It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s . . . Another Teams/Slack/Gchat Message!

Nov 28, 2023

Once, a long, long, time ago, we featured a school’s communication norms with great fanfare. And while we still stand by the wonderful document featured there and in my publications, times have. . . changed. While we’ve had texting at our fingertips for decades, we now have Slacking, Teams-ing, Chatting, GroupMe-ing and many more methods used – sometimes without the clarity that would make them most effective.

During Versha’s recent Together Tour, she shared about the significance of her workplace’s communication norms (and document storage!), and how it helps her stay Together with her colleagues. As promised, here is a blog post with more detail.

Versha, thank you for sharing this level of clarity with us. There are a few things I love about getting this clear:

  • It gives all employees access to how communication works in the organization. Without this, people may be forced to observe and guess. Around here, we like to make sure the unspoken is spoken to give everyone equal access to how things run. This is especially helpful in onboarding processes – and ensuring everyone is trained on all the systems.
  • It allows people to prioritize, and not be glued to all methods at all times. For example, “Remind people to check General Teams channel for updates if notifications are turned off.” This is increasingly important for all of us to ensure we have time to focus on our deepest work without interruption.
  • Lastly, it codifies communication and allows for changes and discussion. For example, maybe documents are missing on Google Drive or SharePoint because people were unclear where to store them. This could get revisited at a team meeting, adjusted, and changed. It is hard to make adjustments to practices if we don’t even know what they are!

How about you and your team or organization? Is it clear which channels are used when? Or do you find all kinds of information and requests coming at you in all the different channels?