The shift to companywide remote work made workers feel less connected and caused the collaboration network to become more heavily siloed according to a recent study by Longqi Yang, David Holtz and others. The group noted that workers did not try to make up for their lack of connectedness by using audio or video calls, but instead used more email and instant messaging. This wave of written communication only makes things worse.
The sheer volume of emails and text messages is making workers dissatisfied. A survey done for email platform Superhuman found that more than a third of respondents want to quit their jobs because of the volume of email and chat. A survey showed a virtual tie between bathroom cleaning and sorting through work messages. If negative employee sentiment isn’t reason enough to rethink things, an overreliance on written communication opens the door to a lot of errors and miscommunication.
I will ask the group to count the F’s in the following sentence while I hum the tune to the show.
The finished files are the result of years of scientific study.
Between three and six is the range of answers clients give. In fact, six is what the answer is. In a simple 16-word sentence, people come away with vastly different conclusions. People don’t seem to notice simple, little details. This will be increased across hundreds of thousands of sentences in thousands of written communications. It’s no wonder that ineffective communication is the number one cause of workplace failures. So, what’s the answer to teammates not communicating?
A simple huddle at the beginning of the day.
The daily huddle meeting is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a short, five to 10 minute meeting at the start of each day that requires all associates in a company, department, or team to gather together to set the tone for and discuss the priorities for each day, while also reviewing the good and not so good things that might have The daily huddle meeting has a number of key attributes that make it unique and effective.
- The meeting should be interactive, not just leader talks, everyone listens.
- If the team is ahead of or behind plan for the week or month, know why, and leave with a plan to fix it or do more of what’s causing the surplus.
- No one sits down; even associates at home or working remotely should stand.
- The meeting happens each day without fail, even if the leader cannot attend.
- The meeting starts on time, every time, without fail.
- Strategic or more complex issues should not be discussed in this meeting.
- Celebrate wins and personal milestones or achievements.
- Positively resolve to address opportunities or gaps and course correct.
There are ideal outcomes to consider if you want a one-size-fits-all daily huddle agenda. The best daily huddle meetings are designed to bring teams together to meet the challenges of the day.
A key function of any organization is to align the efforts of many talented individuals towards a common purpose. To advance their understanding, they have to be in the right conversations with the right people about the right topics. Making sure the social circuitry of who is connected to whom is a structural issue. He says there is another issue. Problems about what to do, why to do it, and how to get it done with frequency, speed, and competency are some of the things that need to be solved in order to work towards common purpose. Spear says that daily huddles give both the right connection and a forum for problem solving.
The goal of the daily huddle meeting is not to meet for the sake of meeting, but to get everyone to show up. The daily huddle should help create a more cohesive and productive work unit by reducing other, less productive interactions. That’s what’s happened at the HR and talent acquisition platform. “Our daily huddle meetings set the stage for the day, help us identify potential roadblocks, and give everyone a chance to be heard,” Gergo Vari told me. Ensuring that we’re all on the same page and working toward the same goals is one thing they do.
The daily huddle meeting is a good time to review a daily ESH message and to perform occupation stretching exercises. Doing so will result in fewer recordable injuries, lower workers’ compensation costs, and an associate body who watches out for each other more often. The teams I led experienced these things as a result of incorporating ESH and stretching into our huddles. If you want to stretch your organization, ask the entire organization to stretch. It may seem odd for the office staff at first, but once they know that no one, including the owner and the CEO, is above stretching, the level of buy-in and engagement will go up.
One last piece of advice, be prepared for some resistance at first. Accountability, visibility, and open conversation are brought with the daily huddle. At first these won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Don’t give up, that’s for sure. It will become a habit after two business weeks and your associates will look forward to it. Volodymyr Shchegel is a VP of engineering at Clario. He told me that initial resistance to the virtual huddle has shifted to an insistence that it continue.
The daily huddle meeting is a part of my workday for a long time. The practice has moved along with me because it works and has helped drive increased engagement, improved alignment, and better safety compliance in each place I’ve implemented it in. It might be the best 10-minute investment of time you’ll ever make, for small-business leaders who are struggling to manage hybrid workforces. It’s time to give the daily huddle a try if you haven’t been running your business on a no-huddle offense for a while.