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5 Ways Slack Can Keep Your Company Culture Vibrant During The Holidays

5 Ways Slack Can Keep Your Company Culture Vibrant During The Holidays

The holiday season can be a time when businesses experience their greatest success. Now, you can use Slack to build the culture that makes it all happen.

Consumers may see the holiday season as a time to relax and reflect, but for the businesses that support them, it’s “go time.”

If they can deliver an exceptional experience that drives customer success now, for example, they know they stand a better chance of starting the new year off with a bang.

Behind the scenes, though, the effort required to surprise and delight customers means also focusing on cultivating an exceptional employee experience. A big part of such experiences is making it easy for team members to collaborate, ask each other questions and offer encouragement and support.

The shift to a digital HQ and hybrid work models has shown countless businesses how they can use Slack for this purpose, but it may be even more critical for those working amid the holidays.

Just think about the increased pressure many employees are probably facing this time of year. The volume of customer inquiries, orders and service requests could be higher than at any other point in the calendar. They might also be responding to those increased demands with fewer resources, given that some employees need to use up their vacation days before the end of December.

There are also a number of external forces – none of which a business can control – that might be affecting employee motivation and morale during this period. The Canadian economy continues to grapple with the effects of higher than normal inflation, for instance. Public health issues continue to cause uncertainty and concern. Climate change might also be a source of worry.

All these factors make it critical that everyone in an organization has a fast, and easy way to check in on each other. Business leaders have to ensure they balance the hard work that happens during a holiday peak with conversations that remind employees that we’re all human beings, and that our jobs are tied to a sense of purpose.

A strong company culture doesn’t just help employees feel more driven to do their best work. Customers feel the impact too. These are the companies that proactively reach out before they even realize they have a problem or need. They’re the ones that go one step beyond to exceed their expectations and deliver moments that feel magical.

The health of a company culture can also mean good things for the bottom line. It can make the difference between employees that stay because they see career prospects versus those that decide to turn their notice right after the holidays are over.

Here’s where Slack can become a way to optimize your culture for success, now that the holiday season is here:

1. Providing a centralized way to find those need-to-know holiday updates

What promotions are still running, and which have expired? Was there a change in our return policies for sale items purchased during the holidays? Where’s the technical documentation to troubleshoot that new item we brought out for the holidays?

A good company culture recognizes that employee’s time is valuable and that their energy is not unlimited. That’s why you should make the process of getting answers they need as straightforward as possible.

This could be done through a dedicated Slack channel, or by sending out updates to specific departments and individuals at the time they need to act on them. This prevents people from juggling multiple tools to get at important information, which in turn can lower IT maintenance costs.

2. Bringing warmth and personality to digital conversations

The pace of business may accelerate dramatically over the holidays, but you should never be so busy you don’t engage with coworkers with empathy and emotion. Emojis are just one way to do that in Slack.

There might be instances, for example, where someone just needs a simple acknowledgment that a decision they made was the right one. The green checkmark emoji could do that rather than a lengthy reply. The thumbs-up emoji could indicate agreement when you don’t have time to weigh in on a discussion.

Similarly, the heart emoji could convey how much you love an idea, or that you simply care about a challenge a coworker is going through. The “muscle” emoji, meanwhile, could be a way to suggest the strength of a team that is providing resilient during the pressures of the holiday season.

3. Managing boundaries and avoiding missteps with status updates

Schedules during holiday shopping periods aren’t always as fixed as they might be during other times of the year. There might be individuals or entire departments that work hours of overtime, for example, and some managers might make themselves more available than usual during weekends.

Status messages in Slack promote the need for respecting work-life balance to help in this area. You can indicate not only when you’re free to help, but also when you’re locked in a meeting, or when you’re done for the day and coworkers should look elsewhere for support.

Changing status updates regularly saves people time they might otherwise have spent trying to find each other, and provides an easy way to see how everyone’s managing their productivity.

4. Fostering deeper relationships, no matter where people are working

Not everything on Slack has to be focused entirely on work. Many businesses have learned the value of having dedicated channels where employees can share personal updates or have conversations about their common interests.

Think about how you might have a channel where employees debate the best holiday album of all time, for instance. Maybe there could be a channel for coworkers to engage their go-to holiday recipes. You could upload images to offer holiday greetings and best wishes to team members, or even link to memes and funny videos that keep the mood light.

5. Creating a mechanism to recognize and reward hard work

There are inevitably going to be some employee who act as a role model for everyone else in terms of creating great customer experiences. Use Slack to celebrate them, whether it’s a simple fire emoji when they post a message about an accomplishment or creating a channel for a “Holiday Employee Hall of Fame.”

Slack is also a great way to reinforce powerful behaviours and best practices. A channel dubbed “Customer Magic” could include links to intranet blog posts or videos that tell stories of how particular team members wowed your buyers. You can also post positive comments from customers culled from e-mail, social media or text messages.

The holiday season can be a time when businesses experience their greatest success. Now you can use Slack to build the culture that makes it all happen.

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