It’s incredibly easy for organizations to get stuck in the status quo of “doing things because that’s the way we do them”, especially with internal communication. So today I wanted to lay out a couple of common scenarios we see with our clients on that topic and share the “brighter future” that awaits if you’re willing to revisit your process.
There is no doubt email has changed the way everyone works over the years, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. But you’re probably relying on it too much. There’s something so transactional about an email that makes it hard to talk back and forth quickly on a topic.
Also, can you find me that one email where we talked about that one thing and figure out what we decided? It’s somewhere in a thread that we added and removed people that were CC’ed a few times, but it’s definitely there. Yuck.
A lot of these situations lead teams to use something like Skype to chat quickly and avoid emails, but if you didn’t know, there’s a handful of tools out there that flip a lot of these things on their head and work in a different way - tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Instead of drafting an email, deciding who to include in the recipients, and coming up with a good subject line, your process will look like this: I know this thing that I want to talk about is relevant to the Operations team. I’m going to go to the sidebar of a tool like Slack/Teams, click the Operations channel, and send the message there.
Everyone that is part of the Operations team gets notified and can see it. But here’s the beautiful thing: They can also see all previous conversations with the Operations Team in that one place. It’s not just somewhere in a long list of email history that includes all the other external communication you’ve been doing, other teams you’re a part of, etc - It’s right there in context to the team.
I think that the main difference here is context. Instead of only being able to decipher the context of a message by the recipients and subject of the email, we have one place that ALL communication about “Operations” happens.
Let’s talk more about seeing history. Laura down the hall just got hired, and she will play a role in Operations. There’s always going to be a bit of a process to onboard someone and get them acquainted with everything that’s going on, but if all you use is email, how on earth would they be able to reference back to a recent Operations decision and see the context around why it was made? “Oh, let me forward you that email thread.” Blech.
Here’s the alternative: “Hey Laura, I just added you to the Operations Team in Slack/Teams, you’re welcome to use that channel as a way to communicate with the rest of operations, as well as reference back to some previous conversations around the big push we’re making to change our client onboarding process”