Last updated on March 20, 2023 at 02:40 pm
The State of the Sector highlights the top challenges facing internal comms professionals. Always among the top challenges is the lack of line manager communication skills. Unfortunately, two-thirds of managers are uncomfortable with communication and having tough conversations with employees. Manager comms skills pose a challenge because many companies don’t have a way of directly reaching all their employees. This forces companies to rely on the cascade of information through managers, putting managers in the hot seat to communicate all company information with their teams. So, it falls to internal comms and HR to teach, coach, and instruct managers on how to be effective communicators. But one great tool for managers is a team huddle where they can recognize their teams, share messages from corporate, and open the door for two-way comms.
What is a Team Huddle?
A team huddle is a meeting where a team quickly gets together to prepare for the shift or day. These meetings are always relatively short and are often led by the team’s manager or lead. Often, these meetings will take place at the start or end of a shift.
In these meetings, a team will discuss:
- Important items from the previous day. This includes anything that didn’t get done, questions that arose, or challenges that now need to be addressed.
- Goals for the current day or shift. Often, a team lead will have specific updates or goals for their team to achieve on a given day or week. A team huddle is often where they will share that directive or their progress on a larger goal or initiative.
- Important company communication. For many frontline or field-based teams, a team huddle is the only real opportunity for a frontline manager to share company communications.
What is the Difference Between a Team Huddle and a Team Meeting?
You might be thinking that a team huddle sounds like a team meeting. Is there a difference?
The truth is, team huddles and team meetings are very similar. They are both regular meetings held by a team to discuss goals, projects, and barriers.
The difference between a team huddle and a team meeting is that a huddle is a much shorter and less formal meeting. Typically, a team meeting might be 30 to 60 minutes long, whereas a team huddle is less than 15 minutes long.
Because team meetings are longer, they are also held less frequently. Depending on the team, you might have a formal team meeting once a week or once a month. But team huddles are often held daily, especially in frontline environments (e.g. healthcare, retail, hospitality, etc.).
How Do You Have a Successful Team Huddle?
Because team huddles are often led by managers, companies and communication teams might feel like they don’t have much power to make them more successful. But that’s not the case!
Your managers probably want support to help them lead more successful team huddles. Remember, many managers are a little uncomfortable communicating in this way!
So, don’t expect your managers to always know what to say in these meetings. Let your managers set the cadence, but give them talking points, checklists, and the resources they need to make the most of that team meeting.
The 5 Elements of a Great Team Huddle
- Following a set cadence
- Set expectations for the week or day
- Be transparent with your team
- Open a dialogue
- Recognize your employees and share team and individual wins
If you don’t already have a way to easily communicate with your managers or if you are interested in learning about a tool that will let you reach all your employees, let’s get in touch.
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