Growing businesses have many needs: the right hires, cash flow, capacity.
These are all complex items that demand our attention, but there is another need that should stay at the top of the list for growing companies. It’s what keeps the business running and your employees productive and empowered. It’s called focus.
Focus on daily priorities. Focus on the team. Focus on company goals. Because without focus, businesses – and employees –will fail.
Holding a daily huddle is perhaps the most important tactic a business can employ to help employees and company leaders stay focused. For 15 minutes each morning, everyone in our small but fast-growing company huddles to confirm and give updates on daily priorities. This rhythm of communication makes us accountable to each other and to company goals, both short and long-term. In larger companies, daily huddles are conducted by teams or departments.
The huddle – or daily stand-up – is a well-known better business habit, one famously practiced by John D. Rockefeller. The millionaire, businessman and philanthropist is known for the successful daily habits he instilled in his many employees.
The huddle works. Combined with new technology, the daily huddle can propel your company to that next level.
In my office and in those of our clients, we use a cloud-based software to huddle. Through it, we track our own and each’s daily progress. It keeps us focused and it keeps the team accountable to each other. If someone is falling behind, other team members can offer help before it gets too late.
Plus, employees feel empowered when they accomplish daily goals. Let’s face it: Few things are more satisfying than methodically and consistently crossing things off your to-do list.
Another benefit to using software as part of your daily huddle is that all team members can see when tasks are completed. No more hastily-written emails explaining where team members are on projects or hedged excuses as to why something has not yet been done. As priorities are assigned and executed, the software automatically updates to let everyone on the team know what has been accomplished and what the next step is.
Here are a few tips for implementing daily huddles in your organization
- Keep the daily huddle brief: 15 – 20 minutes, max.
- Remember, the top goal of the daily huddle is to review and get the team to buy in on the “must dos” for the day. So cover just what has to happen in that 24-hour time period.
- Stand, don’t sit. Standing helps people stay focused and on topic.
- Daily huddles are when you identify problems, not solve them. Chances are, most team members in the huddle won’t be involved in the solution. Free them to focus on their own priorities. Others will get together after the huddle and tackle the issue.
- Embrace technology for the daily huddle. The right software allows for real-time tracking of the to-do list and complete transparency among all team members. Plus, it helps keep remote workers in the rhythm of the daily huddle and connected to team members.
In a football huddle, players aren’t talking about next week’s game or where they’ll spend the off-season. They’re focused on the very next play and on simply moving the ball towards the end zone.
This focus is what produces wins – on the field, in your office and for your growing business.
Now get out there and huddle.
This article originally appeared as an op-ed for New Orleans City Business. Authored by Doug Walner, CEO of Align.