Meeting Rhythm & Blues

It’s been interesting to see over the last several weeks how people are adapting to life in a pandemic. Our ways of learning, moving, shopping and cooking have all changed. Our ways of working have shifted too, as technology enables and alters the way we interact. But one thing hasn’t changed, and that’s the need to keep everyone connected and aligned as we move toward recovery. 

During this time of intense disruption, it’s been hard to find our groove. Spontaneous interactions have become by appointment only. Collaborations aren’t always in real time. Without our rituals and routines, we may be sliding into some bad habits. 

So, here’s what we suggest: Re-erect the scaffolding of your communication with a regular rhythm of meetings. They’ll help everyone stay connected and keep business plans on track.   

A Daily Huddle is your offensive strategy to make sure people and priorities are aligned. A huddle isn’t a long, drawn-out discussion. It should be brief and focus crisply on what’s in store for today. 

A Weekly Recap is a time for the team to keep current with each other, catch problems when they’re small, and run operations more smoothly. You might even consider two Recaps a week: 

  • Upload on Monday to play forward what will happen in the coming week. What needs to be accomplished? Who’s responsible for what? How will we support each other? 
  • Download on Friday to play back what happened during the past week. What were the key events? What went well? What could we improve? 

These team meetings can be supplemented with Virtual Coffees. Ask everyone to pair up with another person each week. This structure restores spontaneity and keeps the walls from going up between people and departments, a natural consequence of being distanced. 

Finally, when was the last time you held an All-Hands meeting? Getting everyone together in one (virtual) room is an important part of your communications. When employees learn together and feel seen and heard, it drives transparency and alignment. 

Although the virus has had the world on pause, try to carry on with a regular rhythm of meetings. More than ever, they offer a way to keep employees connected and engaged with us and each other.