Do you ever find yourself wondering if you’re maximizing your Huddle time? Do you ever second-guess your Huddles, thinking they could be better?
Overall, if you’re getting what you need to get out of your team Huddles, then you’re probably doing a good (enough) job. But sometimes it takes more than “good enough” to have great Huddle experiences week after week.
Below are a few Huddle do's and don’ts designed to help you tweak minor behaviors and practices to ensure that you are indeed getting as much as you, your team members and employees can get out of each week’s meeting.
How to Have an Amazing Huddle, Week After Week
- Channel your inner opening act. Think about some of the best opening acts you’ve seen. Did he/she tell a riveting story? Do something incredible? Was he/she really funny? Your job as the opener is to warm up the crowd to get them pumped for the Huddle. Do something out of the ordinary that sparks engagement and excitement.
- Get personal. One of the best ways to earn the engagement of your fellow Huddlers is to get personal. Try telling a personal story from your weekend or childhood or share some personal news with everyone. The more connected your Huddle feels with you as the leader, the more invested they are in what you will be saying, before, during and after the story.
- Make a tradition. Before the start of every Huddle, carry out your team’s tradition. For example, our team rings a little bell before the start of every Huddle. It signifies the end of our lunch/social time and the beginning of our down-to-business time. It gets people in the mindset of participation and interaction.
- Ask questions. Keep everyone on their toes during Huddles by asking randomly chosen employees questions. This shouldn’t be a way to seek out and embarrass those who aren’t engaged, but rather a way that will encourage your employees to be proactive and ask questions when they don’t understand something that has been said.
- Incorporate MiniGame reports and updates. The Great Game is all about financial transparency and sharing information. The Huddle is the BEST time to give updates on your MiniGames because it allows other departments or teams to offer input or help as well as lends the opportunity to recognize well-performing teams in front of their peers.
- Make a plan for staff that cannot attend. If you always have your Huddles Wednesday afternoons, but there are staff members who do not work Wednesdays or have other responsibilities to which they must attend during that time, you need a plan to get the information to them. Tasty Catering is in the service industry, and we often have employees scheduled to drop off or pick up food and equipment during our weekly Huddles since we operate on our customers’ schedules. There are times when some staff members simply cannot make a Huddle. As a result, we have designated members of each department to review Huddle information and numbers with staff who missed the Huddle every week. It’s important to keep EVERYONE in the know so all remain engaged in The Game!
- Forget that the details matter. Details could mean a million different little things. It could be as small as not erasing a number from last week’s Huddle that no longer belongs on your Huddle board — distracting! Or it could be something that isn’t visual. You could be leading the Huddle with a dry, monotonous tone. That can be a recipe for disengagement. Carry yourself in the proper manner — one that warrants some attention!
- Limit your interactions to just the Huddle. It could be tempting, especially if your office is nowhere near many of the other employees’ desks or workstations throughout the company, to finish the Huddle and then go right back to your office. Stick around, get into the habit of answering any questions after the Huddle and interact with your employees.
- Overlook the power of presentation. Whether it’s your Game board or MiniGame boards, having the right presentation will add so much to your overall engagement. A visually pleasing presentation will encourage employees' interest.
- Dwell on the negatives. Instead of spending energy dwelling on negative numbers or performance, figure out what can be done to turn it around. This is a great time to invite the entire group to participate in coming up with a solution.
You can implement some of the above bullets right away, assuming you don’t already do (or don’t do) them. Others might take a little getting used to — or practice, especially that first “do” on the list.
Not all of these will happen overnight, but they will certainly, over time, impact your Huddles in the long term. Your employees will lose the “Huddle fatigue,” and will always arrive ready to participate and engage.
Any other tips for having a great Huddle? Let’s hear some in the comments below!
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