Online Work Group Chats: What Works & What Doesn’t
Here are some of the important insights that were shared with us.
Using online work group chats as learning channels
First, we heard from Rolf Bax, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Resume.io.
Here, he explains how his team utilizes a work group chat as a learning channel:
“If you are committed to creating a culture of learning on your team, then establishing a channel in your chat app focused exclusively on sharing industry and role-related media and information should be your first step. I have been able to spur so many great discussions that have led to real insight about how we do our jobs, how we manage our mental health, and how we all should be planning for future industry disruption, simply by encouraging people to post what they read and watch to the channel.”
Rules and guidelines
Next, we heard about some of the rules and guidelines leaders expect their team members to follow when using these chat platforms.
As Ravi Parikh, CEO of RoverPass explains:
“As a means of keeping up the benefits [an online work group chat] provides our team, we do encourage our employees to stick with several protocols for using it. We have a strict no assignments sent to the void policy. If you are messaging a channel to say something needs to get done or ask a question, you should always tag another person. Otherwise, tasks will be left undone as everyone will assume someone else will take them on. Another policy we have is that if you’re carrying on a conversation with one other person in a group chat, you should use threads to avoid spamming everyone’s notifications.”
Then, Jeff Moriarty, the Marketing Manager of Moriarty’s Gem Art shares how he gets his team to use their work group chat specifically for work:
“The main rule for this group chat is that it is only used for business purposes. No memes, funny articles, pictures etc. We have seen more things get accomplished quickly and with less distractions since implementing it. We don’t plan on taking this away any time soon.”
Next, Devon Fata, the CEO of Pixoul shares striking an important balance in online work group chats:
“One of the most important things to get right with group chats is the balance between openness and exclusivity. Too many people in a group chat, and it becomes too chaotic and unfocused. Too few people in a group chat, and key team members get left out of the loop. To avoid these pitfalls, it’s important to check in regularly via other means (email, phone call, etc.) to make sure all employees are staying informed and involved.”
Finally, Alina Clark, the growth manager and co-founder of CocoDoc adds:
“For companies, using online groups should begin with setting ground rules on how such platforms are to be used. The expectations should be clearly defined. The timings should also be set out in order to minimize distractions and interruptions into the personal lives of your team members. In our case, restating these expectations and retraining our employees every once in a while helps us maintain these standards.”
Encouraging collaboration and communication
Whether your team works in a remote, in-person, or hybrid environment, collaboration and communication will always be important.
Here’s what Erin Zadoorian, the CEO/Executive Editor at Ministry of Hemp shares about how an online work group chat benefits an organization:
“Building a great work environment and culture requires collaboration and communication. Team members can interact in different methods, and the modern professional does not want to be bombarded with emails, thus using a chat group for the organization is beneficial.
To get the most out of online chat groups, discover methods to personalize the conversation, such as by actively writing. Using active writing demonstrates acceptance of responsibility, which is beneficial to the firm. Next is to avoid being too formal; we will appear more approachable if we communicate less formally but not too casually. Also, avoid using chat enders; instead, let the discussion and ideas flow by saying I think so, how about the others?.
Achieving this will benefit the company by having great communication and understanding. Furthermore, online group chats are not just for real-time communication; these can also be used to streamline project processes and communicate, which can help with productivity and time management. It also allows users to share project-related files, save them in the cloud, and search them within the app. Overall, it boosts employee engagement and project management.”
Stay Tuned for Part Two
In this post, we largely focused on the community and collaboration benefits of an online work group chat. In the next part of this series, we’ll shift to a greater focus on the technological advantages of these tools.