Slack is a communication center for any organization of dimensions, but when you work in larger groups, it is worth paying a little more attention to be deliberate and considerate about the ways you interact with everyone.
A good rule of thumb for organizations with hundreds of thousands of employees is to create numerous specialized channels for different teams, topics and projects, each with a dozen or so participants. These smaller, more functional channels are the perfect place for teams to sketch every detail of their work with lots of messages, discussions and automatic app posts.
But what about the bigger channels? For cross-functional channels and for general topics, you can easily have hundreds of participants and when the membership of a channel becomes so large, it is worth considering the collective time of all before publishing. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when collaborating in crowded channels.
Use the resources to answer the basic questions
Pay close attention to the channel information at the top of your Slack app and know that when you see a lot of participants, it's a good idea to adjust the internal bar for posting.
If you have a general question for a very large group, always search in the channel before asking, as you may find that the answer has been discussed previously.
Do not forget to check the pinned items in larger channels, because teams often send answers to common questions or provide information for frequent requests. At Slack, every office has a channel like #sf or #dub, with added items that include an office guide, hotel booking instructions nearby, and a visiting employee form to alert local office staff when you arrive imminently. Every week, a handful of employees visit other Slack offices and, without these reference materials, the channel of each office will be filled with repeated requests from traveling workers.
If the search and the added documents do not have your answer, you can ask an expert. Slack automatically highlights the first three users in the larger channels and displays a list in the sidebar.
Condensation and organizes discussions
For channels with more than a dozen members, we recommend organizing discussion topics to make them easy to follow and retrieve later.
Use the threads function to answer questions or provide more detailed feedback on any message. This keeps the main message area clear to other topics and allows a group of people to keep several topics of discussion at the same time, because each topic is in a separate thread. Organized conversations also preserve the context that can be retrieved at any time with a search, where you can view all the thoughts and feedbacks entered in a past decision.
Be selective about updates
As channel membership increases, we recommend starting to slow down news and updates on a weekly or monthly basis rather than overwhelm everyone with daily posts. Messages or a Google Doc they are simple ways to compose longer ads and can even serve as an almost internal newspaper for a company. At Slack, executives publish weekly or quarterly updates that cover our overall progress towards goals, point to recent assumptions and share confidential news before they are announced to the public.
If you use applications that automatically publish channel progress, try to reduce "noise" in larger channels by publishing summaries or only on major milestones, so that your team gets those updates on a slower program. This does not mean that you have to disable automatic updates from all your apps, keeping the task-by-task notifications in less channels generated by the machine set aside for that purpose.
Pay close attention to the issue of notices, such as @channel (all in one channel), @Here (all currently online in one channel), e @all (each person in the Slack workspace) in larger channels. Publish a quick "@channel someone for lunch? " Eight of your colleagues in a small project channel makes sense, but it can be reckless if you transmit it to 500 people in different time zones and offices around the world. Book alerts on large channels for emergencies or rare moments where absolutely everyone should be aware of an important corporate milestone.
👍 I appreciate your colleagues
This last tip is small, but when you're in a work space occupied with thousands of other people, everyone tends to be protective about their notifications. When you ask a question in a DM conversation, after you get your answer, try saying thank you / you are welcome 🙌, I'm agreeing 👍, or goodbye 👋 with an emoji reaction instead of another message.
This reduces another red indicator, sound and potential interruption, and your recipient will see your confirmation in Recent Activity instead.
it can he be nervous about publishing on public channels that include hundreds of colleagues, but remember that transparency is important. Here are some additional suggestions to compose reflexive messages:
- Do not worry about writing formally as you could in an email. Speak freely in your natural tone (while remaining respectful).
- To encourage a quick response, try to keep your messages concise and well-formatted; use the emoji to add expressiveness or urgency of the signal.
- Feedback collection? Consider the use surveys or surveys to gather information from many people quickly instead of having a discussion.
- If you make a typo in front of many people, it is quite right to press the up arrow to change it quickly to make the correction. No mistake must always be in Slack.
As your team size grows into Slack, you'll want to remain thoughtful and courteous in your communication to make Slack work as good as possible. With some minor tweaks to the way you use larger channels, you can help keep everyone up-to-date and on the business by reducing potential distractions.
Matt Haughey suggests frequent checks of the display of activities in Slack so you never miss the reactions to anything you have written.
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