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Slack is where work happens: it’s where we prioritise tasks , connect our tools and keep up to speed with what’s important . But Slack is also where organisational leaders can encourage employee engagement and improve company culture.
✨One way to establish trust and boost morale is by providing an open line of communication between leadership and other people in the company.✨
Learn how to host different types of executive “ask me anything” (AMA) sessions in which people can ask the leadership team questions in real time.
Step 1. Prepare the exec team
Start by asking yourself guiding questions to help design the AMA experience for all those involved.
Who will respond to questions? The CEO, other executives or all of them?
How will you prepare this group for questions that arise?
How often will the AMA sessions take place? Will they be ongoing or whenever a question comes up, monthly or every other month?
Step 2. Create a channel
Name the channel
Create a channel to host AMA sessions. Here are some examples of what to call your channel: #exec-ama, #exec-q-and-a, #exec-fireside-chat or #exec-town-hall. To broaden your scope, #leadership-ama could also work.
Step 3. Set expectations
Describe how the channel works
Manage expectations by composing a post to explain the process for participating in the AMA and pin it to the channel for easy reference. Here are some instructions you might include:
The number of questions that the team have time to answer on any given day
A reasonable time frame to expect a response
How to upvote a question with emoji reactions (e.g. react with ✚ :heavy_plus_sign: emoji to say: “I have the same question.”)
Announce the channel and its purpose
Promote the new channel and encourage people to join and participate. Post in your company-wide announcements channel or send out a newsletter or email.
Set a reminder for the channel a day or two in advance so that people have time to think of questions they want to ask.
Tips for running the show
The best thing to do is to invite employees to ask questions in #exec-ama channels whenever something comes to mind. But if that’s not feasible, here’s how to run a successful AMA session.
Share the date, the time and the channel in which questions will be answered.
Ask executives to introduce themselves at the beginning of the session.
Encourage employees to use emoji reactions to show which questions they’d like to have answered – you could call it a virtual show of hands!
Define a process for unanswered questions. It’s fine to address them at a later date – just communicate that you’ll need some extra time and you’ll get back to them shortly. Tip: Executives can use @mentions to openly empower other managers or leaders by asking them to answer if they are the more appropriate person. 📣