What You Need to Know to Facilitate Effective Daily Huddles

“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’”
—Dave Barry, author

Meetings: an essential communication tool that is, unfortunately, rendered ineffective too often. While meetings are necessary, executives and employees often dread them because there are too many of them, and they are usually delivered and led poorly. It is time to re-think how we structure and facilitate daily huddles so that they can be an effective use of our time.

A daily meeting provides an opportunity to share messages, receive feedback, give recognition, revisit the values, and inspire the team. It’s also a great way to engage and stay connected to your team as you foster meaningful relationships, which will lead to delivering desired business results.

By conducting a daily huddle away from customers and other distractions, managers have the perfect opportunity to communicate necessary information and reinforce expectations. The daily huddle also serves as an excellent opportunity to share messages, receive feedback, discuss challenges, and inspire the team; however, for many teams, it never occurs because managers claim they are too busy. But this claim is dangerous, as it assumes that effective, thoughtful, and consistent communication is not a priority. And daily meetings are just as important (if not more so) in our world right now, as most of us are still adjusting to operating remotely. Prioritize these meetings and connect with staff daily to set the tone for each day and ensure every one of your team members is on the same page and on the right track.

Here are some guidelines for delivering an effective meeting:
• Keep daily meetings to ten minutes or shorter
• Spend half of the time on what’s happening, and the other half on receiving feedback, giving recognition, revisiting the values, and motivating the team. Always try to provide some recognition each day
• Capture the team’s attention with games, music, or questions with prizes
• Have team members lead the meeting

And, don’t assume that just because the majority of your staff is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, that they don’t value face-to-face interaction through effective meetings. Don’t rely on email and messaging boards only, even as we work from home. According to Michael Massari, senior VP of Caesars Entertainment, “Millennials are highly collaborative and want to meet, learn, and grow. If we don’t engage millennials through active participation in face-to-face meetings, and if we don’t help build their professional relationships, we will lose their talent and attention to organizations that do.” The same goes for the newest generation to enter the workforce: generation Z. Research shows that 53% of generation Z individuals want face-to-face communication. Listen to what your employees want and make the necessary changes to ensure you are meeting their needs.

One final reminder is to finish your daily huddles on time. We have worked with some companies and seen best practices in play that utilizes a penalty (like having the manager do a pushup for each minute the meeting goes over) to help ensure meetings finish on time and also to invoke a little fun. Stick to the schedule and create an expectation with everyone that meetings always stay on track and on time. For issues that need more discussion, take them offline, or set up a meeting with only those who need to be involved.
Please make your daily huddles relevant and worthwhile. Don’t add to the culture and expectation that meetings don’t matter—they do, as long as they are delivered right. Thanks for reading, and please reach out to us if you’d like more ideas or insights about how you can deliver effective, memorable daily huddles.

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