If your company is anything like PriceWaiter, you’re
mildly obsessed with Slack. Here at PriceWaiter, we use Slack to try and eliminate email at every juncture. We use slack to communicate about anything and everything, and email has become a niche method of communication reserved for a very small subset of topics.
Slack, however, isn’t only a chat platform that can be used to replace email. Using the right slack integrations, you can automate a large number of mundane tasks, create bots to help you find the right information, and even reward coworkers with real-world money.
We’ve chosen three of our favorite Slack integrations / bots to show you how you can create a kick-ass culture using Slack functionality that you may not even know exists.
Although some of these Slack integrations / bots require some development time to set up, the a) time you save and b) positive company culture you generate will be more than worth the effort.
1. Automated Amazon Gift Card Rewards
This is our personal favorite.
Using a combination of two 3rd-party integrations, you can set up a mechanism to allow your team members to reward each other with Amazon Gift Cards, directly in Slack.
The first 3rd-party company you’ll need to activate is Tango Card. Tango Card is a rewards company that allows you to send e-gift cards to customers. You can, however, modify it so that you can send e-gift cards internally to your own staffers to reward them for hard work. This works wonders for morale. Who doesn’t like to receive a gift card for Amazon?
Once you’ve activated Tango Card, set an overall budget, and then a per-reward maximum budget (say, $20 per reward, for example). At this point, you’ll need to activate the other 3rd-party integration, a custom hubot based script by wizkid developer Ben Straub called hubot-tangocard-highfive. Here’s how it works:
1. Your hubot (ours is named Scott) will recognize anything starting with a ‘!’ as a command. You’ll simply need to command the bot to high-five a certain @user with a certain $dollar amount. To send Matt a $5 giftcard, you’d type in the following command into slack:
!highfive @Matt $5 for doing a great job on the marketing project
2. The bot will post an excited gif congratulating the recipient, as well as notify the @channel so that everyone recognizes the good work.
3. The recipient is emailed a Tango Card for whatever value was gifted. The gift card is in the form of a text code included in the email that the recipient can enter in the ‘Redeem Gift Card’ section of their Amazon account.
This integration isn’t complex or anything super fancy, but is a simple touch that makes communicating in Slack 50% more fun.
Unless you were born before Roosevelt started his 4th term, you’re a fan of using GIFs to help communicate. Slack makes it easy with a native Giphy app built right into the system.
To activate it, simply type in “/giphy hello” into any channel, DM, or group. From then on, you can translate text-to-gif by typing in any command after /giphy.
3. Hubot – Your Personal Assistant
Now that we’ve gotten the fun out of the way, time to start using Slack to save serious time and automate repetitive tasks.
We were totally inspired by Ben Straub‘s lecture at Cascadia Fest 2015 where he illustrated fantastic ways to use Slack to cut down on email, reduce repetitive tasks, and have some fun with your staff. The full talk is linked below and contains instructions on how you can launch a few of your own bots, but here are three ways we use bots every day:
1. To deploy code
2. To quickly access information
3. To push data to our systems
Here’s Ben’s full lecture which is chock full of instructions on how to set up these systems at your company: