When working with a remote team, it can be a struggle to have everyone in the same room at the same time. As a leader or manager, you can overcome this struggle by scheduling a daily team huddle online.
A daily team huddle is a power-meeting that lasts for 10-15 minutes. It’s typically conducted standing up to keep it quick and high-energy. Your remote team will truly benefit from this daily meeting. It helps streamline the communication via reliable, real time interaction. It also reduces the feeling of isolation and makes your employees feel that they are part of a team.
The daily huddle might be your shortest meeting of the day, but that doesn’t mean you just quickly gather everyone and wing it. When you don’t have perfect practices in place, you risk wasting everybody’s time. To avoid that, remember to keep your daily huddles effective by following our tips below.
1. Keep the meeting short
Daily Huddles are designed for speed and alignment, so keep it short and sweet at 10-15 minutes. In a quick meeting like this, it’s easy to go off-topic. Before you know it, your daily huddle has turned into a full-blown hour-long meeting.
To keep your huddle short, make sure you are in control. You may also assign a meeting leader to keep things on topic.
2. Remind everyone to stand.
Even though this is a video call and your team is working remotely, encourage your employees to stand.
For longer meetings, people already expect that they should sit, relax, and feel settled and comfortable.
With daily huddles, it’s important to stand to keep up the energy to make sure the meeting doesn’t go off track.
3. Stick to your meeting schedule.
Respect everybody’s time. It’s a quick meeting, so start on time and end on time. When someone is late, you don’t wait for that person. Communicate the daily huddle agenda and schedule to your team ahead of time. Get everyone’s acknowledgment and commitment to join daily.
Ideally, your daily huddle should take place at the beginning of the day and this is easy if you all have the same work schedule. For shifting and flexible schedules, find a sweet spot during the day to schedule your daily huddle.
4. Follow your daily agenda.
Sticking to a daily agenda keeps your discussion consistent. Communicate your agenda to your team so that everyone knows not to go off-topic. Naturally, your employees will want to solve a problem on the spot, but take note that your daily huddle is NOT the time to problem-solve. Instead, acknowledge the problem then set another meeting to discuss it in detail.
5. Create a speaking order.
Some employees may be more comfortable with speaking a lot, while others may just settle with listening and observing. During your daily huddles, it is important that each team member speaks. To make sure this happens, set a speaking order so that each knows to prepare.
Obviously, if you have a bigger group, this might take a lot of time and will then defeat the purpose of the quick meeting. To avoid going overtime, break the group into smaller groups and have one daily huddle with each group. If you can only afford one huddle daily, assign a team leader to facilitate each meeting.
6. Meet your team face-to-face.
There are a lot of ways to implement your daily huddles. The easiest is through a phone conference, and although it is tried and tested to work, it’s harder to interact because you cannot see each other.
Video conference is a better way to meet your team. It allows for a face-to-face interaction despite people’s different locations. You can see your team’s expressions and it also ensures that everyone is paying attention.
If you have a speaking order in place and a capable meeting leader, your video conference should be seamless and successful.
7. Keep your daily huddles regular.
As a leader or manager, it’s your responsibility to make sure that a daily huddle serves its purpose. For the huddle to be effective, it has to be daily. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see the value of the huddle if it’s weekly. In order for it to replace daily interruptions, team members need to have a dependable alternative.
Let your team know the importance of your huddle. This way, it will feel just like a regular part of their work routine, instead of a daily chore that they despise. It also helps the employees plan ahead and know what to say, thus saving even more time during your actual meeting.
As you go through your huddle day by day, know that there’s always an opportunity to improve and change things up. This is to make sure that your daily huddle, again, still serves its purpose. Just keep the communication lines open and set proper expectations.