If you are one of those organizations or departments that have struggled with launching a huddle program (and I know there are several out there), now is the time!!
In two recent articles, my colleague Jess Pischel (article here) as well as Verne Harnish (article here) pointed out very well that we need to talk in a crisis. We, as humans, need to talk through issues, responses and solutions; we cannot merely think our way through them. In the current situation we are all in, there is no such thing as over communication – transparency and information are more important than ever before.
Amazon halts stand-ups
Last week, Amazon announced that they are halting all stand-ups (their version of huddles) in order to maintain social distancing within their facilities. Being safe in these times is paramount, but I would argue the flow of information and support are just as important. If you find yourself in a similar situation, we recommend you find another vehicle to conduct your huddle. Use Zoom, Skype, a phone conference line or a group text to keep that information flowing.
Zoom is not just for the sales team
Well before the COVID-19 virus took hold of our world, Zoom had been marketing itself to companies as a tool to bring teams together. For over a year, their focus has been on creating your huddle room and including all of your team via Zoom. Now, we are all forced to find a tool to replicate face to face team interactions. Zoom is a great one and there are others. Learn more about Zoom here.
What to talk about?
If you are starting huddles from scratch, the early going may simply be a “check-in” with your teams. Be transparent about your plans; let them discuss fears and concerns. If you are an organization that has tools in place, such as Service Vision, Pillars, Never/Always behaviors – talk about them. Share examples about how some of your tools may now take a different meaning with many workforces working from home. Tools that did not seem as vital to certain members of your organization in the “old days” may now be more important than ever! Make sure you are discussing the tools you have in place, and that everyone understands what they mean and how to use them.
If there is one take-a-way from this article, it is this. Commit right now to getting your team together, then get it on the calendar. After it is scheduled, find a platform to use, whether your organization is already using WebEx, Go To Meeting, Zoom – whatever, use it. Plan out and schedule gatherings weekly (at a minimum) for the remainder of our working from home requirements. If you do these things, I trust you will find the use of time extremely helpful, and I am willing to make a bet that your huddles continue well beyond COVID-19.