Original Article Posted last August 10, 2018.
Team huddle is a regular operations tactic that is common in (Business Process Outsourcing) BPOs and in highly effective teams . This is the time where team members gather to have a short meeting to discuss relevant information regarding the team.
What you always need to remember when conducting a team huddle is that it needs to be short. If you are having a huddle and it's longer than 20 minutes, then you are conducting a full-blown meeting. Not a huddle.
Huddles are proven to be more effective than meetings when done regularly as it provides a venue for the team to meet with each other and discuss important topics that will be the go-to order of the day.
If you're a new leader and would like to understand the role much better, then I suggest you start with this post and then swing back to this post again.
Powerful team huddles can do wonders in your team's motivation and focus. A well executed Team Huddle can help you drive results and they will even look forward to these sessions with excitement.
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When managers ask me how often they need to conduct huddles, I always say it depends on a few things.
A daily huddle is ideal between front line and supervisors. But this can be changed if there are dependencies such as report availability, shift differences, team dynamics - new team, new batch
I suggest work with your manager and your team to find the balance. For now, I recommend going for daily.
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2. Prepare ahead of time
This is important to keep the huddle under 20 minutes. As the supervisor, you should come in ahead of your team to gather pertinent data for the succeeding outline.
The last thing you'd like for your team to think is that the huddle is a waste of time.
Content in your huddle is King!
So, do your due diligence to prepare and get the info you need before you start.
3. Check Attendance (1-2 minutes)
Start your huddle with a roll call.
Since this is only a 20-minute huddle, then it's best that there is no one late. One of the best practices I've witnessed is that the Supervisor implemented a buddy system within the team.
This way the team starts to take accountability for the whereabouts of their team mate and also helps you, the supervisor, in making sure everyone is accounted for.
4. Recognize your team (5 minutes)
Always recognize the team for doing a great job. Starting with recognition before anything else gives a positive and encouraging atmosphere from the get-go. Also, your team will be in high spirits and are inclined to listen after they have been praised.
Recognize the following:
- Top performer for the previous day
- Top performer for the running week
- Top performer for the running month
- Running Most Improved team member
Why these 4?
It's important to let your team know that you are not only looking at results from the previous day but also the running performance data. This gives your team perspective on why it's important to do well not just for a day, but that consistency is going to be recognized.
This is going to create a culture of well-rounded recognition vs. short term recognition that oftentimes balloons into intense competition which is not healthy.
More importantly, recognizing the running most improved team member encourages the team not to feel bad for falling behind but that effort with positive results is a good thing.
The most improved team member maybe be far from the goal but as long as there are measurable improvements and recognition is given, this is enough for the rest of the team to rally behind that team member.
This will create a ripple of positivity from the rest of the team and believe me, you will be proud of them when they do.
Related Post: 6 Ways to Show Your Appreciation at Work
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5. Provide Relevant Information (8 minutes)
The key word here is that it needs to be relevant. This means that the information being shared is fresh and just happened at least a day or 2 before. Do not share information that has happened a week ago, this is outdated and totally irrelevant.
The update could be either of the following topics:
- Quick summary of team stats
- Total number of calls received/ charts processed
- Team QA score
- Team Critical Errors or if there is none
- Update from the client regarding a process
- Update on running actions for the week
- If the team needs to achieve 100% for the week, how far off is the team from achieving this?
- If the team is far off from the goal, provide quick insight why
- Internal Announcements
What is important to keep in mind is that this needs to be easily digested.
Yes, you can update a lot in 8 minutes so use it wisely!
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6. Provide Goals for the Day (5 minutes)
This is the part that you give the marching orders for the day. Be specific on what your team needs to achieve. You can use the guide below:
- Provide the daily target per team member (e.g. at least 40 calls for the day or 20 charts)
- Advise Team goal of X charts or QA Audits for the week
The key is to provide a clear call to action.
This way expectations are set, and you can review results in the huddle for the next day.
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7. Always check for understanding (3 minutes)
This is an important part of the team huddle.
If they can't say back the information you just stated then chances are, they won't remember it.
The key is to have them say the info back to you. It's okay to ask them leading questions. Just as long as they can articulate what the key message is for the huddle, that's a good indication that you just had an effective huddle.
Ask something like:
- What is our company announcement about?
- What is the update on the process?
- What is the daily goal for the day?
- How far are we from the goal and how do we achieve it?
8. Open for questions and clarifications (2 minutes)
You can welcome questions in any part of your huddle, but I suggest having your team ask questions towards the end. This way you have already gone through your agenda already.
These steps are proven to make the huddles effective and concise. Go ahead and go through these steps and try it out in your next huddle.
I've created a sample ChampLeaders Team Huddle Form that you an use to make it easier for you.
If you'd like to watch the video version, check the info below. Don't forget to Like, Subscribe and Share!
P.S. If you have questions on how to better execute this, feel free to Contact Us.
About Daisy Casio
Daisy Casio is a Passionate Operations Leader with over 16 years of work experience in various leadership roles. She has run diverse teams in multiple locations and has built teams from the ground up. She is the Founder of ChampLeaders Blog dedicated to transforming leaders to Champions. She writes about leadership, management, productivity, career tips, team engagement and many more.