Someone recently asked me how I feel about morning huddles. They’re a hot topic and I know a lot of offices spend a lot of time trying to perfect them.
I’ve worked in offices where morning huddles were super involved. We’d gather in one of the ops or around a table in a consultation room and review everything from production/collection numbers to how many whitening procedures were scheduled and completed. Every day, the same thing. Frankly I’ve never understood the benefit of it. Do we really need all of that information coming at us at 7:00 am?
I know this probably goes against everything you’ve ever heard about Morning Huddles, but I don’t think the start of each day is the best time to discuss goals and finances. That’s what monthly and quarterly meetings are for. Morning Huddles should be quick, informative and helpful for everyone. Otherwise they’re a complete waste of time.
It’s nice if your doctor is a morning person and wants everyone to meet at a specific time. That way things are more formal and organized. If your office does a formal huddle, and you’d like to keep it short but informative, you’re welcome to download my favorite Morning Huddle Form. Sample Morning Huddle Form But no stock form that you find online, or get from a consultant is going to fit your office perfectly. Find a few that you like, to get ideas from. Then, sit down with your doctor and team to decide what information is most important to you.
Maybe you work for a ‘walks in five minutes before the first patient is scheduled’ kind of doctor. Or maybe he or she just doesn’t see the value in having a formal meeting every morning. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! There are lots of other great ways to communicate.
Depending on what software you use, you should have an area in your appointment template where you can write a general note. This is a great place to communicate with your team! Every day, do a schedule audit for the following day. Review the scheduled patients and gather the information you need to share. Then record the information in the Appointment Notes area of each appointment. Now everyone can find the information they need quickly by just ‘double-clicking’ on the appointments. Plus it’s nice to have everything in the computer the day before. That way if the person in charge of the ‘huddle’ needs to call in sick, everyone can still find what they need.
If you have an office of cell phone users, email is a great way to communicate. At the end of each day, email the team your Morning Huddle information for the next day. Most of the time people will read the email the night before while they’re doing their final phone check. Then they’re ready to roll the next morning. But if you want extra insurance, you can also print out the email. Place it in the break room, or another agreed upon location where everyone will be sure to look at the start of the day.
Just go talk to people.
Like anything else, this won’t work for everyone. But it does work. Some offices just can’t have a formal morning huddle. And there are plenty of good reasons why. But just because you can’t talk to everyone at the same time, doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them. Go back and chat with the Assistants while they’re getting things ready in the sterilization center. Grab the Hygienists before they take their first patients back. When doctors arrive, run into their office and tell them what you think they need to know. It might seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. You’re only spending a short time in each area. And you’ve given everyone the information they need, without having an actual ‘meeting’.
Overall I’m a fan of a formal Morning Huddle. If nothing else, it’s just always nice when the whole team can be together at the same time. But the goal of your huddle time should be to communicate things that will make the rest of the day run smoothly for everyone. So choose your information wisely, and don’t get hung up on the presentation.