How Simple, Daily Huddles Make Your Business Better

My clients always say that implementing daily huddles is the best decision they made in regards to their customer experience journey, but arguably the most difficult. And I agree with them, it is a challenge to get everyone to commit to adding another meeting to their jam-packed schedules.

 

Everyone is so busy that you must think I am absolutely insane to recommend that you add another meeting to the already overbooked outlook calendar. However, when people get caught up in the craziness of life and work, they can sometimes lose sight of the big picture. By getting your team to take part in a huddle, you’re helping them take a step back, find out more about each team member’s responsibilities and see how it all fits together.

 

What is a daily huddle, anyway?

A huddle is 5-7 minutes within your department where you discuss positive customer stories, share information, discuss developments and provide updates.

 

You may think you do not have time for more meetings, but remember, this is a “huddle”. It is a brief gathering of those who work together to review what will be taking place that day.

 

5 Essentials for Successful Huddles

  1. Ran daily by the huddle leader:

This allows for consistency. Once your team is in the habit of huddling, pass the torch to an emerging leader within your department. This week it is your turn—next week it is mine.

 

LUSH Cosmetics, a fresh, handmade cosmetic retailer with approximately 250 stores in North America has implemented this huddle best practice:

“We empower different leaders to create the chat in (huddle); it is not always the store manager. We use this as a way to develop junior leaders in the business also.”

-Cindy Keddington, Voice Of The Customer Manager, Lush Cosmetics North America

 

 

2. 5-7 minutes:

Anything longer than that is a meeting. Keep it short and sweet, and set a timer on your phone to hold you accountable to the time.

 

3. Everyone has the opportunity to share:

This will get people out of their comfort zone. Employees have the opportunity to share and learn best practices from each other on how to better service the customers. When everyone is on the same page and identifying how he or she can resolve any issues before they arise, it makes for a more productive, less stressful day.

 

When you think of it that way, how can you afford to not take a few minutes each morning to meet? Offices that do have morning huddles experience fewer problems and require fewer meetings to solve them because the team is collaborating daily and proactively solving problems before they become bigger issues.

 

4. Employees are disappointed when they miss the huddle:

Your goal should be to get to the point where your team is upset if they have to miss the huddle! Make this the best part of the day; this should be something that people look forward to, so it is important to keep it fun and energized.

 

Ensuring that your departments and employees are all part of a cohesive team is essential to productivity. It’s also a great way to get the team excited and to realign their focus.

 

5. It only takes 2 to huddle:

You will not have 100% participation 100% of the time, however it would also be highly ineffective to have the same two people huddling every day. Make sure that regardless of who is able to attend, you stay consistent with the time and location to avoid confusion and set a solid foundation.

 

What benefits can you expect?

Several of my clients have admitted that although skeptical at first, huddles have brought great results.

 

ATI Physical Therapy is a nationally recognized physical therapy organization with more than 500 locations in 24 states, and named “Best Physical Therapy Practice in the Nation” by ADVANCE magazine. ATI is a client of The DiJulius Group and has had great success with their implementation of daily huddles:

 

“Employee interaction and internal customer service is better since the team now knows more about each other. I see the team respecting each other more and having more compassion for one another. Huddles have built morale and trust.”

-Sandee Teresi, Contact Center Manager, ATI Physical Therapy

 

LUSH uses “Chat Ins” (huddles) every single day before the shifts begin. They also do a “Chat Out” where they spend time with each person reviewing how their shift went.

 

“Although we have done Chat in’s for years, they have certainly evolved quite a bit to become more informative, motivating and provides individual focuses while still ensuring everyone is educated and aligned with company and shop goals and focuses. With implementing our CX philosophy, the Chat ins space was the perfect place to keep Customer interactions at the forefront and a priority each day.”

-Cindy Keddington, Voice Of The Customer Manager, Lush Cosmetics North America

 

Al Serra Auto Plaza, auto dealership in Grand Blanc, Michigan has implemented daily huddles with over 450 employees.

“Since implementing daily huddles the internal employee culture has risen to the expectations of our World Class Customer Experience (WCCE) initiative. The whole team has become a cohesive, engaging and enthusiastic engine solely focused on the overall experience of our customers.

They are living and breathing ‘people first’. As a result our retention is growing and ‘work’ has become less stressful. We laugh now how ‘slow’ it is and are having record months as a result.”

-Joe Prokes, Service Manager, Al Serra Auto Plaza

 

How do I get my team members onboard?

Invest time in the critic not the cynic. The critic will need you to help them adapt. They are critical and have questions because they care about the success of the team. The cynic will never change. Do not waste your time, energy or resources with this crew of people. Instead, invest your time into those early adopters who believe in the change and have bought in to the project. Once the cynics realize there are so many other happy, passionate individuals onboard, they will have no choice but to become involved.

 

Imagine how powerful it would be if you had 100% of your employees sharing positive customer stories for 5 minutes each day. Imagine the impact it could have on your team, and ultimately, your CUSTOMERS!

 

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Jessica Bound
About The Author

Jessica Bound

As a Customer Experience Consultant with The DiJulius Group, Jess  leads clients in generating ideas, turning those ideas into systems, and then implementing and executing them enterprise wide. She is also an accomplished keynote speaker full of insight and wit; leaving audiences motivated, entertained and walking away with great content to implement immediately.

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