Good huddles can add huge value to teams but poor huddles can hinder and demotivate teams. To ensure your huddles are helpful, keep them brief, focused, well chaired, inclusive, fresh and engaging.Summary by The World of Work Project
What Makes a Good Huddle?
When huddles are good, they’re really good. However, when they are bad, they can be really bad. To be on the right side of that divide, there are some key things that you need to get right.
Here are simple things that will help ensure that your huddles are effective and that they deliver the outcomes and benefits that they are capable of. This is by no means a complete list, but it’s a good starter.
Good huddles last no more than 15 minutes and don’t over-run. Their brevity keeps them focused and to the point, helping to ensure that that conversations are adding value.
Huddles are always led by a chair and the effectiveness, preparedness and confidence of the chair makes a huge difference to the success of the huddle.
We would recommend that the role of chair rotates between all team members on a weekly basis.
Fixed (time and location)
Good huddles feel routine. They just become part of daily life. They take place every day, they occur at the same time every day, they’re in the same place every day (physically or virtually) and and they’re attended by roughly the same people every day.
Mandatory and Inclusive
Good huddles are attended by all team members, and also welcome any reasonable visitors who wish to attend. They’re inclusive and welcoming meetings that people feel comfortable in, and all attendees get a chance to contribute to them and feel valued through them.
Good huddles are focused and fact based. They are lean and to the point. The pace is fast and unhelpful or side-conversations are challenged. Every minute of the meeting should be adding value to the team. If conversations are not adding value, they should be challenged.
Good huddles engage everyone who attends. The discussions that take place should be interesting and relevant to the attendees. The chair should engage with everyone and each attendee should speak at least once in each meeting.
The best huddles include an opportunity for each attendee to be asked how they feel that day. The very best ones are also fun!
Huddles help to improve motivation, employee experience and employee engagement. Over time they can increase trust, connection and psychological safety in teams. They can also reduce the chance of social threats and help team members spend more time in flow.
Many teams find daily check in meetings a key part of successful remote working. If you’re interested in remote working, you might enjoy our podcast on the subject:
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The two key things about huddles is that they depend on the information center that they discuss, and that they need to constantly evolve and develop to meet the needs of the team. If you get those bits right, the rest will probably fall into place.
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The information in this post comes from our professional experience and conversations we’ve had in our working lives. There are no source materials to refer to.
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Carrier, J. (2019). What Makes A Good Huddle Or Stand Up Meeting?. Retrieved [insert date] from The World of Work Project: https://worldofwork.io/2019/07/huddles-what-makes-a-good-one/