Using Slack With Your Team Is Simple and More Productive
Have you ever struggled to find the message your coworker sent you? Was it text? Email? Your other email address? Maybe it was sent on social media? We have all been there and found ourselves frustrated in the communication hiccup. Or do you have a hard time pulling away from work after hours and wish you could push do not disturb on just work messages? Or maybe you find yourself on a big team with multiple communications and you wish you could simply mute one of the text conversations that no longer applies to you. A simple communication tool to solve many of your workplace issues could be Slack. Slack is a cloud-based communication tool designed to make your life easier.
How does slack work?
When you create a new Slack team, you are on your way to bringing your communication to a centralized location. You can create specific channels for specific topics such as “Fall Kickoff,” “Family Ministry Team,” “Staff” or even a channel to schedule lunches. Then within each of these channels, you can customize your notifications. Maybe you want the “Staff” channel to send you all notifications but only get “Family Ministry Team” notifications when your name is mentioned. And maybe you want to get slack messages only until 5:00 pm but you are a morning person who would love to see what’s going on as early as 6:00 am. All communications within Slack are customizable for your preferences. Another amazing feature of Slack is the ability to search the entire archive for messages, files or works within an attached PDF. With Slack, all communications are in one place and simple to search!
How do you transition to slack?
If you find that Slack will work well with your team then the next step will be to create an implementation strategy. If only part of your team begins using Slack then this can further muddy up communication. First, take the time to learn how Slack works. Learn the features, understand how to navigate the app, and brainstorm on how you will use it within your context. Next, if you are not the decision maker or have the authority to make it happen then introduce the communication tool to your leaders and gain their support. Next, decide on your communication policy and how you will help transition everyone to begin using this tool. And finally, determine the best way to introduce and train your team on why and how it works.
How do you ensure slack works long term?
Consistency is key in making sure this product makes you more productive in the workplace. You may need to schedule a few additional training sessions to help the late adopters come on board. You may also need to continually point to the features and explain why this helps everyone stay on the same page. Remind your team of the notification preferences and how they can personalize their own communication to fit their schedule. For Slack to work long-term, you will need to help everyone understand how it works for them.
Of course, this is a tool that only goes so far, but I believe Slack can solve a lot of the headaches you are currently facing. Take some time today to learn about the additional integrations that can be added to your channels, discover the side benefits of being able to edit sent messages, and find more ways that this free app can help your team get more done with less stress.
Corey Jones is the XP of NextGen at Southern Hills Christian Church in Carrollton, Georgia. In his spare time, you can find him at a local coffee shop or fighting crime in Gotham. Corey wants to encourage and equip those around him and can be found on social media at @COREYRAYJONES.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.