The Covid-19 pandemic dramatically changed how we work, and for many of us it opened new avenues for collaboration. As workers became increasingly isolated physically, technologies like Slack and Zoom allowed people to work together no matter where they were. In many cases, companies found that Slack enabled them to work together even more effectively than they did before the pandemic hit.
Its no secret that Slack has become a mainstay in corporate America; in fact, over 169,000 organizations currently use Slack. From Lyft to Target, companies turn to the messaging platform to streamline communications, boost employee morale, and help build a supportive culture.
The benefits of building a healthy work culture are plentiful: perhaps most importantly, it helps to attract and retain top talent. In a recent survey, employees report that they would rather put up with lower pay and forgo a prestigious title than work in a negative workplace environment. So why should you use Slack to build a supportive work culture? Here are a few tips and suggestions from top leaders in the field.
#1 - Fosters Healthy Work-Life Balance
A great benefit of using Slack is that youre able to block out your non-work time by switching on the Do Not Disturb feature. In workplaces where employees feel that they have to be online 24/7, always refreshing their email to see if theyve missed a message from their boss, the risk of burnout is high. The ability to mute work notifications after hours can dramatically improve employee morale, and set the tone for a healthy work culture that prioritizes balance. - Ryan Rockefeller, Co-Founder and CEO of Cleared
#2 - Incorporate Outside Vendors
If your company works with outside vendors or freelancers, its important to make sure those teams understand your companys culture and values. Slack can be a helpful tool when it comes to collaborating with outside vendors, because it allows you to bring everyone to the same table while giving you the opportunity to establish norms and guidelines that will foster a healthy company culture. By creating shared channels, or by adding single-channel guests for specific projects, vendors can easily share files, collaborate in real time, and get a better sense of how your team works together. - Chris Hetherington, Founder and CEO of Peels
#3 - Enhanced Privacy
When youre working in an office, it can be hard to have a private conversation without the fear that someone will accidentally overhear you. An important component of a healthy work culture is the ability to privately raise concerns, or receive feedback without the whole office listening in. Slack can be very helpful when it comes to having a private group chat, or a discreet one-on-one with someone on your team. You can respect the privacy of the individuals involved, while also addressing the issue quickly and effectively. - Tyler Read, Founder and Senior Editor of PT Pioneer
#4 - Sync with Other Apps
On my team we like to have fun with Slack, and well often incorporate outside apps to recognize team accomplishments or celebrate important milestones. For example, we might use a birthday integration that keeps track of upcoming birthdays and other important dates. Using outside apps with Slack can greatly improve your productivity, but it can also be a way to help build a collegial work culture where people feel valued and respected. - Jason Sherman, Founder of TapRm
#5 - Organize Your Time Effectively
I love using Slack to streamline my schedule and make sure Im hitting all my goals for the day. Syncing your calendar with Slack can help your team find times to meet, and allow people to segment their work day effectively. If someone needs to focus on a project for an hour or two without distractions, they can mute their Slack notifications and mark themselves as away during that time. Employees need to feel that they have the time and resources to complete their work, and Slack can really help in this regard. - Daniel Patrick, Founder of Daniel Patrick
#6 - Celebrate Successes
Once everything went remote, we wanted to make sure we were still able to celebrate both company and individual successes. There are a few ways to do this - you can create a dedicated channel in Slack for people to celebrate wins, or incorporate a Slack integration like Karma bot to send people actual rewards for a job well done. Remote employees can easily feel that their contributions arent recognized, but if you use Slack effectively, you can make sure your team knows that their work is appreciated. - Isaiah Henry, CEO of Seabreeze Management
#7 - Improve Flexibility
A lot of people are working with flexible schedules now, which can be especially helpful for employees who have family or other outside obligations that interrupt their regular work day. With Slack, were able to continue collaborating even if someone has to step away from the desk for a while. This can be a great way to keep employees engaged, and to communicate that our company is focused on results and performance, not an arbitrary number of hours seated at a desk. - Anish Patel, Founder of Tinto Amorio
#8 - More Facetime
While remote work has replaced a lot of in-person meetings, regular facetime with your team still does hold a lot of value. With Slack, we do video and voice calls directly through the app, which allows us to quickly share information and brainstorm even when were miles apart. Video calls are also great for team building activities, which can go a long way towards establishing a strong sense of belonging. Especially for new hires, regular facetime will help to build trust and confidence among team members. - Hector Gutierrez, CEO of JOI
#9 - Real Time Collaboration
One of the great benefits of Slack is that you can collaborate quickly, without getting bogged down in endless email chains. Email fatigue is very real, and can drive even your most dedicated employees crazy. Weve found that our employees are a lot happier and more motivated when they can get quick feedback on projects, without wasting time trying to sort through a crowded email inbox filled with reply-alls and other information irrelevant to the task at hand. The collaborative nature of Slack means that we can all work together in real time, quickly answering questions and giving approval when needed. - Tri Nguyen, Co-Founder and CEO of Network Capital
#10 - Blow Off Steam
When teams are working remotely, they often dont have the same opportunities to blow off steam that they might have if they worked in an office together. Weve all had moments in our careers where our coworkers were the ones that kept us motivated, and casual conversations with coworkers can be a great way to build team rapport. With Slack, you can create general interest channels so that team members can share funny stories, give each other tips, or just commiserate if theyre having a tough week. Knowing your coworkers are there to support you is an invaluable part of team building. - Jacques-Edouard Sabatier, Co-Founder and CEO of JOW
#11 - Create Transparency
I want the people on my team to feel comfortable raising questions and voicing concerns when they arise. Transparency is an important component of a healthy work culture, and we like to use Slack to further our transparency goals. One option is to create an open channel where people can freely ask questions or highlight potential problems. Others on the team can then jump in with solutions, or you can take note to make sure those questions are addressed at your next team meeting. If you do create an ask me anything channel, make sure you make a company-wide announcement so people know where to look for it, and how to upvote questions or concerns. Also, it can be helpful to designate someone on the executive team to answer quick questions that dont require a longer answer. - Jason Boehle, CEO of QuaGrowth
#12 - Equal Access
One of the problems with email is that inevitably, a key person is left off an email chain and doesnt have access to the same information as others on their team. Whether inadvertent or not, this type of silo can be very damaging to company morale, and can negatively impact your teams productivity. I like that Slack allows you to create project channels so that everyone on that team can have access to the same information. You never know who might be able to chime in with a helpful suggestion or connection, and it helps to make sure team members feel included. - Evan Zhao, Co-Founder and CEO of Revela
#13 - Build Collegiality
If your employees were in the office, they would undoubtedly take short breaks to chit-chat about things going on outside of work and youd probably encourage them to do so. Its a way to make work more enjoyable while building collegiality across the entire company. Slack facilitates these kinds of conversations when you open non-work channels. Maybe you let employees set up channels based on their hobbies and interests, like #favorite-movie-club or #weekend-hikers. We have a #spirit-week channel where employees can submit get-to-know-you prompts that run the gamut from Name one thing youve achieved that you're proud of to Whats your favorite type of cheese? - Sean Harper, CEO and Co-Founder of Kin Insurance
#14 - Create a Support System
Were lucky to work for a company that develops technology that enables people to work remotely (among other things), so we were tactically prepared to go remote almost immediately. Over the last several months, we have seen our people go above and beyond to make our customers successful even during these trying times and help set up their remote environments in a matter of days. We have also come together organically to help each other. We created a Slack channel specifically to source ideas for weathering the pandemic, on how to thrive during this period of remote work and architecting the future of work. We are all dealing with very different environments (whether chaotic or lonely) and our responsibility as a company is to build a culture that supports everyone. - Rukmini Sivaraman, SVP of People and Business Ops at Nutanix
Ultimately, the use of integrated systems to connect teams, both virtually and in office, has proven to streamline communication, increase productivity, and in fact, harvest a familial camaraderie within the workplace. As a very accessible and user-friendly tool, Slack continues to lead the way in providing a resourceful addition to companies looking to respond to time-sensitive issues in an expeditious fashion, while simultaneously building a collaborative culture.