Slack is an essential tool for the modern office. Slack can significantly improve your employees' overall engagement, from connecting hybrid and remote teams to acting as a catalyst for socialization even without a physical office. However, setting up a Slack channel for your office is only part of the equation.
Even the most experienced online team needs time to adjust to a new Slack channel setup. Thankfully, there are ways to streamline Slack onboarding and reduce the adjustment period for remote and hybrid teams. In this article, you'll learn essential tips and tricks to simplify Slack onboarding and make the transition to a virtual workspace smoother than ever.
6 Essential Slack Onboarding Tips
Set Clear Guidelines and Expectations
As with any workspace, setting clear expectations is the best way to start. With a Slack channel, setting clear guidelines and expectations about etiquette, behavior, and communication standards is key. You want to ensure that current and future employees understand what's expected of them and that the rules are easily accessible for review.
Some guidelines to include are:
- Channel setup standards
- Thread and direct message etiquette
- Behavior guidelines
Channel setup standards are more for moderator knowledge but are still important, especially when navigating new channels. New hires should be able to notice a standard regarding channel creation and naming. Of course, you can always create a video roadmap for each channel, but using appropriate names and descriptions can help streamline this.
Thread etiquette influences how users respond to questions and messages in Slack channels. Ensure threads are used for multi-response messages to keep communication streamlined and avoid cluttering channels.
Direct message etiquette applies to how users directly message one another, which you could intuit from the name. Make it clear that direct messages should always be professional and saved for situations where a team member needs an immediate answer. On the other hand, direct messages are also useful for project management in cases where the whole team doesn't need an update, or a quick response will suffice. This keeps channels uncluttered and streamlines communication.
Finally, behavior guidelines are one of the most important parts of any virtual workplace. Work with HR and team leaders to craft rules that team members can reference at any point. These can be as simple as a bullet point list or as complex as you need. Ensuring each team member can access these rules at their leisure, and understand what’s expected of them, goes a long way to keeping your workplace’s Slack a positive, supportive, professional environment.
Automate Welcome Messages
While this tip is less essential for a small team, automating welcome messages can take some pressure off of team leaders and make each new hire feel welcome. You can link key information like channel tours, behavior guidelines, and more in the welcome message. This ensures that each team member knows what's expected of them and understands how the workplace Slack functions.
You're already ahead of the curve if you can use Slack integrations to run portions of your Slack channel. Remember: with Slack, automation is your friend.
Pair Slack Buddies
Jumping into a new Slack server can be overwhelming. However, with Slack buddies, you can pair off experienced team members with new hires. This lets the new hires learn the ropes of your virtual workplace without feeling abandoned. You can even incentivize the buddy system with employee acknowledgments and rewards.
This adds the benefit of connecting team members and building workplace relationships early on. If you want to encourage teamwork and communication, Slack buddy pairing can go a long way toward connecting your team and forging positive relationships in the workplace.
Set Up a Slack Tour
As we mentioned earlier, crafting a Slack channel map video or tour can go a long way toward encouraging employees to use the platform. Gone are the days of PowerPoint slides and printouts. Instead, creating a virtual tour of each Slack channel and integration can familiarize team members with the system in a snap.
Thankfully, making a walkthrough video for Slack is easier than you think and goes a long way toward familiarizing team members with the platform. Remember to include your Slack tour in the welcome message, and make sure it’s easily accessible in case team members want to reference it later.
So you’ve set up your Slack channel; how do you get team members to use it actively? Every team leader fears the radio silence from a dead Slack channel. Thankfully, there are ways to breathe life back into your virtual workspace. One of these is to incentivize participation.
Using Slack integrations to reward employees for virtual engagement can go a long way toward boosting overall morale and keeping your Slack channels from dying off. You can also use virtual water cooler prompts to keep the conversation moving in general channels and connect with other team members. Try experimenting with other social activities, such as games, buddy systems, and more, to keep your team members engaged and active on Slack.
Use Slack Integrations
We’ve hinted at it in the previous section, but Slack integrations are a key part of any Slack channel. Sure, “vanilla” or base Slack works well enough for some teams, but Slack integrations elevate the virtual workplace experience.
Since there are so many Slack integrations, picking just a few for your workspace can take time and effort. So instead, try and go for Slack integrations that do multiple things simultaneously. For example, CultureBot combines employee acknowledgment and social prompts with birthday reminders, wellness check-ins, and more.
Think of Slack integrations like expanding your office: each add-on that fits your team's needs elevates your workspace and streamlines employee interactions. Feel free to experiment with different integrations and discuss team needs with your employees to customize your Slack channels better.
Setting up a Slack channel doesn’t have to be daunting. By following these tips and working with quality Slack integrations like CultureBot, you can quickly have a productive, connected Slack workspace up and running. Contact our team to learn more about CultureBot and get started today.