Slack is more than a chat and collaboration tool. It’s a transparency tool as well.
It archives information. It makes conversations searchable. Though there are private conversations, anything posted in your public channels is there for your team to read.
And it turns out that window into the daily activity of your organization is a pretty important thing, says Slack Co-founder Stewart Butterfield.
“Being able to scroll back over the last couple weeks, you get a whole bunch of ‘soft knowledge’ about how the company operates — how people relate to one another at this company, who knows the answers to most questions, who really makes the decisions,” he told the New York Times.
Transparency can be a bit of a loaded term, so let’s give it some context first. We’re not talking about how your company discloses information to customers or investors. We’re also not talking about intrusion on privacy or flooding channels with too much information.
Instead, we’re talking about giving your employees access to the information that’s already available and that they need to do their job. Justin Rosenstein, Co-founder of Asana, sums it up best: “Transparency is providing as much information as [an employee] needs to act in the best interest of their team, the company, and its mission as a whole.”
Start by giving your team a platform rooted in transparency
Slack is all about making conversation easy and information accessible. It keeps employees in the know about what’s happening on their own teams and across others so they can get more work done and make decisions using the best information.
Pair that with Kiite, which connects your sales team, your chat platform and your company’s knowledge to give your reps the best answers to their questions, in real time when they’re needed most.
Now you’ve got a powerful combo that can:
Discover – and address - knowledge gaps
What questions are your reps asking? Chances are if the same ones keep popping up, there’s an opportunity for improvement. Kiite’s analytics keeps tabs on the frequently asked questions in your chat so you can track the causes of specific problems and make smarter decisions about your process, training, and coaching.
Tap into your team’s dark knowledge
Dark knowledge is the knowledge reps gain with time and experience and share informally. Kiite surfaces the dark knowledge shared by your best reps over chat – stories about successes and failures, tips on selling, and answers to important questions – and documents it for the next person that’s looking for information.
Share answers with your team
If one person on your team has a question, chances are others are thinking the same. That’s the idea behind Quick Share, which provides crowd-sourced answers to questions reps ask Kiite in your chat channels. Helpful responses get posted automatically back to the channel so everyone can see the answer, too.
Give answers proactively
Kiite is like an attentive member of your team who’s really good at answering questions. So good, in fact, that it notices questions in conversations whether or not it’s tagged. If it sees something it knows the answer to, it can respond right away, getting your reps the information they need fast, without taking time away from anyone else’s busy day.
Remember for next time
Whether it’s picking up on the dark knowledge in your chat or handling crowd-sourced questions, Kiite’s knowledge database is always learning, so next time a question comes up, you’ll get the best response.
Make transparency a part of your culture
For a truly transparent team, two more things need to fall into place: leaders need to set an example, and employees need to feel safe and comfortable sharing.
That means you need to communicate downward to your team openly and honestly. Share information (even the bad news), open up dialogue for countering opinions and own up to errors. In other words: do what you want others to do.
And it means you need to be open to upward communication. If someone challenges your assumptions, good. If someone has concerns, bring them on. Listen, encourage, and let your team know they’re being heard.
It just so happens that Slack is the perfect place for both – and Kiite can help.