After identifying your goals and the purpose of your Slack community, you can begin to set it up. If you've never used Slack before, follow these steps:
Create your Slack workspace
Creating a Slack workspace is easy. All you have to do is create an account with your email or Google account. Then, follow the signup steps and determine whether you want a free or business plan.
Define your channels
As an admin, you can add channels to your Slack community at any time. You can have different channels for various departments and those specifically for fun.
For instance, you can have a Developer channel for your software developers, a Marketing channel for your marketing team, and so forth. It's usually best to separate your communities from regular work channels. Therefore, we recommend always having a Fun channel your employees can use to chat with one another.
These fun channels can be useful if you have a remote work environment. Since your employees can't talk to each other around the water cooler, having a channel dedicated to more personal conversations can help them feel more connected to the people they work with.
Establish your community guidelines and rules
All Slack communities should have a standard operating procedure that lists community guidelines and rules. You should include examples of content that should not be shared in a public or private community. For instance, you can prohibit bullying, misuse of certain channels, and personal conversations during some working hours.
If you're unsure how to establish your community guidelines, you can refer to your community handbook to provide information on the types of communication that are acceptable.
Encourage participation and engagement
The whole point of creating a Slack community is to ensure your employees interact with one another. If no one is using the community, you have a major problem. Therefore, encouraging participation and engagement is crucial. You should let your employees know that you've created an online community and invite people to join personally.
Most employees will be happy to use Slack because they can avoid getting up from their desks to talk to their coworkers. Additionally, it will facilitate communication and collaboration, which can benefit remote work environments.
If you want to ensure your employees will participate in the various channels, try these tips:
Use gamification to encourage participation
You never want to force your employees to communicate with each other if they don't have to. Sometimes Slack can become a workplace distraction, but that doesn't mean it can't be a fun engagement tool.
You can use gamification to encourage participation on Slack by installing a program called Pointagram that allows employees to collect points and win digital trophies and badges. Ultimately, you can gamify anything, but goal achievement is usually best in the workplace. For instance, community members can earn points every time a department reaches a goal.
Provide value through information sharing
Sharing information with your employees on Slack is a more direct way to communicate with them. If your employees are busy, they don't have time to check their emails. If you have something urgent to tell them, tell them via Slack instead.
When your employees realize how easy it is to use Slack and interact with their coworkers because that's the place where they'll find important company information, they'll feel the need to use it more often.
Build relationships through online and offline events
A Slack community doesn't become effective when your employees start using it. Instead, it becomes a thriving community when employees enjoy using it, but a digital community can only go so far.
If you want your employees to be more engaged, you'll need to build relationships through online and offline events, which may mean lunches, holiday parties, and other celebrations.