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6 ways to get buy-in for a team chat tool

Is your email inbox bloated with dense back-and-forth threads? Are folks yelling across the office for quick questions? Do you yearn to shift your office culture into a more efficient and effective day-to-day communication tool? 

Here are six ways to get team-wide buy-in for a chat tool. 

1. Respond to the ‘But…why?’ by laying out the benefits.

  • Our survey found that people who use team chat tools feel more connected and engaged with their co-workers.
  • Teams using chat at work see a drastic decrease in emails (who doesn’t like that?)
  • People are able to connect quicker (to resolve an issue or make an important decision) when it matters most.
  • Remote and distributed teams find keeping up with teammates in other countries and across time zones is more comfortable with chat thanks to persistent history and topic-specific rooms.

2. Provide clear rules of engagement

We found that employees really want directions for using their company’s chat tool, but most companies don’t have best practices. If you’re about to add a chat tool to your mix, an important first step is determining best practices. This sets expectations and helps the whole team understand the uses and benefits.

3. Find your chat advocates

Once you’ve defined how you’ll use the tool, it’s time to build your chat advocacy team to roll out your program. Identify the early adopters, super users, and folks who see the value in chat. Ask them to help spread the excitement. Try to find someone in every department to help train people and encourage adoption.  

4. Host meetings and make decisions in chat

Need to brainstorm something? Instead of calling a meeting, invite the team to a group chat room or jump on a video conference, and run through the agenda there. Encourage team-wide adoption by using polling chatbots (like Polly Bot in Stride) to determine when a meeting should be held or where the team should go for lunch.

5. Make it fun

Gifs, off-topic rooms, and various apps can make the chat experience a team-building exercise. Encourage people to explore their passions by setting up rooms for specific interests.

6. Be persistent

Here at Atlassian, we have rooms for dog owners and board game enthusiasts. We talked to a number of chat users who said their teams use gifs to both have fun and express themselves in meaningful ways. 

We found several team leads who forced adoption by only responding in chat rooms and ignoring other communication methods. They admitted it frustrated their teams at first, but eventually, everyone got on the platform and now they can’t live without it. 

Whatever method you use to get people on board, once they’ve folded chat into their daily communication flow, they’ll never go back to an email-centric communication style. 

Email has its uses but is often used incorrectly and inefficiently. This is how chat really stands apart. Chat makes sure the critical messages rise above the sales pitches, newsletters, and spam clogging up so many workers inboxes today.



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