The Joint Commission recently visited the Cleveland Clinic, a premier healthcare organization, and released a list of their best practices. At the top of the list was conducting a daily huddle.
A huddle is a fabulous way to start the day or the shift. Typically, the manager or team lead will organize and facilitate the huddle which lasts no more than 15 minutes at the same time and place every day. I have witnessed employee huddles in restaurants, in grocery stores, in retail environments and in hospitals. Huddles are usually in the open and employees stand. Employees at every level are invited to the huddle and encouraged to share situations and solve problems. Effective daily huddles can replace long, boring weekly or monthly meetings which are a huge time waster.
There are so many benefits of conducting a daily huddle. Teamwork is strengthened, two-way communication improves, everyone receives the same messages at the same time, problems are solved in a timely manner, and employee engagement improves.
Here are a few suggestions for what to include in your daily huddle:
Start off positive and upbeat with a fabulous customer comment or good news about an employee.
Communicate current news which might include welcoming a new employee or new vendor, reviewing a revised policy or procedure, sharing a new process, sharing a comment from social media, sharing the special of the day in a restaurant, or anything else that is relevant to the organization.
Set priorities for the day and/or week. Employees at every level should always know what the company and department priorities are.
Ask employees if anyone has any challenges, problems or needs help with any task or project. When the problem is simple, solve the problem in the huddle. Complex problem solving might have to happen at another time.
End the huddle with a motivational thought and gratitude. During a holiday or special event, make mention of the holiday. For example, we just celebrated MLK day and there are so many wonderful quotes from Martin Luther King that are worth repeating. Here is one of my favorites "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Try implementing a huddle, you might just like it!