By Jan Allison
Just as the huddle is critically important to the next play in a football game, the team huddle is just as important for the success of your team and your business. More than two years ago, we realized at Nu expression that we were missing an important opportunity for our team to gather regularly. Print was operating independently from the web team; we were missing huge opportunities for synergy between the two.
But, in January of 2013, we began to meet weekly for 30 minutes before opening the doors for the day. Our huddle was built primarily on sharing what projects we had been working on in the past week, any opportunities we had for growth and discussing sales goals vs. sales actuals to be sure we were staying on track.
At first, it was awkward to pile everyone in our way-too-small conference room. I shared the financial numbers, then each team member stumbled through what projects he or she had been working on that week. We all questioned ourselves about why we needed to arrive 30 minutes early. Was this worth giving up those last few winks of sleep?
But we persevered. Before long, what was once awkward became comfortable. The team huddle moved from being a time of dread to being a time of opportunity and celebration. Our opportunities for continued growth and better processes became clear. Through the huddle, we were able to envision how we needed to cross-market clients in both web and print.
The weekly gatherings are now a part of the culture of Nu expression and one of the many factors in our continued growth.
Are you ready to get your huddle on?
Here are a few suggestions for your gatherings:
1. Schedule the huddle when you won’t be interrupted by clients. Before hours worked better for us than after, as our team was more alert than at the end of the day.
2. Keep it short. The huddle doesn’t need to be long; it just needs to be structured and effective.
3. Lay out clear expectations for your team as to what will happen at the huddle and why you are gathering. Let each team member know what he or she is responsible for bringing to the meeting to discuss and hold him or her accountable for being prepared.
4. Persevere. It may be uncomfortable at first, but the benefits of everyone being on the same page are worth it.
5. Think through the structure of the huddle that will be most beneficial to your business. Instead of meeting once a week, would it be better to meet 10 minutes each day?
6. Don’t be afraid to talk about the sales numbers. When we are missing the mark on achieving our goals, it has proven to be very beneficial to get intentional with a plan to achieve the goals. Sharing missed sales goals after the fact doesn’t give your team an opportunity to dig deep and make the sales happen.
7. Eat. Bagels, donuts, fruit. Any kind of morning snack always makes another meeting easier to swallow.
Jan Allison is a monthly contributing writer to Forsyth Woman. Jan has a passion for helping small businesses succeed. Each month’s articles will focus on different topics important to local business owners. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, please send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
336.765.5505 | nuexpression.com