This article gives an overview of how to access and use the #questions-that-matter Slack channel.

What is the purpose of the channel?

The Questions That Matter (QTM) channel was originally created as an outlet for B Lab staff members to ask any question of leadership. 

How has the channel evolved?

As the organization has grown and transitioned into 4 divisions (B Lab Global, B Standards Trust, People & Operations, US/Can) it has become increasingly difficult to address questions here with the nuance often required. Accountability for questions asked is often shared across P&C and division leads, making generic responses difficult.

What's happening with the channel now?

In response to the changing needs of the organization, the People & Culture (P&C) team has been working to build more appropriate channels for providing direct feedback and asking questions of appropriate parties (e.g. P&C, division leads, etc). Examples of those channels include:

  • Quarterly engagement surveys (unattributed)
  • Evaluation and feedback cycles including self-reflections, employee evaluations, and manager-requested feedback
  • Quarterly town halls
  • Biannual listening sessions held with P&C

Building trust and transparency is key to living into ownership culture. Actionable feedback is an important part of that. Actionable feedback is targeted, timely, and specific. Without these pieces, it's often difficult to act on! Anonymous and untargeted feedback is not only less actionable, it can actually perpetuate a culture of distrust and triangulation.

That being said, we recognize that we need to balance space for both direct and confidential feedback. While we strive to have a fully transparent culture where everyone feels comfortable approaching leadership, that is a work in progress. 

With that in mind, we will keep the #questions-that-matter channel and form open at least through December 31, 2020 while encouraging staff to redirect questions to more actionable channels where it makes sense to do so. (See "How to Contact P&C here.)

How can I submit a question?

  • Ask your question directly in the slack channel
  • Ask anonymously via the Culture Amp Form (also linked in the channel)
  • As of May 20, 2020, P&C is no longer monitoring the Questions That Matter Google form.

You may not always know if your questions are relevant to the entire organization or not, so the P&C team added some functionality to our form (see image below). Sometimes we get questions that may need clarification or further context and are often related to a specific to a person. We ask that individuals who feel comfortable to do one of two things:

  1. Use the fields and add your name to the question: This helps us get clarity on the question and enables us to check in with the individual if we have questions. We are then we are better able to answer the question in the context of all of B Lab, if requested.
  2. Talk with your managers first: Managers often have the details you need to navigate policy and updates and how they relate to you specifically. The POps team is working to keep managers more informed on these subjects. If you feel concerned with reaching out to your manager, that's please submit a ticket to P&C or contact us directly. We'd like to support you! 

Who sees the questions and submissions?

  • The People & Culture team has access to responses, but submissions are monitored by Cassy. Only P&C (including Vale) can see the details when a person chooses to forgo anonymity. If you share your name with us, we will check with you first before sharing your question beyond the P&C team.
  • Anyone can see a question that is posted directly in the channel.

Who answers the questions?

  • It depends. Many times the questions are for P&C or People & Operations (POps), sometimes the questions are for Org and Division Leaders, and sometimes a combination of both. Cassy acts as a dispatch, directing the questions to the appropriate person to answer them.
  • We will try to get questions answered within a week (7 days) whenever possible.