THIS WEEK’S EPISODE IN A VERY LARGE NUTSHELL:
Every office has different email personalities. There is the person who never responds to shit, and the person that stays at work until 7 and responds to everything (Suckerrr! Your inbox is just going to be full in the morning). Ughk, email. It sucks. You can quickly spend so much time fuddling around in your mailbox. If you’re checking email all day, you’re not really living your life-- it’s like you’re waiting for more work. And it’s not necessarily valuable work. It’s random work determined by other people. Inquiries from strangers that you feel obligated to respond to, promotions from brands you don’t care about (definitely not goodr). At the end of the day, threads stacking on threads is a really hard way to stay on top of things.
It is this email loathing that led goodr to transition to the business communication platform Slack.
To be clear, internal email is not allowed at goodr. Granted, email still has a place at goodr. The Story Sellers (aka sales team) are still reaching out to accounts, partnership conversations occur through email, however, we’d guess that less than 20% of our employees actually use email on the reg. We put other systems in place to help reduce this back and forth even further. For example, we also communicate with our retailers through a Facebook group.
goodr had Slack up and running within the company’s first 18 months, before we started hiring employees. It was a cool new thing at first, no giant awakenings at that point. There is a transparency and accountability element when using Slack. Every launch has a channel, anyone can go into those channels and see what is going on. With transparency comes accountability, you can’t hide. If you need info you now have the power to go and seek it on your very own. Empowering, right?
We also use Google Suite. Decks, on decks, on decks. What’s a deck? A deck is a PowerPoint Presentation, or when not in the land of Microsoft, Google Slides. Our decks infuse a level of energy. There is a colorful design and strict formatting guidelines. They look fresh and communicate the info to all. Getting “decked” is a phrase you may hear in the office. Every project has a deck. So when someone asks, “Where is the copy for the PBR launch?” The answer would be, “It’s in the PBR DECK. (Duh.)” We’ve all lost decks before, we’re not militant about this. However, the practice is to not coddle, you gotta find it yourself. Don’t get decked!
If your question is about a project it needs to be asked on the Slack thread. Anybody can ask it, everybody sees it is being asked, any one with the answer can answer it. It strips away knowledge holders. (When we say this we’re picturing bearded wise-old garden gnome looking creatures.) There is very little delay in getting answers to questions. In email there is this fake cordial thing… “Hey Shaun, what’s up…” blah blah blah. “Slack strips the bread off of the communication sandwich,” as Shaun Tinney cleverly states.
When communicating digitally, we talk about not reading tone. Emojis and LOLs always help. You really shouldn’t read tone. There is a responsibility on the reader and the writer. Do everything you can to be clear on your side of it. Stephen feels awkward asking instead of telling… always use please. We need to transition more from speaking diplomatically and speaking directly. This not only leads to saving time, but also getting what you want… We’re all wondering if Shaun got the huckleberry shake he referenced when explaining this concept… That sounds really spectacular right now...
What is your favorite internal Slack thread? Our gold stars gratitude thread. The only thing allowed there is giving people gratitude, it’s a joy.
What is your least favorite Slack thread? Giant group DMs. “There are seven people on here, who is talking to who?!”
Most used Slack shortcut? Control shift K, magically opens up DMs.
Magic wand, what would you change about Slack? Stephen wants spaces. For launches you have to do an underscore… ughk. Meanwhile, Shaun hates the one-level indent on lists.
On a scale of 1 to 10, would we ever go back to email? As close to zero as possible. We’re at a 1, but Stephen always allows for possibility.
If you want to follow a similar path, save time, increase transparency, and bandwidth, pull the plug on email right now.
1. Download Slack.
2. Make a list of all of your projects, launches, and teams.
3. Make a thread for all of them.
4. When someone emails you internally, reply, “Is Slack broken?”
5. If someone DMs you on Slack about something everyone should know, respond, “Please ask this on the project thread.”
6. Do a dance to “Get Down On It” by Kool and the Gang, ‘cuz at this point you’ll be feeling kool with a “k”.
Next week we’ll be covering how we use the Enneagram at goodr!
* This episode of CULTURE goodr was edited by Josh Montgomery.