Even though we are a relatively small company, where everybody has plenty of opportunities to interact with anyone in the organization and to ask questions, we always want to identify ways in which we can increase transparency. For instance, we have several Slack channels in which we share pertinent information, such as #customer-shareable-news, #product-happenings, #customer-success, and #praise. In our weekly company meetings, the departments take turns presenting pertinent updates, projects, goals, and initiatives. We also experimented with dashboards that we projected in the office. Another thing we’ve been doing for a long time is weekly updates, which I write and share via email and Slack every Friday. It’s a narrative of notable developments and achievements in the past week and intended to provide context instead of just projecting KPIs. The format and the content continues to evolve, as it should. Currently, the updates contain the following components:
Positive news of any kind
I enjoy starting the update with some positive news, whether it’s a new customer coming on board, a milestone that has been reached, a milestone “Hannoversary, the birth of a child, or a pet having gotten adopted by a team member.
I summarize the main notables by department. Since each team member posts their daily updates on Slack, there’s no need to rehash what each individual accomplished. Instead, I mostly speak in the first person plural and talk about our main accomplishments, such as a new release, newly created content, and demos or training sessions completed. In addition, it’s helpful to outline any new initiatives or changes, including the reasons for those changes, and challenges that either a department or the company as a whole are experiencing. Upcoming events, such as webinars, conferences, community service, or celebrations also tend to be shareworthy.
Good work needs to be recognized, whether it’s something tangible like the implementation of a new feature or a glowing testimonial or praise from a customer for helping them with the rollout of their new site, or something less tangible, such as when an employee went above and beyond to help another team member or made a significant positive contribution to the company culture.
Calls to action
Weekly updates are a good way to remind your team of things that they need to do, such as completing their benefits selections during open enrollment or submitting their engagement surveys. CTAs can also include any type of help you or another team member is looking for, such as “If you come across any recent client examples of intranets, please share them with X”.
Content you might find interesting
I curate three articles per week and share them in a section entitled “Content you might find interesting”. They generally cover a wide array of topics, including, but not limited to customer service, time management, life hacks, user experience, product roadmapping, productivity, and relevant technologies. Note that it doesn’t have to be limited to articles and blog posts. You can mix it up with podcasts or videos, such as Ted Talks.
Our customers are changing the world, as they shape and educate the minds of generations, by building and improving communities, fostering the arts, and spearheading technological and medical breakthroughs. We always think about them in this way, and we give them our utmost support and effort to provide them with the products and services that they deserve. It’s important for us to know what’s going on with our customers, so each week, I include three stories in my updates.
Since the company’s success and well-being is everyone’s business, I share KPIs around revenue, such as total revenue to date, monthly recurring revenue, and net retention. Be sure to include the goals for each metric as well.
Question of the day
It’s fun to end the weekly updates with a question and encourage communication, especially on a Friday. The question can be anything at all. Here are some recent examples: “What’s your favorite meal in the summer? Feel free to share a recipe!”, “If you had to compete in the upcoming summer Olympics, which two sports would you pick? Bonus question: What would you make an Olympic sport in order for you to be a fierce competitor?”, “What have you read recently that you would recommend?”
What about you? What would you recommend including in weekly updates?