Huddles are short, interactive team meetings, usually 15 to 30 minutes. They take place regularly, often daily or weekly. And they serve a variety of important purposes in the Net Promoter System®.
Building commitment. Huddles reconnect people to a company’s core mission. They reinforce employees’ commitment to serve customers better and create more promoters. It’s a constant reminder to team members that earning the enthusiastic advocacy of customers is the company’s core objective.
Giving and receiving help. Huddles also enable team members to work together rather than separately. They encourage people to share problems and potential solutions. They build a sense of collaboration and teamwork.
Escalating broader issues. Huddles are a crucial link between the Net Promoter System’s inner loop and its outer loop. They give employees a chance to identify issues that require attention of another function or level of the organization.
Huddles aren’t just for frontline employees. Every unit and function can benefit from them, up to and including the senior management team—and a senior team that huddles regularly is sending a powerful message to the organization.
So the huddle is the keystone in the Net Promoter System arch. It helps teams develop a feeling of ownership for the customer experience and for their own experience as employees. It gives them a direct channel of communication to other functions in the organization, and a vehicle for proposing changes. It’s a primary facilitator of culture and behavior change in an organization, and it’s a big step on the road toward creating a self-directing, self-correcting workforce.
How to lead great huddles
In the best huddles, every team member prepares in advance and is an active contributor to the discussion. Leaders also prepare, and they encourage this participation. They ask open-ended questions and encourage team members to offer suggestions, rather than feeling compelled to provide a solution to every problem or defend the company’s policies or technology. They delegate part or all of the agenda to other people, rather than running everything themselves, and they let those individuals run that discussion. They explore why somebody is saying something rather than cutting them off.
Good huddles generally end with people taking responsibility for specific follow-up. Participants agree on actions they will take; they commit to making improvements; and they report back to the group in subsequent huddles.
Huddles require a commitment on the part of leaders throughout the organization. They’re easy to skip or to treat casually. But companies that become loyalty leaders don’t make that mistake. They understand that huddles are an essential vehicle for building customer advocacy and for fostering a deep level of employee engagement. If you aren’t doing huddles, you are missing one of the most powerful mechanisms of the Net Promoter System to transform your organization.
- Huddle: How Employees Come Together to Focus on Customers and Teamwork
- The Net Promoter System's Journey to Employee Advocacy: The First Mile
In this short video, Rob Markey discusses why regular get-togethers—often daily or weekly—are a critical element of the system.
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