14 Slack channels your team must have!

Since the pandemic, many companies have gone remote permanently. It means that the digital workspace has been revamped to be as productive and engaging as an in-office environment. 

 

Companies around the globe have adopted a new way of communicating with their employees, and one of the leading platforms for the same is Slack. The site has transformed how the business messaging takes place and opens the way to unifying the various teams and departments in the organization. Not only does it help everyone keep track of all communication, but through dedicated Slack channels, information is categorized into various domains, which helps in making decisions efficiently and effectively. 

 

So, what are you waiting for? These channels won’t just pep up your workspace but will also make Slack navigation easier and your teams more productive.

 

At Ricotta, we have followed the same principle and been strategic when it comes to creating new channels in our workspace. Here we share a few ideas that we think your workspace should adopt.

Why are Slack channels important?

The biggest hurdle that a remote team faces is that the engagement levels of employees might lag, which makes for an inefficient workplace. Having all the information in one place, reducing unnecessary meetings and deleting long email chains have been possible only because of Slack. 

 

Slack is particularly renowned for its channels, and Slack users are encouraged not to be parsimonious when it comes to creating more channels. It is an essential tool for fast-tracking communication and decisions. A channel can be created for a team, department, project, or other theme. 

 

Take, for instance, you have a new project at work, and all communications regarding a project are taking place on one channel. So, all information regarding the budget, marketing, content and distribution are intermingled. If a team member is working only on content, then the information about other subdomains is irrelevant to them. Having separate channels within a project is also necessary. This is why strategically creating as many channels as possible to remain effective is deemed more orderly. 

 

A Slack workspace with just #General and #Random channels tends to be a tad boring. Don’t you agree? Creating and adding channels that help raise engagement levels not only make working fun and productive but ensures transparency and discoverability of all information. 

 

Whereas the more illustrious workspaces with 10+ relevant channels can prove to be more effective with communication.

 

Also read: https://www.ricotta.team/blog/entrepreneurship-quote

 


Channel Ideas



1. On-boarding

Onboarding is an integral part of the recruitment process. Hiring a new employee comes with the challenge of bringing them up to speed with their department, rules and regulations, company culture and other policies. This is an essential first step into seamlessly integrating the new hires into the company and ensuring that they are made to feel comfortable and on top of everything. Additionally, many companies appoint mentors or guides that help new members if they encounter an issue and ensure that the first few days aren't overwhelming. 

 

This channel idea is a must-have for every organization regardless of its size and industry. If the company is working remotely, then this could be a great forum where introductions can be made and share any critical information with the new hires. This is to generally make the new members feel included and to help them familiarize themselves with their co-workers, important points of contact and even higher-level management. 

 

This channel should have the FAQs regarding the company policy, essential forms and docs, as well as wikis pinned so that access to this information is easy. 

  

2. Interests and hobbies

 

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This holds true even today. Breathers from work and work-related discussions give you a chance to freshen your mind and reduce stress levels. We can't be expected to work the entire 8-hour shift like robots. The human brain needs play and stimulation. What better way of taking your mind off of work matters than by indulging in a little team bonding exercise? 

 

Create a channel where all team members are welcome to have a chat and discuss their passions and hobbies. Teammates can also bond over non-work related aspects like sports, books, movies and music. Moreover, this is also an excellent way of breaking the ice and helps form friendships, improving team bonding and boosting morale. 

 

Members who share similar interests can invite each other for outings outside of the workplace or discuss the new developments in pop culture or even share their deep-focus work playlist. 

 

3. Appreciation

Who doesn't want to be appreciated for their work? Not only does the acknowledgment of a job well done make us happy and increase our self-esteem, but it also is an excellent form of motivation. 

 

Good managers and team leads know the importance of appreciation and the drive that it ignites. Maslow states in his hierarchy of needs that the need for appreciation and respect is an essential driving factor for motivation and boosts morale. Not only does an employee's engagement levels rise, but it also motivates other people to put in their best. 

 

A channel dedicated to celebrating a team's or an employee's wins is a sure-shot way of warranting that the company culture embraces appreciation and leaves no room for petty jealousy. If you show your employees that a win is to be celebrated and avoid encouraging competitiveness and harboring jealousy for fellow employees, then the workplace becomes a better space.

 

 There are myriad Slack integrations that do just this! You can show appreciation to a teammate for every achievement, which can be put on a leaderboard. 

 

4. Document sharing‍

In an organization, documents of all kinds are shared on a day-to-day basis. Keeping track and organizing the documents can be a hassle. But workflow improves if all the documents are shared on one channel with company-wide access to the most important ones.

 

This feature is essential, especially when a cross-team initiative is required and documents must be shared. Having a separate channel for document sharing streamlines the communication passageway. 

 

Even though Slack has a robust search engine meant to discover documents shared using advanced filters, this channel would serve as a standard repertoire made public to all. This can include company policies, vision documents, project briefs, quarterly reports, and important memos.‍

 

5. AMA‍

 

It is important to provide a space for your employees to come to you with questions. It is especially important when an important event is going to take place or has taken place. Take, for instance, that your company is undergoing a merger or being acquired by a big conglomerate. In this scenario it is obvious that your employees would have a number of questions about the kind of changes they can expect in the coming months. Addressing their questions, grievances and allowing them the room to have a conversation is vital.  

AMA is standard practice on Reddit and Twitter for celebrities, but in a work setting, AMAs help build a transparent workspace. Several companies have a town hall format for AMAs where employees ask Executives pertinent questions. This is a remote-friendly version of the such AMAs.

6. Feedback‍

Feedback and suggestions are the cornerstone to growth and development in an organization. The importance of having a separate channel wherein suggestions, feedbacks and criticism are welcomed is unmatched. It can transform the workings of the product or service. Ideas that flow from the bottom up tend to be robust, novel and sometimes creative. Feedback bolsters this flow.

Imagine, a product company which has a channel dedicated to product feedback, the user perspective, and suggestions can help Product managers build amazing products. This is not just restricted to products, it can apply to company policies, or act as a suggestion box as well.

7. Emojis+Humor‍

A Slack channel for Emojis, you say? It might sound a bit vainglorious, but this channel will add a bit of fun to the workplace. Sharing great emojis, memes and GIFs to share a quick laugh is an excellent way of engaging your employees. This is a virtual equivalent of a coffee break at work!

8. Birthdays & Milestones‍

Celebrating and remembering birthdays is an important workplace tradition for a lot of old-school companies. But why should they have all the fun? For a chance to eat cakes, digital companies should create a channel that keeps track of employee birthdays and important milestones in their work life. 

Say, that one of the employees recently completed a 10 year work anniversary. The chances of remembering this date is slim and hence, adding a reminder for milestones like this to be celebrated is very important. 

A lot of us are unable to keep track of all the important milestones and personal achievements of people we work with.

This channel can have a list of birthdays and sharing of any important milestone to add a personal touch to the workspace. There is a list of apps that remind of birthdays and anniversaries with an added option of e-gifting.‍

Additionally, the company can send out personal gift hampers to the employees to commemorate the occasion and show their appreciation. 

9. Icebreaker‍

Who doesn't know about the proverbial water cooler at companies? This is a place where people can come hang out with each other and share a laugh or two. You can include games and other fun bonding charades to take a breather from the work grind. 

Along the same lines as having a channel for on-boarding and interest groups, an icebreaker channel can serve as a team bonding exercise with apps like Ricotta Trivia and Donut. These apps are helpful to generate icebreaker topics to start conversations and improve employee engagement and serve as a virtual water cooler.

Read more:https://www.ricotta.team/blog/fun-question-games

 

10. Integrations/bots‍

Bots are a great way of adding some spice to the usual workday. It not only helps in productivity, doing deep-focus work but also provides a space for trivias, running a poll or even hosting a contest. What a fun way of alleviating a boring workday!

This channel can serve as a dedicated space for such apps.There are more than 2000 apps and integrations for Slack and every workspace has tons of them installed. 

 

11. Announcements‍

No matter if you are a company of more than 3000+ employees or a small start up of not more than 20 people. You need a channel that is solely dedicated to company announcements that concern everyone. Important memos, reminders and staff meeting agendas can be shared on the channel so that the important memos aren't lost in a slew of other messages and project discussions. This channel should be kept primarily to post just company-wide or project-based announcement.

You can restrict the channel and allow only admins and a few select people to post so that there are no unnecessary messages bombarded on the chain. 

Be sure that when you create this channel, you first make sure that the guidelines and rules are known to all. This will ensure that the topics of conversation on the channel stay on point to the agenda. 

12. Coffee/lunch break‍

It is a messy affair when a company can't keep track of the breaks that an employee takes. Say,the team lead needs to schedule an important call and send the invite to the team but two members don't join in because they are on their lunch break. If the team lead knew when the entire team was available then the call would have been scheduled accordingly. Having a channel wherein people let their team know when they are not available not only streamlines processes but the company doesn't lose out on time and resources. This works better in a non-remote workspace for scheduling lunches and coffee breaks. In a remote setting, people can use this to report back to work from a lunch/coffee break.

13. Issue tracking‍

This channel should be implemented across all companies, no matter what their core business is. This channel can serve as outbound leads CRM to debugging to customer success management!

14. Project‍

Different departments tend to have different channels - HR, Product, Development etc. But what happens when they need to collaborate on a cross-functional project? This channel helps alleviate all the chaos that ensues in such collaborative effort and makes it easier to execute tasks.

If there are multiple projects and accounts running at the same time, it can become cumbersome to have to locate all the information pertaining to one project on an all project slack channel. 

15. Ideas

Have you heard the phrase inspiration can strike anyone, anytime and anywhere? Well, in such a scenario, having a channel where people from different teams share ideas can be a brilliant way of igniting creativity and sparking inventions. Suppose, you are  a tech startup. Dedicate a channel to sharing brilliant ideas and novel concepts which can help turn the cogs and embrace novelty. 

Sharing ideas and inspirations from either competitors or something an employee saw on the market is how new ideas and transformations happen at the workplace. Robust ideas flow from bottom down. 

Everything all around can be used to spark something new, you just need to know where to look. And thanks to us, one of the ideas could very well come from this channel. 

16. News and updates 

Keeping up to date on recent happenings both in your industry, in the overall market and economy and the world is important. Create a channel wherein all news and updates, anything that can remotely affect your company or industry or your personal lives can be shared. 

This is a great way of ensuring that all your employees are in the loop. Take for instance, you are a media house. If the world economy or a major country’s economy takes a dive, it is 1000% going to affect your workings and operations. There is just no way around it. Similarly, if the actor you are promoting suddenly faces a legal discourse, then your PR team needs to be on the scene immediately to do damage control. 

So not all world happenings would impact the company in this magnitude but staying up to date on what is happening on your competitors front or the new industry trends and predictions for the coming years are a crucial piece of information that will not only give you an edge in the market but will leave you better prepared to handle what's coming. 

17. Mental health check in point 

Mental health is as important as physical health and while the wounds might not be visible to the eye, the ramifications can be felt quite heavily. Work productivity is hampered when the employees aren't feeling well mentally or are struggling with feelings of depression and sadness. 

This channel is a check in point for all your employees to take a moment in their busy work day and examine if they are suppressing or distracting themselves from feeling a particular emotion. It helps in improving the quality of their day, strengthens their self image and confidence and helps them positively associate with the company. 

If the company culture encourages taking mental health days and taking care of their mind, then the work quality and productivity improves. 

Many studies have proven that gratitude exercises have a massive impact on health, and overall happiness of people. Companies should care about the mental and emotional well being of their employees and propagate the benefits of adding gratitude to their day-to-day lives. 

In this slack channel, a bot or other apps that have interactions with Slack will send out a reminder to take a deep breath or be thankful in the present moment or release the frustration by shaking your body and recommend other things that will be beneficial in improving employee’s mental state. In the channel, a space for rants can also be provided so that there is room for frustration and anxiety to be released. 

A healthy mind is a happy mind. 

Watch this amazing ted talk

18. Upskilling 

This channel is dedicated to acquiring new knowledge on the workfront and upskilling. Companies should have a dedicated channel wherein new opportunities for growth and upskilling are shared with all the team members. 

This could be the space wherein employees can learn from each other and update and learn new skills. It is important to always keep learning and the company should not only be investing in these endeavors but also encouraging that more and more employees take part in acquiring and learning new hard skills. 

Any news about upcoming seminars and webinars, financial reimbursements for partaking in learning soft skills, and courses being introduced should be announced on this channel so that anyone who is looking to grow and take advantage of this learning opportunity can do so. 

Coursera, Masterclass and other platforms are excellent if you are looking to upskill. 

19. Daily learnings 

Curiosity and constantly learning new things is a fascinating endeavor and is the bedrock for both personal and professional development. This is a slack channel idea wherein people can share their non-work pursuits and work in progress. 

Sharing insights and their learnings are a great motivating factor for other team members as well as encouraging them to take on new challenges. It doesn't necessarily have to be a life changing lesson, but could be a very small quip that teaches you something. It is proven that a great way of learning and growth can take place when you learn from the mistakes of other people. It helps you avoid similar pitfalls and can save you years worth of effort to come to the same conclusion. 

For example, if an employee is keen on learning coding because they know that it is the next step in their professional journey to the top, they can learn from the experience of other coders in the company. They can suggest courses and tools that helped them as well as provide the newbies insights that took years for them to learn, and help avoid common issues. 

It doesn't have to be work related but could be something as simple as a gardening tip or sharing how to fix a bug. Even little things have the potential to provide value to other employees. 

This channel is a space for learning and guiding others. 

20. Pick me up 

Create a slack channel sharing positive uplifting memes, posts and messages and watch how your team not only produces better quality work but exhibits signs of a better mood and overall happiness. This is an excellent idea for days where an employee might need a little pick me up and a funny dog meme or an adorable cat pic can chase away the blues. 

Even if they aren't having a rough day, a little serotonin rush never hurts anyone!

21. Habit check in

How many times have you thought of starting a habit you know is good for you only to drop it in a couple of days? Most of the time the culprit is the lack of accountability. This is a great space for your employees to announce the habits  they want to inculcate in their lives and the group helps keep them accountable and on track with their goals. 

Oftentimes working remotely means that the lifestyle can be pretty sedimentary. People who want to exercise and move their bodies can take a pledge together to increase accountability and boost their motivation with the promise of solidarity. 

Participants may post daily accountability checks, and support and motivate each other to stay on track and commit to their goals. 

FAQs

Why is Slack so popular?

The reason why Slack is so popular is because it enhances ease of communication and allows for easy collaboration between team members. It makes messaging between teams, departments and different levels of management effortless. By dividing information into neat categories called channels, it streamlines the workflow. 

Are Slack channels private?

Slack channels can be both private and public based on the theme of said channel. Making a channel private is an effective way of ensuring that the communication and information pathway is exclusive to the members only. It helps in confidentiality matters. To add someone to a private channel an existing member of the group has to add them in. 

Can you lock a Slack channel after creation?

Yes, you can choose to lock a Slack channel after creation. The steps to do so are quite simple; click the channel you want to lock, go to the settings tab and select to make the channel private. 

Can a private Slack channel be made public?

A private Slack channel can not be made public again. The change from public to private is quite permanent and that channel will not be accessible to other people. 

How to make a Slack channel private?

The process of making a channel in Slack private is easy. Find the channel in the conversations header and access the setting tab. There you will find the feature to make the channel private. 

How do Slack channels work?

Slack channels provide the room to make executive and fast decisions and view the entire information related to the subject matter. All members are able to work in sync and collaborate through slack huddles, and easy messaging. 

When does Slack change status to away?

Slack automatically detects and changes your status to away when there is no desktop activity for 10 mins or when you close the app. If the app remains open on your desktop then it shows you are active. 

Does Slack show when you leave a channel?

The default setting on slack is to notify when a member leaves a channel. However, the admins can change these messages and can even choose to turn them off. 

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