A photo illustration by Slack to accompany piece on remote work

Seven steps to launch Slack

Easy-to-follow steps to help anyone roll out Slack to their entire organisation, from wherever they are

Even when you need to move fast, you can still launch Slack successfully. This guide will help you to roll out Slack quickly and effectively to your organisation.

Tip: Before we begin, create a Slack channel (call it #proj-slack) with these people to manage the project all in one place.

1. Give everyone access to your digital workspace

The first step is to make sure that everyone who needs Slack will have access to it. You might start with a single department or go with the whole company.

  • First, invite new members
  • Then, set up SSO and other administrative settings for your team
  • Create user groups for different departments, such as @sales-team or @it-team

2. Create your first channels and support your employees as they get started

Good communication means that all employees know that you’ll be using Slack. It also ensures that they not only know how to use it, but that they want to.

Start with an announcements channel

  • To share an announcement with the whole company, first rename the #general channel to #announcements-company. This channel is where you’ll share important communications with everyone.
  • When you send a message to @channel in your new announcements channel, you’ll also notify by email anyone who hasn’t yet accepted their Slack invitation. Tagging @channel ensures that everyone sees your most important messages – but use this sparingly!
  • You can restrict posting for your #announcements-company channel to only important updates from internal comms teams and leadership.
  • Kick off the #announcements-company channel with a note from your sponsor. Here’s an example of a welcome message that you can use:

Hi @channel, today is the day Slack officially becomes our digital workspace – welcome!

We’re investing in Slack because how we work together is critical to our success, and we want to provide the best tools available. Slack is a central hub where we can work together, share files and connect with tools. It will make cross-functional collaboration dramatically easier and strengthen our culture and team engagement.

Some tips to get started:

  • Channels are like rooms to bring people together based on departments, teams, projects and shared interests.
  • Look out for key updates in this channel
  • Find support in relevant #help channels, such as #help-people
  • Share what’s working for you in #slack-tips

See you in channel! 👋

Until everyone is on Slack, it’s a good idea to have your sponsor also send this communication through email. You can also include steps for users on how to log in and get help if they’re having trouble. For example:

To join us all on Slack:

  1. Download the Slack apps for desktop and mobile
  2. To log in, find the email invitation that you received or follow the steps from IT
  3. Take a look at Slack’s 101 guides
  4. Start by joining your department, team and location channels, then continue browsing and joining other channels in Slack

3. Create channels for work

Default to using channels instead of direct messaging (DMs), preferably public channels where you can. Using public channels means that important information can be found by the right people, team conversations can become shared knowledge and everyone can learn from the context of past decisions.

 

4. Create social channels to stay more connected

 

5. Connect Slack to your other tools

Slack connects with other tools that your organisation and teams use and brings everything together in one place – providing a better experience for users and driving more value from your existing investments. Check the App Directory to connect the tools that you’re already using.

While you can always expand your connections over time, here’s how to build a foundation:

  • First, connect with your core productivity tools for files, calls, email and calendar, such as OneDrive, Zoom, Outlook and Gmail.

 

 

  • Next, decide on a few key department tools to connect with, such as ServiceNow for IT, PagerDuty for engineers, Salesforce for sales, Marketo for marketers or Envoy for facilities teams.

 

 

  • For those who want to build workflows and apps in Slack, there are options:
    • For the non-technical, we have Workflow Builder
    • Those who are more technical would love our API documentation – with some creativity and technical chops, almost anything is possible

6. Work with customers, partners and vendors in Slack Connect

Slack Connect direct messages (DMs) provide an easy way to communicate directly with another individual outside your organisation, without ever leaving Slack.

  • Make sure that your users are aware that they can connect with their external counterparts in Slack to get work done faster
  • Let the other individual know that you’d like to connect by sending an invitation for a Slack Connect DM
  • Owners and admins can adjust the settings and permissions for Slack Connect DMs

A Slack Connect channel works just like a normal Slack channel, but it connects two or more (up to 20!) organisations. This means that a team from your company can communicate with Company B – for example, a customer or vendor – in the same channel.

  • Talk to your teams who work closely with external partners (such as sales, business relations, buyers, vendor managers – and contractors), and find out if they’d like to move their email conversation to Slack
  • Let the other company know that you’d like to work together in Slack by sending an invitation for a Slack Connect channel

7. More tips and best practices for working asynchronously in Slack

The above steps give you the foundation to be successful in Slack, which you can build on to do many more fun and interesting things. Here are a few final tips to get going:

  • Send a daily update of what you’re working on in team channels, and ask your colleagues to do the same – the /remind command can automate a reminder for everyone to do this at the same time each day, like a virtual huddle meeting
  • Use Slack calls and screen sharing when a quick conversation will help to move things along, or use a command such as /zoom to start a meeting directly from Slack
  • In large meetings, use a channel for questions and discussion to allow more people to participate in the conversation
  • Use Workflow Builder to collect team feedback
  • Install the Donut app so that teams can sign up for randomised ‘coffee chat’ pairings
  • Keep an eye on the Future Forum to stay informed on how companies like yours can make the transformations necessary to thrive in this new economy

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