Scaling feedback from the inside out

“Slack helps our employees stay in touch easily across offices and time zones, while also helping us keep our lives in balance.”

SurveyMonkeyPresidentTom Hale

Have you:
✅ Ever taken a survey?
✅ Ever been on the internet?
✅ Ever taken a survey on the internet?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you’ve basically already met the team behind SurveyMonkey. With more than 1000 employees across multiple locations, supporting over 17 million active users at over 350,000 organizations, keeping everyone in the loop is no easy task.

But back in 2014 when the organization was smaller, the amount of internal email had already grown unmanageable, training and onboarding several and sometimes dozens of new people each week put a strain on already busy employees, and higher-ups needed a better system for keeping in touch with the team that at the time spanned four offices in North America, one in Australia, and two in Europe. So in 2014 they started using Slack to improve their communications across teams and across the globe.

“Slack gives every employee in every one of our offices a way to have quick, structured conversations when they need to, while also allowing them to quickly view or filter conversations in channels that cover topics that matter to them.”

Survey MonkeyPresidentTom Hale

Slack began in the sales team and then moved quickly into the engineering group at SurveyMonkey. It then spread throughout the company, first as a replacement for instant messaging as well as a useful employee directory.

When they first implemented Slack, SurveyMonkey had jumped from 350 employees to 550 employees. What SurveyMonkey found was that they were able to reduce the number of emails being sent among the groups using Slack and that meetings could be made shorter and more effective because larger updates were easily communicated out to the entire team via group Slack channels.

In fact, their IT team describes a time when the company operated nearly 200 email distribution lists that have since been replaced with Slack. As Slack usage has increased for the company both across channels and for direct messaging, SurveyMonkey started eliminating desk phones for most employees as they became increasingly unnecessary.

“I manage a global customer support team that’s spread across 4 countries and supports 3 products via a dozen distinct teams. Slack is a critical communication tool for us and we use it every minute of every day to keep our team connected with each other and the rest of the company. From posting important product updates, to celebrating positive customer interactions, to sharing customer feedback via social channels, Slack is how we stay in sync.”

Survey MonkeyVP Customer OperationsDan Henig

So what is SurveyMonkey using Slack for these days? Some of the popular channels at SurveyMonkey are related to employee engagement and onboarding and include #winning, where members can shout out sales team wins and give out words of appreciation and encouragement for a job well done.

And the #newtothetroop channel helps new hires easily ask questions they have in a smaller forum overseen by an HR representative. Several channels also help align the organization to meeting company-wide goals.

For example, SurveyMonkey prides itself on being a customer-centric organization and with #customer-interactions anyone across the organization can include details about a recent conversation with a customer by completing (what else?) a survey. And when it comes to getting questions answered, SurveyMonkey knows it’s all about reaching the right people. That’s why they have several channels to ask specific departments and groups for help—from IT to survey research to localization team and beyond.

Additionally, many of the larger channels are the ones that help build company culture and enhance individuals’ sense of belonging, such as a variety of Diversity & Inclusion groups along with ones for specific hobbies and interests, which include #fitness, #dogs, #coffee, and even #hashtagdadjokes.

people working together

“Our #customer-interactions Slack channel allows me to understand customer needs and issues more broadly, which gives me more confidence to pick out the most valuable content to share across our social platforms.”

SurveyMonkeyGlobal Social Media ManagerMelissa Francois

For a company built on gathering feedback, management has found similar benefits from Slack when drafting corporate policy. During one spate of light-rail construction that induced area-wide delays, employees were struggling to make it to and from the office on time and banded together in Slack channels to organize carpools and ridesharing in real-time. Management took notice, and used the feedback from those events to create a new reimbursement policy for ridesharing trips on days when such delays occurred.

Slack has helped SurveyMonkey employees stay in touch with one another across continents and timezones. And with SurveyMonkey offices in over 10 locations across the globe its employees have an easy way to reach anyone whether they’re in Amsterdam, Dublin, Ottawa, Portland, Seattle, Sydney, or at headquarters in San Mateo. With Slack, the company is more efficient and transparent, as 1,000+ SurveyMonkey employees can more effectively help the hundreds of thousands of organizations who rely on SurveyMonkey’s platform or expert solutions to transform feedback into growth and innovation for their business.