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How IT Teams Automate for Maximum Efficiency Using Slack Workflows

Leaders stay nimble by automating everyday tasks and streamlining repeated processes. Team members have the right information they need at exactly the right time.

men and women working in offices with workflow automation imposed over the graphic
Professionals use workflow automation to power their day-to-day work tasks. [Adobe Stock]

We’ve all been there — in the middle of a project and someone needs something, immediately. We drop what we’re doing, interrupt the “focus flow,” and take care of the new emergency that just became our sudden urgency. 

The trouble is, this creates a backfire of productivity that could be prevented from the start. 

For every interruption, it can take up to 20 minutes to recalibrate. Research shows quality of work declines as a result and leaves greater room for error.

The solution doesn’t have to mean we stop helping each other or become work-a-holic robots. Sometimes it’s a matter of the right systems in place that eliminate the need for certain interruptions entirely.

Automation connects questions to answers in real time

Take Workflow Builder, for example. This tool from Slack makes automation work for you by routing the right information to you at the right time. We lose productivity trying to target the point-of-contact. Like when there’s an upcoming presentation and Joel thought Rasheed on Sasha’s team might remember the last line item on Mark’s budget, but can’t ask until he’s back from PTO. 

What if, instead of sifting for answers, you found them instantly with a simple command? 

No one has to log into a different system, send an email, or conjure a ticket.

These commands (such as an emoji reaction, someone joining a team, or other unique “triggers”) generate a workflow or custom sequence of steps that automatically follows. Within Salesforce, we have an analyst team that streamlines routine Q&A by triggering alerts through a custom emoji reaction whenever someone asks a question pertaining to their team. The team can immediately triage requests and engage the best person for support.

This easy reaction also lets employees signal a question in the same place they were already working. No one has to log into a different system, send an email, or conjure a ticket. Meanwhile, a simple workflow helps the analyst team better prioritize their time and attention through emoji-triggered notifications. 

Who knew emojis could be so powerful? 

It’s not often you see a 338% return on investment.

Strategic tools democratize knowledge and increase productivity

It’s not often you see a 338% return on investment (ROI). Forrester Research didn’t mention emojis in their 2020 “Total Economic Impact of Slack for Technical Teams” report, but one thing is clear: there is no slacking ROI with this powerhouse platform. 

Forrester shows that Slack builds momentum for you. It contextualizes information so teams can prioritize effectively. A #social-bakeoff channel, while tantalizing, probably doesn’t have as high of stakes as #global-product-launch. Likewise, within each individual channel are hundreds of messages — sorting by priority is paramount.

One way Workflow Builder helps teams ensure information does not get lost in the shuffle is through systemized onboarding. When someone joins a channel for the first time, an automated welcome message greets them and shares relevant information about the operations and purpose of that specific channel.

This welcome message becomes standard for every person in the channel, so everyone receives the same information in the same way. Rather than somebody having to remember all of the key knowledge, documents, and resources to pass along to a new hire, the workflow does that task for them — and frees up 25% of their time back for productive work. 

Workflows build social connections

People miss seeing each other these days. But, while 80% of our employees are craving connection, less than half feel comfortable going back into the office. Digital leaders need to get innovative with ways to provide social bonds for their people, and automation can help get there. 

Workflows spark connection by creating polls, birthday reminders, and weekly win call-outs. It’s kind of like your 21st-century watercooler. These team-building breathers give people a chance to step back from the day’s workload and remember what it’s like to be human. 

From birthdays to JIRA updates, workflows bring a new array of possibilities to productivity and a positive attitude in the workplace. This improved employee experience even leads to almost double the upsurge in revenue when done right. And if that doesn’t call for a celebration emoji, we don’t know what will.

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