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Employee Warm Fuzzies On Slack At Greenhouse Company Culture

How We Used Slack to Increase Warm Fuzzy Feelings at Greenhouse

As our company has grown, we’ve realized the importance of taking a deliberate approach to building and maintaining our company culture. In this series, we’re exploring the different facets of having a culture committee to help with those goals. In the first post in this series, Director of Employee Experience Melanie Oberman introduced the culture committee’s purpose, structure, and main activities. In the second post, Sales Development Team Lead Rebecca Shesser shared how she spearheaded the SDR Culture Committee.

A few weeks ago, our Director of Employee Experience, Melanie Oberman, shared our secret formula to company culture. That secret? The Greenhouse Culture Committee. The Committee is comprised of representatives from each of our teams and offices, and members represent the voice of their department and act as conduits for promoting company culture across the organization. I’m fortunate enough to have been on the committee for about a year representing Customer Success, and it has truly been a rewarding experience. What’s better than knowing you’re in a room with like-minded colleagues who want to make a positive impact on the place you work?

In this post, I want to highlight a successful initiative that grew out of a Culture Committee discussion: the Employee Warm Fuzzies channel on Slack!

How we use Slack at Greenhouse

We use Slack for internal communication, and have created over 400 channels (which is perhaps too many, but that’s a conversation for a different blog post!). Everyone can choose to join whichever channels appeal to them. Channels range from being truly work-related, like #marketing and #newcustomers, to being more fun, interest-related channels, like #pop and #ghpets (my favorite!). At the end of the day, it’s a place where we can socialize with our teams in both our New York and San Francisco offices and contribute to conversations in a meaningful way, so it’s a critical component to how we operate internally at Greenhouse.


Just a small sample of some of the Slack channels available at Greenhouse.

The pain point: Props and kind words were getting lost in the shuffle

While Slack is generally relatively organized, things like shoutouts, props, work anniversaries, birthdays, and recognition of other great things going on at the company started to get lost across our many channels. Because of that, these accolades weren’t being seen by a wide enough audience, and employees were feeling the pain of not knowing about the neat things their colleagues were up to.

The solution: A new Slack channel! 

Creating #employee-warm-fuzzies was the solution! Although it may seem counterintuitive to add yet another channel to our ever-growing list, we envisioned #employee-warm-fuzzies as a centralized hub where we’d give everyone an opportunity to publicly recognize their colleagues. We also set up auto-posts of anniversaries and birthdays using Slackbots so nothing fell through the cracks.

Before we created the channel, though, we had to think about logistics. How could we make sure that the channel was not only used, but that it was the best option to solve our problem? A small group was assembled from Culture Committee members to help tackle this issue. Once we agreed that this channel was the best way to move forward, we drafted messaging to send to our entire staff about the change.

Communicating the change

We knew that some people might be skeptical about yet another channel being created, so we did our best to anticipate questions our colleagues would have and include them, FAQ style, in that email. Those questions were:

  • What is the Culture Committee? At the time, the committee was a relatively new initiative, so we wanted to be sure everyone knew who we were and the problems we were trying to tackle as a group.

  • When will I have access to #employee-warm-fuzzies? The email was sent the day before we made the change, and we wanted everyone to anticipate it.

  • Why does the Culture Committee want this to be a separate Slack channel? Our hope was that having a dedicated channel would encourage more recognition than we were seeing before, so those goals were explicitly stated.

  • What types of messages or props should we include in this new channel? We wanted the channel to feel lighthearted and more conversational than some of the more serious work-focused channels.

  • Will I automatically be included in this new Slack channel? We debated whether this should be an opt-in channel or not for current employees. We ultimately decided that we’d add everyone to the channel initially, and have it be a default for new hires, but that it was okay if people wanted to leave, too.

  • Is this a permanent change? Since the Culture Committee was just getting started, we didn’t want it to feel like we were imposing big, permanent changes on the company. We ran an informal poll a few weeks after launching the channel to gauge everyone’s thoughts, and, as it turns out, it was really well received!

Results


Overall, I’m proud of what we were able to create, and I believe similar channels (or outlets) have a place at every organization. So far, the #employee-warm-fuzzies channel has seen daily use amounting to almost 2,000 individual messages and 82% of the company has opted to stay in the channel, so I’d call that a success!

Has your company done something similar to help foster recognition within your organization? I’d love to hear about it—please leave a comment!


Want to join in on the fun? We're hiring! Check out our open positions here.

Alyssa Edelman

Alyssa Edelman is a Team Lead on Greenhouse’s Customer Success team, focused on helping our SMB customers be as successful as possible using the product. Before joining Greenhouse, she was in Customer Success at Brandwatch and, prior to that, managed the Support team at a Bitcoin startup. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter.

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