As the world turned on its head, companies and peers defaulted to familiar solutions like meetings to communicate with distributed employees. Future Forum research shows the overreliance on synchronous, or real time, communication has led to increasingly packed calendars and decreasing employee morale. Reliance on synchronous communication has also raised challenges in finding schedule availability among globally distributed employees.
While a productive meeting isn’t a problem, it isn’t the only solution to collaboration. Below, we’ve outlined a plan to experiment with collaboration strategies that embrace both productivity and schedule flexibility.
Experiment with async
The possibilities to reduce unnecessary meetings with asynchronous, or on-your-own-schedule, collaboration are endless. Whether giving all communication styles a seat at the idea-generating table, replacing live feedback sessions, delivering efficient status updates or even running all-hands calls in a new way, start small and position ideas as pilots with end dates.
To get a pilot off the ground, start by sponsoring a Slack superstar or light-lift committee to support the pilot and set expectations, and then quantify success by identifying trackable metrics such as reduced time spent in meetings, gathering employee sentiment and providing lessons learned.
Ramp up employees on day one
Beyond a pilot, using Slack during onboarding increases collaboration, reinforces expected digital behaviors and begins to show teams how asynchronous communication works best. With a public onboarding channel, every new hire can search for answers, connect with one another, and access pinned resources like your onboarding guide and other key resources.
To ensure that employees are aware of the productivity and digital etiquette best practices that lead to successful collaboration, consider pinning this self-paced Slack skills course at the top of your onboarding channel. Slack users can access this complimentary course after registering with a work email and a Slack workspace URL. See how Slack transforms your onboarding experience.
Secure leadership buy-in
As you experiment with ways to reduce meetings, take a deep breath. Your company might not immediately embrace change, and that’s OK.
Aim to keep leadership informed through employee feedback, real data and supporting strategy so that leaders at every level will be more likely to embrace new ideas that increase productivity and flexibility. As these experiments expand from a team to larger groups, the benefits to the workplace will expand as well. See what ideas you can pilot today.
Take action by sharing what works
To empower teams to work more effectively, be sure to set digital norms and team-level agreements for productive collaboration. Also, consider reviewing the situations for—and transition points between—asynchronous and traditional synchronous collaboration. Then, socialize best practices with employees.
If you’d like to discuss this information with your team, access this customizable Block Kit template, and then navigate to the top right of your browser, select a channel (or DM to yourself as a test) from the drop-down, and click ‘Send to Slack.’