Meeting together as a team to discuss the financials and critical elements of your business is a vital part of the Great Game of Business, but more importantly, it is an opportunity to focus on the people responsible for those numbers and the story behind the numbers.
1. Start with Your Leadership Team
One effective way to roll out frequent Huddles is to have your company’s leaders model the way. When leaders show the way and their commitment to the process, it often trickles down through the rest of the business. Once the leadership is comfortable with the numbers and with the process, then they can roll it out to the rest of the employees. The leadership now has the confidence and the knowledge to effectively teach and coach the employees on the numbers and the Huddle process.
2. Pushback on the Pushback
The immediate pushback you will probably get when recommending a frequent Huddle is, “We’re too busy!” Executives can’t imagine finding the time to get everybody in the same place every week for one minute, let alone 30 to 60. Yet, the routine actually sets you free. Teams that Huddle frequently find they interrupt each other considerably less during the rest of the day and productivity improves. They understand there is a fixed time when they’ll have everyone else’s attention.
3. Don’t Problem Solve
You should keep it focused on problem-identification and not problem-solving. Take it off-line. If there’s a problem that can’t be solved with a ‘brief suggestion’ by one of the team members, then you should schedule to meet off-line.
4. Give it 90 Days
When it comes to Huddles at work, it will take time for your people to make them effective and useful for all. The first month or so will be awkward, unorganized, and longer than expected - in all reality, just plain ugly. But it will become easier as the team figures it out (give it a good 90 days!)
Huddle at Venturity Financial Partners' facility in Addison, TX
5. Assign Employees to Small Groups or Teams
Create groups with a manager acting as the Team Captain to teach and coach the team. The small groups provide a comfortable setting for employees to get involved, ask questions, provide input – all the things you want the Huddle process to create.
6. Properly Inform your Employees about The Game
Provide Game binders to the employees that include all the GGOB information they need to follow the progress of The Game, including the annual business plan, Huddle scoreboards, bonus plan and business/financial glossary of terms, training bites, and the list goes on. Think of it as your employees' mobile office – a central place to store all the information they need to follow the action of The Game.
7. Provide a Scorecard for Each Individual to Fill Out
Give employees a blank scorecard each month so they can track, measure, and report information during each weekly Huddle. The simple act of writing the numbers down will not only keep everyone engaged and involved, but it will also have a dramatic effect on the employees’ ability to remember and understand the numbers. Try it… it works.
8. Most of All, Make it Interesting and a Little Fun
Provide small incentives to employees or their teams to answer questions or make the calculations on the scoreboard. Try to include small games or brief training bites to reinforce your financial and business literacy efforts. For example, in order to better educate everyone on the company’s balance sheet, a practitioner created Company-opoly: a customized version of the classic Monopoly game that the Huddle teams played at each Huddle.
What tips and tricks are working in your company's Huddles? Share your thoughts in the comments below!