When setting up a Discussion you can choose to launch one of our pre-written Discussion kit templates, or you can set up your own Discussion about whatever topic you’d like.
If you’re setting up your own, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
Write a clear description
People won’t know what you want them to share unless you tell them. The more specific you can be in your description, the greater chance you’ll have of getting the kind of input you’re looking for. Here are three elements we recommend including in your description:
1. The purpose
- Why are you asking for input?
- Are there any metrics you’re trying to impact with this Discussion?
- How do you plan on using the input to hit your goals?
2. The ask
- What, specifically, do you want them to share?
- What do you not want them to share?
3. Rules of engagement
- How often should they log in and review the input that’s been shared?
- When (or will) you review the input together as a team?
- Is there a vote threshold items need to hit before they’re answered/considered?
- How often will you be checking in on the Discussion?
You’ll want to keep it snappy, so you don’t have to include every bullet point above, but try to give them a clear and full picture of your plans for the Discussion.
E.g., let’s say someone wanted to invite their Success team to share customer feature requests with their Product team in a Discussion. Their description might look something like this:
Our goal is 80% customer retention, and a huge factor in their decision to renew is new features. Success team, please share all feature requests you hear from clients so the Product team can take them into consideration as we build our Q4 roadmap. Up-vote items that other clients have asked for. Those with 10+ votes will be considered.
Get the word out
When you launch your Discussion, everyone you invite will get an email from SoapBox letting them know about it. But, let’s face it, one email might not be enough to get people to come back into the Discussion more than once.
If you want to sustain engagement throughout your entire Discussion, try one (or all) of these:
1. Remind everyone about the Discussion at your next team or all-hands meeting. Better yet, get them to log into SoapBox during the meeting and add their ideas/thoughts/questions etc.
2. Send out reminders daily (or every other day) via your internal chat app.
3. Lead by example! Participate in the Discussion yourself so they can see how important it is to you. Your items can also act as examples of the kind of stuff they can be sharing.
Close the Loop
When your Discussion ends, review all the input and add summaries to the items you want to close off.
Depending on your Discussion topic, your summary should either answer the question asked or let them know what you plan on doing with the input (e.g. if it’s a suggestion for how to improve an internal process, let them know when they can expect an update on whether or not it’ll be implemented).
Archive the Discussion
Once the discussion has ended and you've added your summaries, click “Finish Discussion”.
You’ll have the option to archive all the items, or only the closed ones. If this is a Discussion you want to launch on a recurring basis (e.g. gathering employee questions for your all-hands meeting every month), archive the closed items only, so the open ones will stay on the Discussion the next time you launch it.
You can access archived Discussion items anytime under “Past Discussions”.
Keep up the momentum
Just because the Discussion ends doesn’t mean the work is done. Add items to your one-on-one and team meetings to ensure you remember to follow up with people if you’ve assigned next steps to them, and to keep them in the loop about any updates relating to the Discussion.