In the era of the remote workforce, maintaining connectivity and fostering a sense of community has become paramount. Slack emerges as an invaluable tool, providing an efficient communication platform within a tailored environment.

At Jobswifi, we leverage this platform not only to connect our distributed core team of over 2,000 professionals but also to cultivate a robust network of freelance talent globally. Employing distinct Slack workspaces for these two communities allows us to establish specific settings tailored to the unique communication dynamics within each.

In my capacity as the Director of Community, I lead a dedicated team focused on shaping the online experience for our talent. Acknowledging that a Slack workspace is an ever-evolving entity, successfully managing it demands dedication, vigilance, and a touch of creativity. In this discourse, I elucidate how we consistently audit and enhance our Slack community workspace, providing insights for other businesses and teams to replicate our success and fortify the influence of their online communities.

Four Strategies for Nurturing a Flourishing Slack Community

When an online community thrives, it contributes to the development of group identity among members, fortifying their personal and professional ties to the organization. Additionally, it can influence and impact company and community team objectives and key results. To achieve these outcomes, your platform must be user-friendly and mirror your brand identity and professionalism.

For those relying on Slack as the primary communication hub for their community, the absence of regular monitoring and maintenance can lead to disorder and inefficiency. Implementing the following guidelines will aid in keeping your workspace organized and poised for positive connections:

  1. Conduct Audits and Streamline Public Channels

To maintain order and facilitate a seamless user experience, ongoing audits are essential. Establish standardized rules for each audit, such as archiving public channels that were created at least three months ago but have fewer than five messages posted. Decide on the criteria for channels that should remain active despite varying levels of engagement.

For every audit, begin by exporting public channel metrics from the platform. As an administrator on Slack, download metrics for your chosen timeframe and sort by key data columns like “last active” or “messages posted.” Utilize this data to conduct the audit based on predefined rules. While Slack APIs offer an option to automatically archive inactive channels, relying solely on automatic settings may not be optimal. Certain essential channels may need to be maintained, even if they don’t generate frequent engagement. Perform audits at least twice a year, ideally every six months, to prevent the accumulation of clutter in your Slack workspace.

  1. Establish Naming Conventions and Workspace Standards

When setting up a new workspace, establishing naming conventions and standards is crucial. If your workspace is already active but lacks defined protocols, make decisions and update channels accordingly. While these changes may initially cause some confusion, they contribute to a smoother user experience in the long run. Consider these five approaches:

  • Incorporate a prefix or descriptor for the department, group, or channel type, using a hyphen as a word separator (e.g., #support-payments, #support-profiles, and #support).
  • Commence key channels with an underscore or hyphen to ensure their prominence when alphabetically sorted. This practice proved effective at Toptal, reducing message volume in the primary #_support channel.
  • Adjust workspace settings to restrict public channel creation to trained administrators familiar with the established conventions, thereby minimizing channels requiring auditing.
  • Assign explicit channel owners or moderators to main channels, selecting core team members or active users. Including these details in channel descriptions clarifies the designated contact points for assistance.
  • Enhance user guidance by incorporating bookmarks and pins in channels, providing specific instructions on interaction and participation.

In the pursuit of a thriving online community through Slack, these strategies contribute to orderliness and enhance the overall user experience. By incorporating these practices, businesses and teams can replicate success and fortify the strength of their virtual communities.