Slack has disrupted the way teams communicate, and they just celebrated their 2nd birthday (happy birthday!)
As Slack continues to grow, we put together 10 helpful tips to make Slack even better for your company.
A Private Channel For Feedback Just For Managers
Employee feedback is at the core of creating a happy and productive team. One of the hardest parts about employee feedback is creating a fast feedback cycle, where employees and managers are participating frequently.
The nature of Slack lends itself very well to creating that rapid feedback cycle. People are in Slack often and are used to rapid messages, so Slack is a perfect environment for collecting and responding to employee feedback.
There are Slack bots for employee feedback that can help you easily achieve this.
One cool idea is to set up a private channel for managers where they can chat about some of the feedback that’s come in and work together to implement some of the suggestions.
Have A Channel For Praise
Having a dedicated channel in Slack for employees to praise each other is a nice way to spread good vibes in the office (see what I did there?).
Employees need to get praise frequently, and research into employee recognition has found that praise means more when it comes from coworkers.
Officevibe’s Slack bot Leo does this. Every so often, he’ll encourage employees to give praise to their coworkers.
But even if you don’t use Officevibe’s bot, setting up a Slack channel specifically for praise is a nice idea for team building.
Create A Custom Welcome Message
This is a really simple opportunity to spread messages (like your core values) and keep reinforcing them.
As a Slack admin, you can customize the welcome messages that your team sees on the loading screen.
They need to see them anyways, so why not use it as an opportunity to remind employees of the values that they should be believing in.
Create Automated Slackbot Replies
Creating unique Slackbot replies is an easy way to make Slack more fun.
You can make it so that when someone writes a certain word in Slack, the Slackbot automatically replies with whatever you want it to.
In our network, we have a lot of inside jokes to make using Slack that much more comfortable.
The automated replies are a small part of a much bigger trend known as conversational commerce, look out for this in the near future.
Add Custom Reactions
Reactions in Slack are similar to the ‘Like’ button on Facebook, but with emoticons.
By default, Slack has tons of reactions that you can add to “react” to a post, but you can add your own.
Adding your own is again a nice way to reinforce that team building and make Slack your own.
As a simple example, we recently had one of our interns fall asleep at their desk. The story has since gone viral, and now this has become a custom reaction in our Slack account anytime someone talks about being tired at work.
It’s all in good fun!
Use Giphy (Sparingly)
In Slack, one of the big things are “slash commands” where you can get Slackbot (or any other bot) to do something based on typing “/” and then a relevant word.
Giphy is one of the most popular Slack integrations, but this one can get out of control very quickly. Some companies say to only use Giphy in the random or fun channels to keep the other channels clean.
For example, when using the Giphy integration with Slack, if you write “/giphy happy” you get this:
Welcome New Employees In The #General Channel
The #general channel in Slack is usually the default channel where everyone is.
You can use this channel for important company announcements that affect everyone. One smart idea is to put a photo and invite everyone to welcome them to the team. If you want to take it to the next level, you can include some information about them like their favorite hobby.
Your employee onboarding process should include more than this obviously, but it’s a nice way to welcome a new team member and have the light shined on them for a moment.
Celebrate Birthdays In The #General Channel
Another fun way to make Slack good for team building is to highlight birthdays in the #general channel, again, shining a light on an employee.
We do this all the time in our Slack network.
Use The Do Not Disturb Feature To Maintain Work-Life Balance
As technology continues to destroy any sense of work-life balance that we have, we need to find ways to disconnect.
Encourage your employees to disconnect, but as a Slack admin, you can enforce some rules to at least try to ease the problem.
For example, in our Slack network, after a certain hour (I think it’s 9pm), everyone automatically goes into Do Not Disturb mode and messages are queued until the next morning. That way, people aren’t receiving notifications all night.
Use Bots to Build a Better Workplace
Slack becomes even more powerful when you connect third-party services to it. Many companies have built incredible bots that make tasks even easier without ever leaving Slack.
Leo, Officevibe’s bot, was specifically built to help build a better workplace.
He sends your employees one question a week to see how things are going at work in a private message to make sure everything is anonymous.
When new feedback comes in, he’ll post it to a private channel for managers as himself, again to ensure that anonymity.
Have Any Slack Tips For Us
Let us know your tips in the comments!