Team huddles can be incredibly helpful in keeping boosting employee engagement and morale. Though many companies implement them, it can be hard to know how to run a successful huddle that works best for your specific team.
Keep reading to find out what a team huddle is, how it can benefit you, and how ScrumGenius can help you along the way.
What Is A Team Huddle?
Team huddles are quick, informal meetings. They’re meant to help get teams up-to-speed on each other’s work so everyone can keep on track.
While other meeting formats such as daily standups and retrospectives often have a lot of structure and detail, team huddles are often only a few minutes long that cover brief, important information necessary for the good flow of the team. This means that they cover only the bare minimum.
The Goal of Team Huddles
The goals of the team huddle are simple. First and foremost, they’re meant to help keep everyone up to speed in a short period of time. This means they give quick, possibly frequent updates on tasks so teams can stay up to date on each other’s work.
Put simply, these huddles are meant to boost communication quickly and keep everyone in the loop.
Benefits of Team Huddles
Daily team huddles are great for fast-spaced, busy small companies that require frequent communication and collaboration. As they are often shorter, they’re also great for teams who need to be able to respond quickly.
They allow for better communication without the need for frequent, longer meetings—saving you time, while still boosting your workflow. This can be particularly helpful for remote teams as well who can’t have the same sort of “watercooler” moments around the office as in-person groups would.
How to Run a Team Huddle
Running a team huddle can be easy once you know what to do. Here are some of the most important steps to keep in mind.
The Flow of a Team Huddle
Team huddles generally follow a simple, quick series of steps.
First, the team leader will greet their team and discuss the top priorities and objectives for the week. The daily team huddle will then turn to the completed work and targets of each team member, with a particular focus on any exceptional work and praise for top employees.
Once the week’s work has been discussed, any company updates can be brought up (for example, any new clients or position changes). Last but not least, there’s a short opportunity for the team leader to ask questions, although any employee-specific questions may be answered outside of the huddle.
Best Practices for Team Huddles
Now that we’ve discussed what team huddles are and how to run them, here are some of our top tips and practices to run your best huddles yet.
Be Consistent and Dedicated
Much like other forms of meetings, team huddles need to have a regular rhythm and schedule to work. If you go too long between huddles and/or other meetings, you might have too much to share for your huddle’s set time. Furthermore, when huddles go over their set time limits, they can actually bring down your team’s productivity instead of boosting it.
It’s also important to make sure you prepare beforehand for your huddles. The team must know what they need to discuss and what each of them needs to bring up to allow the huddle to run smoothly and not waste time.
Focus on Accountability
Accountability is another crucial factor in the success of your team’s huddles. Project priorities and action items need to be discussed, but they also need to be clearly assigned to team members and their steps clearly laid out. All of this also needs to be recorded in some way, whether that be via voice recording or post-meeting notes.
That way tasks and details don’t slip through the cracks and everyone knows what they’re working on.
Stay On Track
The job of your huddle’s facilitator is to keep the discussion focused and on task. Effective huddles are short and don’t have time to waste. That means that if the discussion veers off course, it’s the facilitator’s job to bring it back to the topic at hand. This can mean sidelining irrelevant information until after the meeting, or discussing certain points outside of the dedicated huddle time.
One of the best ways to do this is to prepare beforehand; list everything you need to discuss during the huddle and use it as a reference to go off of when it’s your time to speak. That way you already have a template to go by and are less likely to get sidetracked while speaking.
Some team huddles work together without stagnant, unchanging roles; for them, the team leader might always be the facilitator. But some find it more productive to rotate facilitator duties throughout the team in order to improve communication and collaboration as everyone becomes familiar with the different roles.
This will also take some of the stress off team leaders and encourage everyone to share and take up responsibility in their place.
Your team huddles will need to be flexible and change with your team, much like other meeting formats. Something might work for a while, but as your projects change and transform, it might not work anymore. Try different meeting huddle lengths. Try switching up huddle facilitators. Try holding them at different times during the day—morning, midday, or at the end of the day. Or even try holding daily huddles or huddles every other day.
Make sure you experiment to find out what works best for you and your team.
How to Run Team Huddles With ScrumGenius
ScrumGenius makes running team huddles and integrating them with your other meetings effortless.
Our automated, asynchronous reporting tool makes it easy to gather quick information on action items, goals and blockers—all on your team’s own time, without having to interrupt work at a specific time to get together. Once you create your report template with the questions you want your team to answer, you can easily gather that information and have it available to you in our dashboard.
Our tool can get rid of the need for in-person huddles all together, but you can also use the information captured by ScrumGenius to prepare for the huddles as well and give your team a guideline to go by. We also have many of our own report templates for you to use and customize as well.