One of the most rewarding aspects of working with small businesses is seeing them grow. Growth usually translates into new hires. For many of my clients, we’ve created processes and strategies to lay a foundation built on transparent communication, clearly defined goals, and aligned expectations.
One of the most effective actions a company can implement is the weekly huddle. This time together ensures that all employees (and other valuable team members) are kicking off the week in complete unison. It is a time for the CEO to communicate weekly goals and expectations, and to learn from direct reports what employees have on their agenda.
This is a high-level meeting, and is a two-way dialogue so that all attendees know that their contributions matter, and that their voices are heard. These touch-points create positive energy for the week, and build relationship equity among the team members.
Three Steps to a Great Weekly Huddle
1. Set an agenda and stick to it.
The Huddle is a kickoff to the week, not a strategy session. Everyone should come to the meeting prepared to discuss what goals they are working towards, with clearly defined tasks on how they will achieve the goal. This includes the CEO. The Huddle is a perfect time for the CEO to connect with the employees as an accessible peer and a colleague.
2. Ask if your direct reports need any support to achieve their weekly goals.
Another benefit of the Huddle is to reinforce the fact that your organization provides collaboration and support. Two assumptions derail communications 1: No one needs help, and 2: If someone needs help, they will ask. Go into the Huddle assuming people may need help, and directly ask how you can support them.
3: Finish on a positive note.
Share good news at the end of each Huddle. Ask all attendees to share one thing they are looking forward to in the coming week, either personal or professional.
Ground Rules for A Successful Huddle
1: Huddles can be in-person, via phone, or online via Skype, Google Hangout, or webinar.
2: Attendance is mandatory unless a person is out on vacation.
3: Keep the Huddle focused on the week ahead. The huddle is not the place for other topics, and it is not the place for long-term planning.
4: All phones are off during the Huddle.
5: This is a two-way dialogue, where everyone participates.
6: Send out a reminder on Friday to ensure everyone is prepared.
Do you have other suggestions for kicking off your week with your team? Please let me know. Good luck!
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