How to Implement Kona During a Stressful Time For Your Company

February 4, 2022

Understand how Kona will help you support your team during a stressful time and pitch your executive team a game-changing tool.

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4 min

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Whether it’s an upcoming product launch, funding announcement, or holiday crunch time, every business goes through busy periods. These periods can lead to stressful times for your and your people, so when it comes to investing in a new tool, it might seem easier to put it on the back burner. 

However, job stress can trigger emotional and physical responses that affect work such as lack of sleep, inability to perform, lack of productivity, and if it’s too late, resignation

Before seeing Kona as an extra to-do on your plate, consider how an extra 20-seconds per day can help you make pivotal managerial decisions in the moment

What if there is hesitancy behind Kona?

Have you presented something to leadership, only to wait… and wait? We’ve been there. 

It’s not easy to get through the red tape, however, we didn’t build Kona as an add-on for remote organizations. It’s a must-have.

That’s because Kona empowers every employee to have a voice at your company regardless of hierarchy. And it gives managers an understanding of how their people approach work every day.

When you present Kona to leadership, frame your intention behind the tool. By acknowledging the busy time ahead, the importance of inter-team support, and current employee engagement numbers (if you have them), you can position Kona as a safety net; not another tool to budget. 

What does Kona rollout look like?

Getting company-wide investment in a new tool isn’t easy. But if you have proven results to show its value, the investment can turn into a company-wide no-brainer

That’s why we offer Kona for 14-days free to pilot it amongst your immediate team first. Simply add it to Slack, walk through the no-touch onboarding, and respond to your first check-in. 

If your team shows hesitancy around a new daily task, here’s a template you can personalize to initiate the use of Kona in Slack: 

Hey folks! 
We're piloting Kona, a culture-building Slack integration, for a few weeks. 
It'll take 20 seconds each morning and ask how you're doing. You can respond if you’re feeling red, yellow, or green, paired with an emoji and one to two sentences for context. 
I encourage you to answer honestly and avoid limiting your check-ins to work-related topics. 
The next few weeks will be intense at work, but I think transparency and empathy will really help us get through it together. My intention is to create a safe space for offering support and bringing us closer together.

To build trust within the channel, it’s your job as a manager to be honest and vulnerable during your check-ins. Don’t be afraid to share a yellow or red check-in — be true to how you’re feeling every day. 

How did our current customers introduce Kona during a busy time?

Our customers have faced challenges introducing Kona to their team or organization. But once Kona was part of their Slack workspace, it became second nature to tell “the dog” how they’re feeling on a daily basis. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Take it from Alyssa Edelman, Director of Customer Support at Postscript

Edelman recently experienced their company's equivalent to the Super Bowl. 

For them, transparency was a superpower for addressing issues before they became stressors. When a teammate mentioned they were yellow and anxious, the whole team rallied behind her to share words of encouragement.

Edelman explained how Kona support her team during a stressful time: 

“Kona helped reinforce the supportive and exciting attitude we needed for that high-pressure time of year where we were stepping into the unknown. We had meetings together, but it helped to know we’d always have that daily touchpoint to share our excitement and what’s making us nervous.”

Shane Emmons, CTO at Teamsnap, feels similarly. For his team, stress was finding its way into the organization due to the state of the world. 

“We’re learning that bad days have a lot to do with personal issues and stress from the state of the world. Teammates will read about a coworker’s struggles and reach out to offer support,” explained Emmons. 

Kona helped Shane get a grip on how his team was feeling and where their stress stemmed from. That helped his team support each other in times they may not have otherwise. 

How do you make the most out of your Kona trial?

The way managers address their team’s check-ins is what makes the tool infinitely valuable for remote organizations. Let’s walk through scenarios you may face within the first two weeks with Kona in your Slack workspace, and how you can learn from them. 

While it might be nerve-wracking to see a sea of yellow and red in your Slack channel, this is actually a positive. If Kona wasn’t there, you might not realize how your team is feeling. 

But how do you address it? 

First, listen and acknowledge that you see the yellow and red check-ins. Validating stress instead of sweeping it under the rug to helps those struggling feel seen and less alone. Empathize with folks in the channel, and keep your door open for those that need it.

Second, offer one-on-one support. Direct message folks who are red to listen and find individual ways to support them. If someone checks in yellow, respond in the thread to set an example that you’re there for others. Ask if they want to chat, and from there, let them rant or hear solutions. 

Third and finally, implement change. Find ways to support your team and keep spirits high, despite the stressful time. If there is something you can do to alleviate stress, such as moving deadlines or shifting priorities, do it.

To boost morale and build camaraderie, you can also consider launching bonding events, sending surprise gifts, sharing funny stories in your #random Slack channel. 

Leverage Kona as a way you can lean into your proactive management style. 

How do you explain the value props to fellow managers and upper management?

Once you get the hang of using Kona for a couple of weeks, jot down the benefits you’ve experienced from using the tool. 

Consider the impact of Kona from two angles: the birds-eye view and the individual level. 

At a high level, Kona offers the opportunity to see how your entire team is trending day-to-day and over time through the health dashboard. That can help you make effective decisions for your team as a whole. 

At the same time, Kona allows you to connect with each member of your team individually. 

For example, let’s say you have a direct report that has a difficult time opening up over Zoom. However, you’ve seen them open up and be vulnerable through Kona check-ins. It’s helped you understand them better and realize that they’re more comfortable with written communication. 

As you jot down Kona’s impact across your team, here’s a little something to get you started: 

  • Build team relationships with a daily dose of fun and vulnerability.
  • Prepare for one-on-ones quickly with pre-meeting briefs.
  • Unblock teammates faster by surfacing reds and yellows.
  • Track and annotate trends on your team's health dashboard.
  • Build psychological safety and culture teammates won't want to leave.

Introducing a new tool during a stressful team might be intimidating, but with first-hand results from using Kona, you’ll video call into a leadership team with confidence. 

Still not sure how to introduce Kona to your company or team? We’ll help. 

Book a 30-minute coffee chat
with our co-founder, Corine Tan, to help you position Kona as a must-have for your organization.

Curious about how your department can leverage Kona? Learn more by selecting your department:

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Empathy is a habit.