Do you want to improve company culture?
You should, and here’s why: The cost of employee turnover in the USA is over $15,000 per employee, on average. That means that in 2018 US Employers lost over $615 billion due to turnover.
So what is company culture, and how do you improve it? It’s a big question with a lot of answers, but we’ll cover one tool in depth that you can use.
It’s called Slack, and it’s the go-to office communication channel for many companies.
Slacking-Off: How to Be There for Your Employees
Point-blank, the best way to be there for your employees is to engage your employees and build a community. While praise can be automated to some degree using milestones and such, as an employer, manager, or team leader giving feedback, praise, and discipline to those under you is a critical process you can’t ignore.
Over 82% of American employees don’t believe their superiors give the recognition they deserve. Couple that with being engaged only once in fifty days, and you can see the problem.
Improve Company Culture Through Engagement
Engagement is just that. There are plenty of bots out there for “engaging” employees in automated replies and reaching milestones, but it’s hollow and empty. Taking a minute out of your day to recognize, personally, a member of the team goes a long way.
If the phrase “you give a man an inch and he’ll go a mile” rings a bell, that’s because the trust and connection to the company the employee has suddenly gained is a good comparison. When an employee likes the company and feels they’re valued, they will often even do work off-the-clock they would normally resent.
How can you accomplish this? Create a channel where coworkers can be recognized by colleagues and superiors alike. Make sure to set company rules of communication that are aligned with positivity rather than punishment.
Something like: “We believe in diversity and positive encouragement at [company name]. If you have a complaint, we would love to hear it along with a suggestion on how to solve the problem. Complaining without offering solutions is not what we’re about at [name].”
If used correctly (lead by management) the Slack channel can be a huge boon to workers who just need a moment in the limelight to make their week or month. Creating a task force of employees who go out, not to look for flaws but for a job well done will go a long way.
How Do You Create Community on Slack?
Having a hard time with a project? Get insight from other departments. Add members from different departments to create a special task force. It will make members feel they’re part of something important (which they are), and give a fresh perspective.
Have fun! Talk about sugar gliders and huskies! Snowboarding and, if you must, skiing. Don’t just talk shop. Create a channel for all your staff—a virtual watercooler to shoot the breeze. Have a channel for each department, play the department channels off of the general channel, and get everyone involved.
Recognize your employees’ accomplishments publicly in these spaces.
The Company That Slacks Together Stays Together
In the end, to improve company culture you need to have one and be part of it. Autonomy doesn’t provide pure engagement, it just frustrates. Neither does paltry “Hi, good mornings” provide the open-door engagement that an era of freelancers craves.
Virtual water-cooler and boss’s office, Slack is here to stay—whether literally or spiritually—for decades to come, just as 1988’s IRC which it is based on. In that vein, you should get on board and not be shy to doll out honest and appropriate praise for a job well done.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to be useful. Letting them know they have been is the best thing you could do. So Slack-off together! You’ll get more done.
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