You can’t run a successful company without this
In a fast-growing, international business, communication is vital. You need to talk to your teams, your teams need to check in with each other, and you need to keep communicating with customers. This gets harder and harder as the headcount rises.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with different ways of creating these conversations. There are lots of digital communication platforms out there, and some have their merits.
Meetings have their place too but I have posted before about my meeting fatigue when I accidentally found myself trying to sit in on each and every catch-up.
I believe that the most powerful tool that any leader can use when they need to keep prioritising communication is the huddle.
Huddles are typically weekly team meetings, which involve the whole company. Some people call them “all hands”. These meetings have a very important purpose: they are opportunities to share company news, introduce new members of the team, share wins and figure out solutions for problems.
At BigChange, we all get so much out of these huddles. At 11am every Friday, the whole team comes together to talk sales, marketing and product. It ensures that we are all on the same page and totally up to date with everything going on within the business. I don’t know how we would survive without them.
Here are five reasons you should introduce a huddle (if you don’t love them already)
1.) Fewer meetings
It might sound like a weekly huddle is adding just one more meeting to your already overstuffed calendar, especially as they can involve quite a bit of work (preparing presentations etc) but the huddle can end up doing away with several meetings in one fell swoop. You are telling everyone vital information at the same time, and giving them the opportunity to ask questions, which potentially eliminates the need for meetings afterward. I know that too many meetings can be draining, so we aim to have fewer meetings with more people, so that we can maximise their effectiveness.
2.) Motivating the team
Bringing the whole team together in this way to celebrate business wins is incredibly motivating for everyone. They get to see the contributions of teams besides their own and see how their efforts fit into the company as a whole. Huddles help leaders take their whole team on a journey. It’s incredibly powerful.
By being up front and honest about company performance, you’re ensuring a culture of transparency. New starters get to hear sales figures on their first week – there are no secrets here. Open conversations are always useful, especially as a company grows – with huddles, there’s less chance of misunderstandings. We even invite customers along to our huddles so that they can understand the inner workings of BigChange. A study by Label Insight found that 94% of consumers would be more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers transparency, while 73% said they were willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency.
4.) Introduce important topics
Huddles are a great opportunity to talk about our purpose and values that are outside company performance, such as diversity and inclusion. We like to take a few minutes to share our strategies and goals around building an inclusive company and ensuring that we have a truly neurodiverse team.
5.) Maintain the personal touch
As a company grows, it can be hard for leaders to meet every new colleague – or even to know everyone’s name. This can lead to a massive gulf forming between the leader and the people on the “shop floor”. Huddles ensure that the leader is visible and also give people from all across the company the chance to ask questions and offer their input. I know of organisations where the CEO sends out a weekly email instead of offering face-to-face contact. That’s just not the BigChange way.