Morning Huddles “Waste or Wealth ?”
On any given day you may hear a team member say, “Morning huddles are a waste of time.” When I hear that comment, my ears perk up and I am on the look out to see what is creating that mindset. Oftentimes, when a statement like that is made, it indicates something has changed with the morning huddle and its purpose. If one or more of the following items is occurring in your morning huddle, then yes, morning huddles may be a waste of time.
- No Doctor- maybe it’s the doctor who states that he doesn’t need to be present and that it’s for the rest of the team to get on the same page.
- No Participation- only the manager speaks, and no one else gets to say anything.
- Late Start- the meetings never start on time and always runs over.
- No Agenda- the meetings are random and have no flow.
- Negativity- the meetings are always a gripe and complain session about what the team is doing wrong.
- Hit or Miss- sometimes we have a meeting and sometimes we don’t
A successful morning huddle begins with a purpose and ends with a commitment. Morning huddles are a vital part of any type of business. Thinking back to when I was 15 years old and worked at a car wash. At every shift change, there was a huddle with the manager to go over expectations, concerns, compliments from customers, and goals for the day. Participation from all team members, even minimum wage employees, was required. There was so much value gained during that small increment of time, and it inspired each person to give more than they did the day before. We each felt a sense of ownership in how the day went. Could a car wash huddle really have that much effect? Yes! And it was the best first job I ever could imagine having for that reason alone. Isn’t this similar to what we are trying to achieve in a morning huddle at the dental office? Purpose, ownership, responsibility, participation, and a positive attitude to start the day off, right? If you feel the life being sucked right out of your morning huddles, then these tips may be what you are looking for:
5 Tips To Make Morning Huddles Successful
1) PurposeMake sure there is a purpose for the morning huddle. Do it because you see value in it and not because someone said that if you want to have a successful practice, you need to have a morning huddle every day. If you believe in the value of the huddle, then you will rise up and shine.
2) AgendaHave a specific agenda for your huddle, and make sure to require contribution from your team. Active participation from the team is extremely important for your day to start off well and for everyone to be on the same page. I challenge any office to keep an active log for their morning huddles. At the end of the month, take that information and translate it into an agenda for the next team meeting. What’s been going well? What were some of the areas that we had concerns about throughout the month? Numbers, patients compliments, etc…
2) CommitmentMorning huddles take commitment from every single team member, including the doctor. The day starts when the meeting starts. Have a specific meeting time and meeting place designated for the meeting. Be committed and responsible for showing up on time as well as running the meeting on time. Set a timer for 15 minutes and stay within the time allotted. Do not run over and start your day late. It isn’t fair to your patients and to your team, and it creates stress on each department when you begin seeing patients late. Doing so will also ultimately create anxiety about morning huddles.
4) PreparationCome prepared for the meeting. Make sure that you review your charts the day beforehand. Review your charts for accuracy and opportunity. Accuracy is understanding the nature of the appointment and ensuring that everything is prepared properly– materials, lab cases, consents, alerts, balances, patient information, appointments scheduled correctly, etc. As for opportunity, what opportunity do we have to make this patient feel as though they are part of our family? Acknowledgment of referrals, birthdays, loyalty, health goals and achievements, or even something as simple as being prompt for their appointments in the office. Opportunity basically comes down to this-How can we impress the patient and take care of them as well as family would be taken care of? Is there a way that we can assist them today with their dental care and save them on their time here in the office? Write down notes about the patient on your route slips or chart review sheet. Accuracy and opportunity will make each appointment successful and will create a WOW moment for your office as patients’ expectations are exceeded.
5) PositivityKeep it positive. Even when schedule concerns, financial concerns or team concerns are addressed during the huddle, it is our responsibility to be positive and to contribute solutions or suggestions. Put in what you want out of your day; if you want to work in a positive environment, then actively put in positive energy.
If you are whining about your morning huddles being a waste of time, then it’s time to make some changes. Get to work and make your morning huddles the best part of your day! Stop your whining and get to work on your business!