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Communicating and Collaborating Better with Slack

Katrina Horne, Apr 14, 2021 12:56:00 PM

Slack professes its platform to be the future of business communication. And we completely agree! Whether your company is back in the office or works remotely,  we’re willing to bet you could benefit from using Slack. 

Slack allows teams, departments, and entire organizations to collaborate on its easy-to-use, chat-style interface. Slack gets users out of their email inboxes and into #channels for communication.  More transparency and more company-wide conversations can lead to more shared knowledge, which can enhance decision-making skills, stimulate innovation, and increase productivity. Since using Slack ourselves, we’ve experienced a positive shift in how we work here at Growth, so we want to share our Slack experience with you.

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Adopting Slack at Growth

When our company first rolled out Slack, there was some debate around its functionality (“should this be an email or a Slack message?”) and concerns about possible distractions from an around-the-workday communication tool.  A few weeks into the rollout, we overhauled our use of Slack by setting up guidelines and etiquette for its use.  Concerns about distractions were replaced with confidence in the newfound alignment among team members. We also resolved the Slack vs email debate (hint:  it’s almost always a Slack message). Slack integrates with the rest of our business tools, including G Suite, Asana, and HubSpot to name a few. From new client onboardings to website design projects, Slack helps us stay connected and move work forward. Now, we don’t know how we would get through the day without it.


Slack Etiquette at Growth

We established our own best practices for our Slack workspace. Messages are acknowledged using the handy reactions, often with the 👍 to signal "got it" or "sounds good", a 👀 to say "looking into this",  and plenty of 🙌 to "celebrate each other". Here are a few other ways we use Slack that work well for us. 

Less is more. We’ve agreed that it’s best to share information in as few messages as possible to avoid the dreaded ‘too-many-dings-in-a-row’. Longer messages are easier to read when marked up with bold, italics, or underlined text and can be formatted into lists and bullet points. Don’t get us started our the infinite emoji options and our creative use of them.

Link it up! Files and URLs can be linked right in Slack, making it super easy to share and access our work. Connecting Google Drive and other apps to the Slack workspace further enhances the file-sharing experience with features like file previews to help deliverables stand out.

You name it, there’s probably a slack channel for it.  We organize our channels by team and project. When discussions about blog content and service pages were happening simultaneously in the #website channel, we added a separate #blog channel. Channels don’t have to be strictly work-related! Our #general channel is essentially our digital watercooler with birthday shout-outs, team small-talk, and banter.

To DM or not to DM? With so many channels, almost any work-related conversation can take place in a channel. Use the @ mention to notify specific team members and carry on conversations using a reply thread to make responses easier to follow. Keeping conversations in group channels has revealed gaps and redundancies in our own processes, that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Transparency is one of the many benefits of #slack channels!

Our favorite Slack features

Katrina, Project Manager  “I use the Slackbot /remind command to set up future reminders for myself, other team members, and entire channels so no task is forgotten. The Google Calendar connection is also a must for staying on top of meetings.”

Will, Sales + Business Development “I’m a big fan of the Slack/HubSpot integration. The notifications alert me to pipeline updates and chat inquiries, and help me meet my response time KPIs”. 

Ashley, Account Manager “The /remind command is a great way for me to set personal notes for myself and for knocking off tasks on my to-do list. And /giphy! When words aren’t enough, a gif always gets the point across.” 

Ross, Design + Development “I rely on the use of tagging & threads for direct alerts in group channels.”

Chris, Founder “The custom theme option isn’t a productivity booster, but it is fun to have our Slack interface match Growth’s signature forest green and yellow color story.”

Optimizing Slack for Your WorkSpace

Slack is super flexible and can be customized to any organization’s unique use, so no two workspaces are exactly the same. Check out the Slack App Directory to connect your Slack with the other tools your company already uses. Dive into the Slack Resource Library for walkthroughs and more tips.  Ultimately, like any tool, the power of Slack is in how you use it. 

Curious to hear about other tools that help us work better together? Check out this article about the apps that maximize our productivity.

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