Summary: 4 tips for making the most out of your daily huddles.
Daily huddles at the office are nothing new to business. They’ve been around for a few decades or more, and have been practiced by teams in sports for much longer than that. Here at Intranet Connections, we’ve been running them for a year now, and over that time we’ve tried many different formats, topics and creative ideas so I thought I’d share what has worked for us. If done well, your team will walk away more informed, aligned, connected and upbeat because of the shared energy and enthusiasm that can be harnessed from the team spirit!
Establish an Agenda & Keep it Fresh
For some time, we started with a typical format: good news, main goal, any roadblocks? While this worked for a while and people knew what to expect, it grew stale in time. To combat this, we started changing the format daily which caused anxiety for some. Let’s face it, even the sharpest of us find it difficult to think on our feet and can benefit from a few minutes to think ahead and share something with as much meaning as possible.
Initially, communication of agenda started with the dreaded “All Staff” email, but quickly moved to setting the format on our intranet for everyone to see on their own time, as well as writing it on our chalk wall where we meet. We’ve even circulated among the group a daily Huddle Leader to infuse creative new ideas to engage each other and have staff practice leading a group meeting.
Balance Professional & Personal Sharing
Focusing only on work, really restricts us from creating connections. Something we’ve quickly discovered is how important it is to learn more about what makes us who we are. This can be impactful personal or professional experiences, event horizon moments, passions outside work, or quirky facts that help us relate to one another, be vulnerable and build trust. While it can sometimes feel unproductive straying away from work-related information, it helps keep things lighter and recognizes life is not just about work.
Example: Share a recent song stuck in your head, and go even further and build a song sharing app on your intranet! Create a widget in your fun space to highlight recent shares.
Be Natural & Interactive
There are lots of examples online, even videos showing clips of daily huddles, with standard 3-point agendas and robotic execution. While it seems logical to try to maximize the 15 minutes spent together and share as much as possible, is it really worth it if there is no feedback or no one remembers what was said? Some of the best daily huddles we’ve had mixed business focus, humor, wit, empathy and generosity, not just task lists.
Idea: Use an app to track previous agendas. These can serve as a resource for future meetings.
Accountability is Just One Piece
While daily huddles can serve as a tool to gain visibility into who is working on what, it’s important they are not seen as a method to over manage. I can tell you for one, we don’t take minutes of every meeting. I’d prefer to focus on non-verbal communication, sense those who need help, and harness the good energy for the group. If your company is currently doing them, ask yourself: Do people show up on time? Are they excited for these meetings? Do they walk away lighter than when they came?
As you can tell, a lot goes into establishing a great huddle. Like any process, we’re always looking for ways to get more from it. I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences!