Huddles are a valuable tool that many offices use to look at the day ahead and plan the flow, along with spotting possible hurdles. It’s a quick pow-wow for the team to communicate with each other before the organized chaos of the day begins. Many times, the huddle is the only time that co-workers converse or even see each other.
What makes the huddle such a valuable tool? This meeting gets the entire team together in synchronized communication with each other. The most successful companies in the world ascribe to the fact that daily huddles are an integral part of their success. One of the most notable is Ritz Carlton, who gathers 80 of its employees in their headquarters every day for a 10-minute huddle for updates. Additionally, each location meets with its staff for a daily huddle.
The huddle is meant to define the flow of the day, what everyone is expected to do and where potential opportunities may lay with the patients that will enter your doors that day. When there are concerns about the schedule or patients on the schedule, the power of the team is there to divert problems or brainstorm solutions.
When it comes to daily huddles in the dental office, I find they go one of three ways:
Think about your huddle – in which category do you find your meeting falls. Regardless of the effectiveness of your huddle, it’s always good to review and find ways to improve.
Let’s start with some of the ground rules for a productive meeting.
If at all possible, we prefer that everyone be at the meeting. Unfortunately, when an office has a split schedule or there are challenges. I have seen the huddles held later in the morning, right before, right after or during lunch and I have even seen them held at the end of the day. There are even offices that hold huddles every other day; they review 2 days at once.
The first step for any successful meeting is to set the ground rules. These may include:
What time does it begin
What is the agenda
Where does it occur – front office, break room, etc
Can people eat during the meeting
How long is the meeting
Once the ground rules are set, then a definition of what is to be expected from participants is outlined. We recommend allowing each department to give a report about the specifics of the patients they will be seeing for the day. This allows the entire team the opportunity to hear who has outstanding balances, treatment or hygiene visits.
Additionally, the administrative department will report the numbers that the team needs to be aware of – daily goals, remaining scheduled, etc. – and any major times available in the schedule for the next few days.
The idea of the meeting is to get everyone focused on today’s schedule and the patients on that schedule. It should only last about 10-15 minutes since this meeting is to lay out the rhythm of the day, watch for pit falls or things the team needs to consider. It’s like everyone touching home base prior to beginning the operations of the day.
If you find your office is having issues with completing a productive daily huddle, give me a call and let’s see how we can make it better. For a free copy of our Morning Huddle Action Guide, click here: https://1lu0ni8y.pages.infusionsoft.net
Denise Ciardello, Consultant
Denise is co-founder of Global Team Solutions. A professional speaker and published author, her enthusiasm and knowledge about the dental profession has helped many dental teams. She brings experience, insight, and creativity into her management style, along with a sense of humor. In a profession that can cause anxiety in some dental employees, Denise’s consulting approach is to partner with doctors and team members to help them realize the dream of creating a thriving, successful practice.
Denise can be reached at: email@example.com