Whether you're getting virtual coffee meetups off the ground or trying a mentorship program for the first time, there are a few steps we recommend to all teams to make your connections program a success.
Create a dedicated Donut channel, and make the program opt-in. Stay out of #general if you can. When folks have explicitly opted into the program and know to expect intros, meeting completion rates are higher and it's a better experience for everyone involved.
Getting as much participation as possible always makes the program better! Try turning on our free welcome message to let new joiners know about your Donut channel(s), and be sure to announce it via Slack and/or email regularly.
As you're announcing Donut, set clear expectations: let people know where, when, and how often to expect intros. Make sure they know it's okay to take time out of their schedule to complete them (even better if it's coming from a company leader).
If there's a specific purpose for meetings like reviewing code together or hopping on sales demo calls, be sure to spell that out for participants. And don't forget to give them instructions for snoozing or opting out.
Make the purpose of meetings clear to participants. If it's a social occasion, turn on free conversation starters to break the ice. Or add conversation prompts or links to resources like a feedback rubric to your intro message.
Reduce friction for scheduling meetings: If your team uses Google Calendar, Zoom, Google Meet, or MS Teams, Donut's various integrations can help them schedule and start calls right from their Intro message in Slack. If you're in multiple time zones, consider setting aside a common day/time that everyone is expected to do their Donut meetups.
Encourage folks to share selfies or things they learned or discussed during their Donut meetups back in the channel. People tend to upvote and thread off these posts, which creates a positive feedback loop and incentivizes others to participate.
If things are going well, consider creating multiple Donut channels. It's not uncommon for teams to have channels like #donut-be-strangers, #code-review-pals and #APAC-donuts all on the same workspace!
Consider using our Google Calendar integration to make scheduling easy!
Tips to Keep Your Team Engaged After Launching
Keep your templates fresh! Look through our library of different templates, and choose different templates that seem interesting to you and your team.
Gamify Donut! Consider setting up a Donut lottery where the winners get lunch sponsored by the company, or start a “pen pal” Intro channel where every group sends each other their favorite snacks. There are so many fun ways to encourage your team to participate. If your team has tried any fun ideas that have worked, please let us know, we’d love to hear about it!
Make sure management is participating! Managers can lead by example here, and keep themselves in the channels and participating. Employees are much more likely to participate when upper management participates as well.
Turn on the Selfie Contest feature! Employees like to see others taking part in the fun, so encourage them to get creative with their selfies (whether virtual or in person!). Give an award to the winners each round!
Consider setting up a channel with Watercooler! This gives users who might not have time for Donut intros the opportunity to engage with teammates on their own time.
Have questions or feedback? Just click the purple intercom button in the bottom right of your screen to open up a chat with our support team!