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9 Rules to Make Staff Huddles Work

9 Huddle Rules

Wouldn’t it be nice if you just had a checklist that led you through the rules of making your staff Huddles work every time? Well, we thought it might be nice too, so we compiled the following steps to help you make the most of your staff Huddles.

1. Huddle Weekly

People can fall off the wagon in a single week. Besides, any longer and you’ll have too much information to push through the system because too much has changed. It's best to keep a consistent structure—same time, same place every week.  

2. Make the Huddle Educational

Take advantage of teachable moments, but don’t go overboard. Hit the financial highlights. Talk a little about what’s going on in a featured department. Use an activity to introduce a new financial concept, and save a little time at the end for a recap and a brief Q&A on the numbers.

3. Keep It Simple

Aim for simplified financials, numbers that people can grasp quickly. Many practitioners look at a detailed financial plan in their management Huddle but consolidate the financial plan to as few lines as possible for the company-wide Huddle

4. Keep It Short and Solution-Oriented

To establish a rhythm, publish the agenda, designate a meeting leader, and get a stopwatch to keep the Huddle on track. A Huddle shouldn’t be used to resolve disputes or investigate variances that aren’t well understood. Get people together afterward if there’s a situation that needs more attention.

5. Ensure Attendees Leave with the Same Numbers

Build financial reports on the spot by punching numbers into a laptop or filling in a physical scoreboard. Update the financials on the company intranet and e-mail links to the new data and meeting notes. Do whatever works for your company!

6. Practice Makes Perfect

To prepare, managers can hold a mock pre-Huddle where managers ask each other the types of questions employees might ask. A few run-throughs or dress rehearsals will give them confidence in real situations. 

7. Drill Down with Post-Huddles

Post-Huddles are the department or team meetings in which people review the numbers compiled at the main Huddle. The overall purpose of a post-Huddle is to make sure each member of an individual workgroup understands the numbers from the main Huddle. Put front-line employees, not managers, in charge of reviewing those numbers. Taking on that responsibility helps people get up to speed faster.

8. Audit the Process

If you have several locations, check to be sure everyone’s Huddling. Even in a small company, ask someone to check on whether employees in every department understand and feel responsible for their numbers and their part in the Huddle. Document and share work Huddle and empowerment best practices.

9. Spread the Word

Form a team to coordinate and “market” your internal empowerment efforts. Remember, the power of the Huddle is in the participation.

Are there any other rules your company uses to make your Huddles great? Share them in the comments below.


Learn more Huddling tips, tricks, and best practices from experienced Great Game practitioners at the world's largest open-book conference next September.

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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.