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Create a Thriving Slack Community: Best Practices and Strategies

Looking to enhance communication with your company or customers? Discover how to create a successful Slack community within your company.

Boosting employee engagement should be a top priority for all businesses. The more engaged your employees, the more satisfied they'll feel at your company, and satisfaction breeds productivity.

Your employees are already using communication tools, newsletters, and task management programs to interact with your employees and help them interact with one another, whether or not they work from home. So take advantage of the tools your employees already use on a daily basis and use Slack communities to your advantage.

With Slack communities, you can foster a more engaging work environment even when no one is in the office. A Slack community can keep your employees engaged, streamline task management, and improve overall productivity. Keep reading to learn more about how to create an online community in your company.

Slack is a workplace collaboration tool with an instant chat feature that allows employees to interact using direct messages, group chats, and channels. Companies primarily use Slack to allow employees to communicate faster than using internal emails. For instance, it can be used to streamline customer service, facilitate task management, and provide team updates.

Slack communities are a way you can use the platform. They don't take any extra work to set up once you have an account and invite Slack members. Because so many companies use Slack and employees are more familiar with it than any other type of communication tool, companies can use Slack communities to engage their employees.

At the basic level, a Slack group is a free community you can use to allow employees to communicate and engage with one another. Unlike other types of online communities, it doesn't provide any extra distraction. Your employees are already using Slack, so they don't have to download or learn new software.

All Slack communities are different. While there are external communities you can join, Slack can also be used internally to foster an engaging work environment.

The most significant benefit of using a Slack community in your company is that you can use it to help employees stay engaged. While you may want your employees to work every second of the day, they need more than their tasks to form an emotional bond with their jobs and employers.

Using Slack communities that let your employees have more fun at work and enjoy themselves while still accomplishing all their work can foster an environment of creativity, collaboration, and overall employee satisfaction.

Define your community's purpose

When creating a Slack community for your company, you should define its purpose. While Slack is primarily a productivity tool, it can be used for work and play. You should have certain Slack channels dedicated to work and others dedicated to fun activities that keep your employees more engaged, such as surveys where they can answer questions or games they can play.

Identify why you want to create an online community

A Slack group is just one use case for the platform; if you want to use Slack purely for work, you can still create a community by creating a channel. What's most important is identifying why you want to create an online community.

Is it to improve employee engagement by making work more enjoyable and allowing employees to communicate and collaborate more effectively with one another? Do you want your employees to spend more time communicating with one another, even if it means having personal conversations while sitting at their desks?

Identifying your reasons for creating a Slack community can help you find the best method for getting more employees engaged in it.

Outline your community's goals

Once you identify the purpose of your community, you should identify your goals. These goals don't have to be quantitative. Instead, your goal might just be to improve internal processes by allowing community members to provide feedback.

Remember, your employees all have different personality types, so it might be worthwhile to discuss the types of communities they'd like to be a part of. For instance, you can have communities dedicated to certain job functions or departments and those dedicated to more community-minded activities that allow individuals from different departments to communicate.

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.

Foster a sense of community

Fostering a sense of community is crucial in the workplace. Your employees may work in different departments but still work together because their duties help the whole company succeed. Here are a few ways you can foster a sense of community:

Encourage community members to introduce themselves

Before adding a new hire to the meet the team page, introduce them to everyone within the organization via Slack. You should always introduce new employees to the group to ensure they can meet everyone, even those they may never work with.

When you introduce a new employee, make sure to list their job title and any other interesting information the rest of the team might want to know. This way, when they need to talk about work-related topics, they know that person can help them.

Create communities for members to interact with each other

Creating communities is all about engagement. You can create different channels for different types of employees. For instance, you can engage your employees by creating a channel for pet lovers, foodies, and other areas of interest that allow them to discuss their interests with one another, fostering trust and leading to better teamwork.

Build a culture of inclusivity and diversity

Your community should be inclusive and diverse, leaving none of your employees out for any reason. If someone wants to join a community, you should let them. Even if someone is trying to join a community in a different department, they might be able to learn something or help a new team through the community.

Managing your Slack community is crucial. While you shouldn't read private messages, you can ensure employees use the community according to the guidelines you've outlined for them.

Choose the right moderators and leaders

Consider assigning community leaders to each Slack channel. These individuals can lead team huddles and improve engagement by asking employees to provide feedback every now and then.

Monitor activity and respond to feedback

You should monitor the activity of your Slack community at all times to ensure employees are using it correctly. Remember, Slack is a productivity tool that can quickly become a distraction. Your operating procedures for using the platform should highlight how employees use your communities.

Additionally, you should respond to feedback. An employee might have an idea about how to make Slack a more effective tool within your business.

Measure your community's success

Measuring your Slack community's success means knowing if your employees are engaged and using the platform regularly. Some teams may use Slack less than others because they either work together in person or simply don't have much to say. However, Slack communities can be a valuable tool for businesses of all types.

Measure your community's success by sending your employees surveys about how they'd like to see Slack used within your organization. Mailchimp makes it easy to create employee satisfaction and engagement surveys that give you key insights into your employees' thoughts, feelings, and preferences.

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