This is HR’s time
Let’s face it, the entire business world is changing fast, but no companies are under more pressure to change than big global businesses. Like yours.
You’re confronted with:
- New business models and customer-centric processes
- Digital transformation across the business
- New technologies and systems
- New competitors and disruptors
- With this much change, success often comes down to one thing: how well you keep your employees informed, aligned and engaged.
- That’s why so many large enterprises are turning to their HR leaders as critical partners in transforming business strategy into action.
Change among the change drivers
But while HR is helping guide all this corporate change, the HR discipline and department itself is changing just as dramatically:
The battle for talent has never been fiercer.
A multi-generational workforce is changing the shape of work.
New regulations require new approaches to recruitment, pay, privacy, diversity, benefits and employee data.
New HR tech is here to help but creates its own change management challenges.
At times like this, many of the most progressive HR leaders are looking underneath the company’s more obvious challenges to reconsider the fundamental dynamics of HR work. They’re looking at:
- How HR teams collaborate, communicate and share knowledge
- How strategies, policies and decisions are made and communicated
- How HR workstreams cross departments and disciplines
- How dispersed and mobile teams work together
What are they seeing? That legacy collaboration tools aren’t keeping up. Emails, meetings and conference calls alone don’t support the way people want and need to work today. Modern workers are looking for alternatives with the kind of experience they get with the chat apps they use in their own time.
So they’re seeking out real-time collaboration tools, but when there isn’t a standard collaboration hub for the organisation, information gets siloed and isn’t searchable. Conversations take place in one place (or many) and the actual work gets done in another.
Not to mention the potential security risks.
There’s a better way for HR to work
Slack is the fastest-growing business application in history. And HR leaders – the people who understand work and employee engagement best – have been an important driver for this growth.
HR departments at some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies are turning to Slack not only to streamline and automate their own discipline but also – in partnership with IT and line-of-business leaders – to drive change across the whole enterprise.
That’s what this guide is about: how Slack-powered HR departments get more done, make a bigger impact on the business, create more engaged work cultures and accelerate change.
Today’s HR work involves more distributed teams, more mobile work and more collaboration with other departments – all using more systems and applications. And that’s exactly where Slack shines: turning all that complexity into something humans can manage.
Employee experience and the HR mission
Just as customer experience captured the attention of boardrooms across every industry, employee experience (EX) is shooting up the corporate agenda.
Today, HR leaders recognise that delivering a great EX dramatically improves your company’s ability to attract, retain and engage employees.
Companies that deploy Slack see immediate and long-lasting effects on EX.
Making work simpler, more productive and more pleasant releases the energy that people want to bring to work – energy that is too often dissipated by frustrating processes and systems.
And for HR leaders, smarter collaboration and process automation make it easier for them and their teams to stay focused on the bigger EX picture.
How HR leaders use Slack to increase their impact
Slack is a new kind of collaboration hub, organised by workspaces and channels. It brings together the right people and information at the right time.
Say goodbye to redundant meetings and inefficient email chains – Slack makes collaboration open, knowledge sharing easy and alignment inevitable.
HR leaders use Slack in four ways:
- Improving the way HR works with the entire company
Including better induction, communication, training, employee feedback management, performance reviews, pay rises, promotions, transfers and job changes.
- Improving work within the HR department
Integrating with core HR software to speed up decision making, centralise knowledge, keep everyone in the loop and support work from anywhere.
- Improving employee engagement and alignment
Promoting a modern employee experience, strategic transparency and a positive, inclusive workplace culture.
- Improving collaboration across the entire organisation
Partnering with IT and business leaders to improve collaboration, knowledge sharing, decision making, compliance and data stewardship across the entire business.
In all of these areas, the simple switch from information silos and fragmented communications to an open collaboration hub makes a major impact on efficiency, productivity and happiness at work.
Those profound changes help improve work measurably wherever Slack is deployed. Let’s look at some examples.
Slack makes your HR software more effective
Slack amplifies the power of your HR software platform and your team’s preferred HR and productivity tools.
Our close partnerships and deep integrations with software such as Workday, Peoplesoft, Oracle, ADP and SuccessFactors mean your teams can bring the power of these tools – plus a huge range of specialist HR and productivity apps – right into Slack. That means your people can:
- Search for files across apps
- Share data with other teams
- Organise notifications and updates
In short, the things people do every day can be done more easily right inside Slack (such as finding immediate answers to questions about things like payroll, benefits and the status of annual leave requests).
Look for the integrations tag throughout this guide for more examples.
Accelerate recruitment and hiring
Slack speeds up the search for new talent while protecting sensitive data and conversations.
Simplify job posting
Before a position is posted, create a private channel to discuss scope, pay band, title, etc. between hiring managers, heads of department and recruiters.
Then collaborate on the final job description and once it’s ready to go, pin your document or post to the channel. Once it’s posted, use the channel to discuss timelines for the first round of candidate presentations.
Automation and built-in workflows speed up recruitment.
Track candidates throughout the entire process
Once a role is posted, a lot of HR teams create two or more private channels.
The other private channel is for the hiring manager, HR business partner, recruiter and sourcer to share stand-out CVs, organise interviews and finalise offers.
Because your applicant tracking system integrates with Slack, you get automated updates in the channel at key milestones – such as when the candidate moves forwards in the interview process, when an interviewer submits feedback, when an offer letter is sent and when the offer is accepted.
Another private channel is for your interview panel. Here you can upload candidate CVs and on-site schedules, pin the job description and collate feedback post interview.
This single point of collaboration leads to faster, better hiring decisions and more responsiveness to candidates.
It all starts by getting all recruitment information into one searchable place and making it transparent for the people who need to know.
Streamlines recruiting and applicant tracking.
Finds great candidates, updating your teams in Slack.
Simplifies applicant tracking.
Streamline new-starter induction
Giving new starters a warm, professional welcome, with clear access to important information, turns their new-job jitters into focused engagement. It also helps get them up to full productivity quickly.
Instead of turning up on the first day of work to an empty inbox followed by a torrent of forwarded emails, new starters start exploring channels with conversations relevant to their role.
A #welcome channel gives them a place to ask questions, meet other new starters and find the most important company information: the company mission and key policies that you can pin to the top of the channel.
You can create unique channels for each group of new starters (for example, #new-starters-18oct) to form private mini communities of mutual support. And as employees continue to get up to speed, Slack is there to help.
For instance, they can search for any topic or keyword related to the work they’re doing and find all the relevant files, conversations and subject-matter experts.
In addition to integrating with your core HR platforms, Slack integrates with a wide range of induction-related apps, including:
Builds relationships by pairing new starters up with coffee buddies.
Makes planning lunch outings simple.
Slack companies reach full employee productivity 24% faster.
Onboarding to Slack itself
It often falls to HR to show new starters how to use the company’s chosen collaboration tools. With Slack, that couldn’t be easier. Because it’s so intuitive to use, training takes minutes. Use the onboarding materials we provide, show them the channels they’ll have access to and let them explore. From there, Slack’s own support team and Help Centre take over.
We’re there for you and your people.
Support employees more efficiently
Your HR teams can use Slack to streamline and automate the way they support all employees, including everything from how you communicate about benefits and manage performance reviews to how you handle time tracking and holiday requests.
Here are a few of the things you can do:
Enable employee self-service
With an easy-to-search resource destination to keep everyone informed of important policies and announcements relevant to employees and contractors in each country.
Instead of HR responding to countless questions about your company’s pension plan, employees can search for their own answers and filter results by channel, date range or even who posted.
Set automated reminders
So your people don’t have to worry about keeping track of important paperwork deadlines.
With timely alerts, your employees understand your benefits schemes better and participate in them more – without wasting time chasing people.
Create HR and benefits FAQs
And pin them to the relevant channels so people can answer their own questions.
In HR, the same questions get asked many times over. With Slack channels, your employees know where to look for answers.
Manage learning and development
By collaboratively designing, deploying and tracking learning programmes.
Bringing subject-matter experts together with learning professionals and management stakeholders accelerates your L&D strategies. And Slack makes it easy to communicate with learners and track their progress.
Once you have a central place for HR knowledge sharing, it’s far easier and faster to communicate with all employees efficiently and effectively. That frees your team up to focus on more strategic tasks such as creating that new benefits package or designing a whole new learning programme.
Works closely with Slack to keep people up to date on everything from payroll and benefits to time and holiday tracking and performance management.
Automates employee leave requests.
Makes it easy for freelancers to find quick answers to common questions about things such as new-starter benefits.
As you grow, you get more processes and more people in the value chain. Things start to slow down naturally. Part of trying to keep that startup mentality is remaining fast with communication and delivery, and I think Slack’s really, really helped.
Improve and track engagement
Perhaps the most important HR challenge of all is to foster engaged employees who bring their whole selves to work.
Slack helps HR departments monitor and improve employee engagement while giving workers what they want: a more connected way to work.
Here are just a few of the tactics at HR’s disposal:
Create executive ask-me-anything channels to invite all employees to interact with senior management, promoting transparency and open dialogue.
Transparency matters. In a recent survey commissioned with Kelton Research, 80% of knowledge workers said they want to know more about how decisions are made in their organisations.
Run regular engagement surveys using Slack to invite employee participation and to report on the results.
91% of employees report a desire to feel closer to colleagues, according to the Kelton survey. Tracking engagement helps you see if they’re getting that from their work.
Promote employee resource groups encouraging people with shared affinities and interests to create communities and clubs. Slack makes it easy for people to find each other and organise communities.
Diversity groups, volunteering programmes and professional development clubs improve morale and employee retention. You need a way to support and enable them.
Run employee recognition programmes using Slack to promote participation and reward great performance and employees in public.
Public recognition can make employees feel valued and engaged.
Today’s digital workstreams can be isolating. A shared collaboration space is a powerful way to promote the connections and relationships that lead to happier, more engaged employees.
Lets anyone send a quick survey from Slack.
Measures company culture with pulse surveys.
A fun team-building tool for recognition and rewards.
Lets people recognise and reward colleagues with micro bonuses right inside Slack.
Helps managers set goals and track performance.
Slack is such an essential tool, it’s really helped us with scaling and still feeling connected to one another across remote offices and remote teams.
Slack tracking engagement at Trivago
The talent and organisation team at Trivago, one of Germany’s fastest-growing companies, like to keep a finger on the pulse of employee sentiment.
Every week, a Slack bot asks employees to respond anonymously to questions and statements such as “I understand how my work contributes to the organisation” or “I’m happy with how frequently I’m recognised”.
The talent and organisation team review all the responses to generate topics for Trivago’s all-company meetings. The team also track Trivago’s employee net promoter scores and show screenshots of comments to managers.
“If we communicate a large change and you see a dip in the scores, it gives you an idea of how the talent felt,” says Anitta Krishan, the company’s Organisational Foundation Lead. “You can actually see the change management curve happening through the results.”
Slack improves the effectiveness of the whole organisation
So far, we’ve seen how a real-time collaboration hub that’s integrated with other work software improves the HR department’s impact and efficiency.
But HR leaders are also showing how Slack can improve every department’s performance.
They’re working with IT and line-of-business colleagues to promote faster decision-making, transparent collaboration, simpler knowledge transfer and better teamwork across departments and distributed teams.
Employees who feel that information is shared in a clear, collaborative way are happier at work. But only 26% of workers describe their office as “connected”.
Your employees want this:
- 1 in 4 say they are dissatisfied with how information is shared at work.
- Those who communicate via workplace messaging programmes are 50% more likely to describe their office as connected (32% compared with 22% for non-users).
- 31% of knowledge workers believe that better communication and tools would help create an ideal collaborative work environment.
A few examples:
- Sales and marketing teams use Slack to run campaigns and track opportunities, integrating it with tools such as Salesforce, Marketo and Drift.
- Customer support teams integrate Slack with tools such as Zendesk, Groove and Twitter to make service collaborative.
- Project management teams in all departments use Slack to tie together their project software, including Trello, Asana, Google Docs, Workfront, Dropbox and dozens more.
- Developer teams use Slack to accelerate software development, integrating with tools such as GitHub, JiraCloud, Glitch and ScrumBot.
In short, there isn’t a department or discipline that doesn’t benefit from reducing email chains, meetings and conference calls with a better way to collaborate.
Slack powers faster, more collaborative HR
HR leaders and Slack are in the same business: releasing the full potential of people at work.
This guide showcases just a handful of the many ways HR teams are using Slack to make a bigger impact on their businesses – and leading a wider drive to more open, collaborative work across the enterprise.
We’d welcome the opportunity to talk to you about how Slack can help you:
- Streamline new-starter induction
- Accelerate recruitment and hiring
- Support employees more efficiently
- Improve and track engagement
- Boost the effectiveness of the whole organisation
- Or tackle any other collaboration or knowledge-sharing challenge you’re facing
Our experience with some of the world’s most progressive HR leaders gives us the confidence that we can help you do things better and do better things.
Ready when you are.