Slack for executives
Slack helps executives stay connected to teams across all levels and locations, while getting a bird's-eye view of important initiatives. Use Slack to get the information you need to make decisions and support your team.
BenefitsUsing Slack, you can:
- Access all the information you need in one place, so you can accelerate feedback and decision making, improving your team’s time to market.
- Tailor Slack to focus on initiatives that are top of mind, and turn down the volume on the rest.
- Clearly communicate strategies and important updates to the whole company in an #announcements channel.
- Walk the proverbial floor and connect with employees from across the company.
- Streamline communication channels by bringing key external stakeholders into Slack.
Tips for using Slack
Get the information you need to provide feedback and make decisions
Use (or create) an #announcements channel as your one source for key company information and metrics, consolidating communications typically split between different email threads and systems.
Get KPIs piped into the channel by connecting Slack to your analytics tools. Explore our App Directory to connect Slack with your Analytics providers, or work with a developer to create a custom integration to your database.
Ask department leads to post updates in this channel on a regular basis so you can track what’s happening across the company. This also helps the entire organization understand what other teams are working on so they can look for opportunities to combine efforts and work together.
You can even create a private channel just for you to provide feedback (for example, #read-me-ceo). Work with project managers and department leads to bring deliverables to you once they’re ready for input. This helps keep projects moving forward by creating one destination with all projects ready for your approval. A few recommendations:
- Uses posts to keep information structured. Comments on posts are threaded so you can see work and feedback all in one place.
- Ask your team to follow a template when sharing documents so you have full context.
- Use emoji to represent the level of importance/urgency so you know which projects to prioritize.
- Add time to your calendar for when you’ll review this channel and set expectations about typical response time.
Ensure your organization is aligned on important information
Use your #announcements or other company-wide channel to communicate important updates that the whole organization should see, like goals, new policies, and more. Make it clear that this channel is for announcements only, and discussions/commentary should take place in other channels.
Tip: Using Slack to communicate with the company helps employees see Slack as a source of important information, especially from the executive team.
Pin important announcements to the channel so they’re easily accessible. This helps ensure all employees (and especially new hires) are aligned with company goals and values.
Use this channel to inspire and rally your team around causes — whether it’s a goal you want to hit, or a company value. You can also use the channel to celebrate big milestones and share any other important information that everyone should see.
Fine-tune the level of information that’s right for you (and your team)
As an executive, you’re short on time. Unlike a bloated inbox where it’s hard to tell what actually requires your attention and when, it’s easy to focus on what’s top of mind in Slack. A few tips:
- Star your most important conversations to bring them to the top of your channel list.
- Customize notification settings for initiatives you’re tracking closely so you’re notified of all activity in that channel.
- Ask your team to @-mention you (or your Executive Assistant) for items that require your attention. This way, you don’t need to read through every channel trying to find what needs your review and when.
You don’t need to be in every single channel — in fact, you probably shouldn’t be. Join channels for key initiatives that are ready for your input, and leave channels that aren’t relevant to you. This prevents information overload from being in channels that don’t require your attention. It also helps your team feel comfortable collaborating and sharing work without worrying about whether an executive will see it before it’s ready.
View more tips for reducing noise in Slack.
Build relationships with employees across the organization
Create a channel like #ama, #ceo, or #leadership, where the executive team periodically answers questions from around the company. This helps employees get to know executives better and understand what’s important to them.
Simply adding emoji reactions to employees’ messages is a great way of engaging and showing support, whether it’s congratulating someone for releasing a new project or celebrating something fun like a work anniversary.
When you have time, participate in affinity groups for topics that are relevant to you. Connecting with employees who share your interests is a great way to build relationships across departments and seniority levels.
Centralize communications with internal and external stakeholders
Add outside stakeholders like board members and advisors as Channel Guests in the appropriate channel(s). This consolidates communication channels so you don’t have to switch between Slack and various email threads, while keeping your Slack instance secure by only granting access to specific channels.
Communicating in Slack automatically creates a searchable archive of past discussions, like your team’s collective brain. This makes it easy to bring new people into discussions as needed, so they have a record of past conversations to quickly get caught up. For example, if a discussion about a partnership goes from a possibility to something concrete, you can quickly loop in more people from Business Development or PR without having to form a new channel.
Create a private channel for topics that are confidential like budgeting, hiring, fundraising, and more. Once a decision is made, we recommend sharing an update in a public channel so the team can stay informed.
AdRoll CEO Aaron Bell encourages his leadership team to use Slack as much as possible. “Slack is great for leaders because it makes it easy for you to jump into different channels to see what’s going on, ask questions, and provide feedback. When someone sends an email, it sounds like a big pronouncement that people can take a little too seriously. In Slack, you can give guidance and input points and it makes it easier to participate in a lot of different areas of leadership,” Bell said.
AdRoll also uses Slack to improve transparency across the organization. For example, Bell holds Ask Me Anything (AMA)’s in Slack to increase transparency into decision making and stay in touch with employee needs and concerns.
Spredfast uses Slack to manage all of their operations. “Slack is our lifeblood, and allows executives to follow progress of conflict resolution without interrupting the people doing the work,” says Senior Vice President of Engineering Brian Dainton.
Apps for executives
Statsbot brings your dashboards into Slack so you have all important information related to the health of your business all within Slack. Statsbot can pull in numbers from Google Analytics, New Relic, and Mixpanel without managing multiple logins and dashboards.
Worklife connects Slack with your Google or Office 365 calendar so you can get important meeting information all within Slack. Worklife will send you a daily digest of upcoming meetings and direct messages prior to each meeting that includes the agenda and attendee information so you always go into meetings feeling prepared.
Explore more apps for executives on our App Directory.