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Slack Tips: 3 Tips for Better Team Communication and Collaboration
1. Give More Positive FeedbackDid you know that the #1 predictor of successful marriages is the ratio of positive-to-negative statements? Or that golf students experience a 45% increase in accuracy when hearing words of encouragement? Similarly, employees are appreciative when they receive positive feedback at work. Various stats and studies show how employees—even those who are already high performers—become more motivated and productive after hearing about their strengths from others. The first of our Slack tips: Use Slack to share positive feedback. If you need a way to leverage the power of positive feedback frequently, Slack is a great way to do that. For example, you can:
- Post this gif to give a virtual high-five
- Send a (public) direct message that looks something like this
- Call-out an accomplishment in a corresponding channel
- Add a “thank-you” or “great job” to your next update
2. Stay in Sync with an Interactive Report BoardWe found the second of our Slack tips from our friends at Fog Creek Software. Fog Creek regularly shares individual statuses, accomplishments, and challenges through Slack. Team leaders also have one-on-one meetings with individual employees weekly or bi-weekly. Users can find this information on Fog Creek’s official Company Report board on Trello, which is set to push updates back into Slack automatically. Their report is a live feed of projects and progress across the entire company. But that’s not all.Fog Creek also created a Lumbergh-inspired bot that makes regular appearances in Slack to enforce report board rules to keep things fun. He wears an ugly tie and ensures you got the memo about using the Company Report board.
3. Maximize Meeting Time with Daily Slack Standup UpdatesIt’s easy to fall into the trap of mindless meetings, isn’t it? Instead of sticking to project goals, discussions veer into the unproductive realms of weather and other unrelated topics. Or you spend a disproportionate amount of time going around the room (or conference line) learning about every team member’s project.When adequately executed, meetings provide tremendous value. However, done wrong and meetings waste a lot of time.Slack is a great way to get meetings right. It provides a public forum where everyone can see what everyone else is working on—so when you finally do meet, discussions are laser-focused on the most critical issues at hand. One way to take this a step further is by integrating online standups that let you keep tabs on project progress and any challenges that need to be solved.
What is Slack, and why is it all the rage?
Slack is a communication platform developed by Slack Technologies and currently owned by Salesforce. If you’re old enough to remember AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), it’s essentially AIM but for businesses. Slack can be whatever you need it to be: it’s a meeting place, group chat, conference room, watercooler, office cubicle for your entire team. It’s a place to collaborate and communicate with your team, no matter where you are in the world (especially important for remote teams who don’t have many opportunities to connect). Slack is instant messaging for your entire team. It was created as a way for businesses to communicate with each other as a group and coordinate one-on-one meetings. Other helpful Slack tips:
- Create public, private, and Slack channels. These channels are virtual meeting rooms for everyone in the channel to share tools, files, and thoughts to get work done.
- Streamline your work by connecting with over 2,500 other application integrations, including Jell.com.
- Assure safe data encryption and safety.
- Connect with individuals outside of your organization with SlackConnect.
Should my organization use Slack?Slack is a tool that revolutionized workplace communication, replacing email, text messaging, and other instant messaging applications like HipChat (RIP HipChat). With the flexibility of desktop and mobile versions, Slack is universal, allowing users to communicate with their team no matter where they are in the world–Slack is available in 150 countries. However, even though this platform is magic for most companies, that doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone. To help you determine if Slack is suitable for your workplace, we’ve created a list of Slack features in a pros and cons list.
- Instant communication: You can instantly message your coworkers through #channels, video conferencing, phone conferencing, and direct messages.
- Share documents, images, and other files with your teammates through channels or direct messages.
- Send push notifications to your coworkers’ phones or computers by using “@ + their name” to attract their attention, even when they’re signed out of the app and away from their device.
- Setting reminders for yourself, your team, or your entire company: Slack offers Google Calendar integrations so you can remind yourself or your company of upcoming events.
- Slack integrates with over 2,500 applications.
- Being “on” all of the time: because of Slack’s push notifications, employees may feel pressured to constantly stay connected at their job, even when they’re on vacation. This isn’t conducive to a healthy work/life balance.
- Technological obstacles: some team members may not have access to a smartphone or even a desktop computer at home. Other team members may be resistant to adopting the technology.
- Slack is less ideal for significant decisions and larger-scale projects.
- Instant communication: quick questions, fast decisions, getting a coworker’s attention when needed, impromptu phone and video calls
- Quick polls and voting
- Connecting global teams across multiple time zones.
- Effectively onboarding new team members, volunteers and connecting with individuals at other companies.
Daily Standups, Check-ins, & OKRs.
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