“Slacking” at work

As a manager of managers that reside in different locations and time zones, communication and building relationships and teams are my daily areas of focus. You can’t be everywhere.

I now have a very diverse team of managers and supervisors — millennials, gen X’s, baby boomers — that are also in different stages in their careers, from “graduated a week ago” to “looking at best cities for retirees”.

We are very much driven by email, so I decided to make the first move and stand out of the crowd.

We had a team discussion… Our immediate team is our top priority. Email is all about taking care of somebody else’s agenda. We need to have a more agile and informal way to connect.

First idea — if there is an emergency, call or text. No email.

Second idea — don’t check your email on your first and last hour of your day. Close your Mail App of choice and just do email every 2 hours or so, just like any other task that has a schedule.

Third idea — let’s have a more direct way of communicating as a team. There are a few great apps out there. I asked one of my Millennials of my team — she recommended Slack.

What a great idea… if you have been thinking about it, I say give it a try!

In one week, we reduced our emails by 75%. We now have specific channels to talk about different topics. Also followed a suggestion from a team member, we created private channels focused on different job positions for them to network and share best practices). Our response rate went for couple of hours to 15 minutes on average. Oh, and a “#idea” channel.

Most important, we have a #random channel where we share anything and everything else. We are finding out personal hobbies and family details. Our team is bonding. Better than ever before… the power of Slacking!