As your business moves to working remotely for an indefinite period, it’s critical you keep your company on schedule and on the same page.
Daily Huddles increase efficiency and productivity. When they are implemented correctly, they reduce your overall meeting time rather than add to it, and they help ensure the most important work is getting done and things are not falling between the cracks. For tips on how to do this effectively, we’ve compiled advice from leading Scaling Up Coaches from around the globe on the best ways to huddle while everyone is stuck at home.
The companies that run the best huddles
- Show up on time and the technology (video for remote workforce) is ready to go
- Play music and increase the energy
- Stand during the huddle
- Have fun
- Have the person that just went call on the next person to keep things “dynamic”
- Store huddle entries in an online software platform/mobile app like Align
A company that does powerful daily huddles is HighJump software (Köerber Int’l North America software division) based in Minneapolis, MN. This company has to use the huddle to connect resources from all over North America and at times members in Europe. By following the huddle format above they can keep a global company connected, communicating, and accomplishing the most important items in a very efficient manner. This huddle works because the executive team remains committed to following the habits. The result? Dramatic growth and repositioning to the upper right corner of the Gartner magic quandrant.
First, you need your technology in place to accommodate video conferencing and to capture huddle information.
To facilitate virtual video meetings, we use Zoom Video conferencing. Many of our members use Zoom. GoToMeeting, or Google Hangout. You might be saying, “Couldn’t we just do a conference call?” You could, but it’s better when you can see each other—especially now. There’s so much more to communication than just the words you say. Since we’re all likely going to be in different places right now, let’s at least have the ability to tune into facial expressions and mannerisms when we meet virtually.
As far as a tech platform to capture the meeting structure is concerned, we recommend using a tool like Align to capture huddle info and organization-wide key performance indicators (KPI’s) and priorities.
Leadership should start the huddle with any major updates on any COVID-19 and proactive steps to mitigate disruption that day. This is the leader’s chance to inform the team and calm the environment while also taking advantage of the opportunity to infuse positivity in the culture during this time of uncertainty.
Move to the meat of the meeting
- What’s up/need to know. In this section each team member brings to the valuable lessons learned from yesterday and then what’s up for today. This is also a great time to inform team members on client (or member) activity as a result of COVID-19 disruption.
- Top task for the day. What’s the one thing each person WILL get done today. Most likely this is aligned with work that supports the current state of the business which is heavily focused on COVID-19.
- Make the huddles as personable as possible. Call people by names, look for body language and expressions to keep your team engaged.
- Look at adding an additional huddle to your daily rhythm. The speed of information and changes are happening so fast right now and it’s imperative we start and end the day together and on the same page (or screen).
- When/if adding an additional evening huddle, use Align as a central place to record updates into to that huddle and have team members enter it as soon as the information comes available. If this practice is followed, team members can look at the huddle during the day to see up to the minute information that is being shared while being prepared for the huddle that closes the day.
- Establish a task force with takeaway items when an issue or challenge is presented to the group that initiates a lot of questions and dialogue. This is likely a bigger challenge that will require additional time and focus to cover and solve.
- If someone cannot attend your huddle, they should enter their update before the meeting and have someone read it to the rest of the team.
- Incorporate some fun into your huddles and meetings. We have members who are meeting virtually for their regular Friday happy hour. We all need some levity during this time and need to keep company culture top of mind as we’re all likely separated physically.
“In the Daily Huddle – it is important to not just report numbers – you need to join the dots. What are the insights? What corrective actions are needed?
If you see a pattern or trend in your numbers that is undesirable – don’t wait for the weekly meeting, take it off-line with the relevant department or person.
Remember, every day is a new day. You have, every day the opportunity to take corrective action, to make those adjustment to get back on track. This is the role of a Leader & Manager.”
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“– Make sure that everyone has a comfortable place to run the huddle
– Make sure that the team has good video cameras.
– Make sure that everyone has their camera on, so that you can see that they are participating
– Make sure that everyone is on Mute at the start of the call
– Make sure that everyone has prepped for their contribution to the huddle
– Make sure that there is clarity on individual goals and their priorities for the day
– Review the opportunity to run a second huddle towards the end of the day
– Pay particular attention to if everyone is OK. Provide a mechanism to have a further conversation for those who are not.
– Use Align or Slack/Teams to update the priorities.
The Daily Huddle is a critical tool to align a team and ensure healthy communication within an organization. It is also an essential tool for creating a community connection and an office rhythm for remote workers.
A team member that works remotely can experience loneliness and a feeling of disconnection from the team. Having a daily touchpoint with video goes a long way towards replacing the sense of community found in most office environments. Leaders talk about the importance of a healthy culture in their company, and a Daily Huddle is the best way to extend that culture to remote staffers.
The rhythm of the organization is critical for remote workers. When your commute is the walk upstairs to your home office, it’s not easy to have a defined schedule. The distractions that come along with working at home also contribute to that fuzzy schedule. By having a Daily Huddle, it provides a clear starting point for the business day, for workers at the office and those working remotely.
We hope you have found this information helpful. If you would like to learn more tips and best practices about conducting succesful Daily Huddles with your team, download our Introduction to Daily Huddles Guide!
Download our Huddle Guide!