editor so that you can edit or update them before saving them to your company account.
Or, just whip up brand-new documents directly through Whale’s editor. The tool also includes dozens of templates and an AI writing assistant (though the latter is only available on the Growth or Scale plans) to help your team save time making new documents.
Whale for Employee Onboarding and Training
Whale stands out from other document storage and organization tools in its ability to also help companies strengthen their employee training processes. From distributing documents to employees to taking trainees through a custom workflow, Whale makes training more digitized, uniform, and efficient.
Companies can create a personalized onboarding or training routine that includes their company branding. Whale makes room for images, video, and screen recordings in training modules, so you can get as detailed and hands-on as you need to. Plus, utilize contextual suggestions through the Whale browser plugin to offer additional information or explanations during training sessions.
You can customize training flows by employee, team, or department to keep everyone moving at the pace they need to. Training and onboarding can culminate with built-in assessments so that you can track each employee’s progress or identify knowledge gaps to help you make adjustments to training materials.
Whale for Ensuring Results
Detailed training and onboarding procedures are beneficial, but you may not know whether they’re actually doing their jobs if you have no measurable results. Whale combats this potential issue by delivering reports to show you where each employee is in their training, in terms of reviewed lessons, completed modules, mastered benchmarks, and other ways you’d like to measure their progress.
In turn, you can easily see whether your team is getting the time they need to complete training or if they’re getting stuck at specific areas of the onboarding or training process. Quizzes administered after lessons or modules can further drill down into specific areas of great importance to make sure crucial knowledge is being retained.
You can also use a feature to assign subject matter experts to your company’s training materials, giving them easy access to review materials for mistakes or knowledge gaps.
Businesses seeking an organizational solution for their company document management and training processes should consider Whale. Its relatively easy setup and simple user interface keep it accessible for most users, and the customer success team is readily available to help organizations move through any challenges. And, with its automated document organization and training flows, Whale can save your company time while giving your team the knowledge they need to succeed.