Often times when we are first assessing a company’s culture we will notice communication being a noticeable issue. We used to have communication as its own KCI until we realized it can directly affect a few if not all of the other eight KCIs.
Communication can breakdown Trust by breading a you versus me or us versus them mentality within an organization. It will naturally affect Teamwork in that without a flow of proper information people can become easily frustrated with each other. It will also affect Appreciation as well by leadership being less engaged in communication with the team the its not my job mentality can get out of hand quickly.
Now when I bring this practice up it is met with one of two things either, yah we do that already or they don’t want to be seen as doing some fake rah rah chants in the morning as how some of the larger corporations portrayed it in the early 2000’s.
Seeing this as a systemic issue we tried a couple different approaches to include templated emails and more Policies and Procedures. However, this seemed to only serve to make the issue more complex. The best practice we found to almost completely remove the communication issue was morning huddles.
For those of you that say we already do this or have done it, I ask the question. Do you? I mean Did you really? Or did you tell people to do it and it never really got done or was done poorly.
The morning huddle is a practice I have personally seen change teams and organizations as well as making them run more efficiently and have more empathy for each other as individual team members.
This is a simple and easy practice to get start and has almost zero start up cost, besides time, but almost immediate returns. This practice will improve communication and with it team cohesion, trust and appreciation.
We are going to combat our communication issue by having the team meet up and discussing potential issues and “problem solving” together. I put problem solving in quotes because it really isn’t problem solving, it more of a way to have a team start to take ownership of their organization and the day to day issues that arise. What will actually happen is the team will become more inclusive and feel more comfortable sharing experiences which will allow the individual to become more trusting and attentive to potential solutions.
This, first of all, must be done by a leader who is willing to guide it correctly and hear what is said without bias or ego. Towards the end I will give you a format as to how this meeting can run, but I also understand it can change from industry to industry and organization to organization.
These Morning huddles don’t need to take more than 10 minutes, but as the leader you should strive to generate meaningful conversation. Strive to ensure you are not the only one taking. You job is to listen, give needed direction and inspire the team to do their best. The last thing we want is for these meetings to become none as “something that could have been emailed.”
The Morning Huddle Layout:
Inspiring words from the leaders: The first thing should always be encouraging words from the leader or person in charge this will set the stage for the conversation. Remember to give the glory to your team for anything that was done very well in the resent past. (This can better affect Appreciation KCI)
Ups and Downs: Sometimes called 3 ups and 3 downs or 2 ups and 2 downs depending on time limits. This is the section where you choose 1 or 2 people (or they can volunteer) to give something they notice is a struggle and something they noticed is being done right. No matter what makes sure the same amount of ups as downs get mentioned. (This can improve the Trust KCI)
Trends: This is my personal favorite part! This is where the leader hears from the team what they are noticing. This can allow the leader to identify opportunities or problems before they become too big.
Specific instructions: This is where the team discusses specific things that need to be accomplished. Perhaps another department is needing your team to change the way you send them data or maybe a VIP is coming in and we need to review who they are and what our responsibility is to them.
This layout does not have to be exactly adhered to as I have put it in this writeup. Depending on your industry, team and timeline you may decide to add or take away as you please. However, I would encourage you that if you have not done a Morning Huddle or if its been awhile, do it this way and then slowly make changes as you see fit.
Can these be done at end of day?:
I’ve received his question before. It can be; however, you should gage your team. Normal at the end of the day you team wants to go home and the conversation may get stagnant. Morning huddle can serve to energize your team.
I hope this write up helps you in your quest to better yourself as a leader and give you a better understanding of your team.
If you have more questions, send it on over here