How CSHARK Uses Slack to Build Company Culture

Table of contents:

    Every company needs an internal communication tool to build a positive company culture and easily communicate with clients, partners, and employees, whether it is a coronavirus time, or not. An application that allows for rapid thought exchange, process management, and customer relations. For us, it’s Slack – a tool that’s fast, reliable, and simple to use. We like its agility and clear business value. CSHARK is a software product development company. Our goal is to deliver business value to our clients and assure the right level of transparency and agility for our employees. How we do it on a daily basis? We communicate a lot, and we’ve chosen a tool that makes communication work perfectly – Slack.


    Teamwork makes the framework

    There is nothing new in fact that Slack offers the option for creating multiple channels. At CSHARK we eagerly adopted this feature, creating channels for business purposes or just for fun. The team that needs a new space creates it with few rules in mind:

    • Channel’s name must be clear to understand for everybody (e.g. c_bizops is a dedicated channel for business and operational aspects, p_vecctor is for project communication with one of our clients, and s_goodreads is a social channel where we suggest some valuable content to read)
    • If it’s needed, it has to be abbreviated
    • It can’t duplicate an already existing channel and the reason behind it
    • A person that created the channel must invite his or her team to join
    • Depending on the need it may be open for all or closed to selected

    The first rule is easy enough. We work in a fast-paced environment. Business never sleeps, nor our clients. And with an average timespan to grasp a message of only eight seconds, the name and the message must be short, clear and concise. To meet such expectations, we follow Einstein’s rule:

    Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler.

    When you can write mktg, instead of ‘marketing’, you can, and you should. That’s simple. What is more, Slack gives the opportunity to create channels where bots operate, such as Brand24 or Zapier. For us, it is e.g. monitoring of social media for all CSHARK messaging and informing employees about the latest posts published on our social media platforms. And the crucial aspect is that it’s dead easy to set up such channels operated by smart bots. If you need to include a new person or a new employee into a conversation, simply do it. Don’t create an artificial space when people meet behind closed doors to discuss one, highly specified topic. If you do, the topic will live a few days, and the doors will be shot forever. Polluting the company’s channel list.

    Pretty straightforward but still worth mentioning. Do you need a new space for your activity? Create it, invite people, and explain a justification behind it. An elevator pitch is still too long.


    The internal culture behind the communication

    How do you keep the important internal discussions live and ongoing? How do you react in real-time when there is a leak in the company’s kitchen located on 5th floor? How do you foster the exchange of positive energy among remotely working members of your team? You could probably do it by email or internal cloud space. And we sometimes do it as well. But for all daily actions needed rapid response, within an environment and clients scattered between Dublin, Australia, Singapore, Europe, Canada, or the USA we stick to Slack. Some of us may be awake and want to pass the message; some just wake up and need a few minutes and a coffee to read and respond. But as the messages stay, we can all react in the time that suits the receiver the best.

    CSHARK is not the only company in the house. We have invested in several interesting startups: Husarion, The Knights of Unity, VecCtor. Thanks to Slack, we can communicate with them real-time, improving projects that at least two of these companies are involved in. Slack offers us the option to seamlessly connect to our partners and talk with them about projects, technical details, business, and marketing opportunities.


    UX and UI design of the Slack

    Slack is also about personalization. The user experience is straightforward; you log in, you use it. No time needed for learning the tool. If you have more time, you can also ask your internal design team to prepare a set of personalized emoji, so they fit nicely to your company communication strategy and goals. Just as we did with Mr. C. Shark used internally. Using company emojis to describe emotions builds a strong bond between employees and the brand.




    Slack’s mobile version is a plus too – as simple and intuitive as the desktop one, it covers us on events when driving to the client’s location, when working remotely or when we stumble upon a great idea on the day off.


    Customer care services on a daily basis

    We use Slack for customer care as well. As I mentioned, we have a dedicated channel for every single client and every single project that includes people engaged in kicking off the project. Thanks to that simplicity, we share knowledge about the current status, resources, challenges, software development activities, and more. We set up the channels well before the official signatures on a service order are made. It is about flexibility, adjustment, and giving a customer a tool that helps to exchange ideas in real-time; a perfect match when we work on a pre-project analysis, define business functionalities of a system to be built or ask questions in the user experience phase.

    Our customer care services go beyond software development. Without information, we are blind. Business values and business goals, product requirements, technical specifications, feedback from business analysts, team leaders, developers, Quality Assurance specialists - they all contribute to the success of the project, and all have to be maintained somewhere.

    The same goes for communication with the client. Our channels are used to communicate internally about projects but also to communicate with clients themselves. They know we are available for them and eager to help. Translate their vision to the language of technological specifications and available to software developers. Be opened to perform dailies with the client. Transparency is important to everyone, and the daily scrum held with the person who matters the most is a chance to really show the process and effects. Slack gives this opportunity.

    Customer care service doesn’t have a department. It has to involve the entire company. Linked together, and be informed about the project roadmap, possible bumps on the road, changing requirements. Slack is perfect for that. Even during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Kamil Kwećka
    CSHARK's co-founder and board member. Tech expert with over 10 years of software engineering expertise and technical background. He believes in a practical agile approach. Always with a positive attitude, he writes about business, FinTech, software, startups and leadership.