09-12-13 | Blog Post
At Online Tech, the entire company starts every day with a 5-minute all-hands meeting. We review the results of the previous 24 hours, flag any outstanding customer issues and opportunities, and share critical updates across the company. The goal is for all of us to walk out of the daily “huddle” with a snapshot of the progress towards our goals, celebrate our successes and catch client issues so we can address them quickly.
Each department also meets as a smaller group for 5-10 minutes each day to discuss the day’s goals, obstacles they need help with, and other issues that may arise day-to-day.
This takes 15 minutes of everyone’s day. If you add up all the time we spend communicating in our huddles, we invest well over a man-month of time each month in this rhythm of communication across the company.
Why do we do it? We believe the investment pays great dividends in 3 key areas:
Transparency – Every day, everyone in the entire company is looking at results against goals, including revenue, marketing leads, new & lost clients, client-impacting incidents and exceptional/unexceptional experiences. It’s hard to not know what’s important to the company’s success when the scoreboard is reviewed every day.
Rapid Communications – If a client has an experience that was unexceptional (our language for the opposite of the exceptional experience we strive to deliver), or if we have a client-impacting event, everyone in the company knows about it at 8:30 AM – including the root cause and how we plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If someone on our team catches a fellow teammate delivering an exceptional experience or demonstrating one of our core values, we ask them to call it out in the huddle so we can celebrate their success. There is no better way to keep everyone on the same page about client-facing issues and experiences than to talk about it every day.
Reinforcing Our Results-Oriented Culture – I believe one of the reasons we consistently grow 35-40% per year is our focus on goals and results. Every quarter, the company, each department, and each individual signs up to 3-5 key goals that will have the biggest impact on our success. Our daily huddle gives us the opportunity to see in real-time how we’re doing against our goals. At the department huddles, each employee can bring up any obstacles that are standing in the way of meeting their commitments to the company and get help removing those barriers.
I’ll admit, a productive daily huddle process takes quite a bit of organizational discipline to start and keep on track. It’s also a significant investment of our collective time to meet every day and communicate.
However, after 5 years of daily huddles, it’s become the heartbeat of the company. 15 minutes every day to make sure we know where we’re going & how well we’re doing against our goals. I can’t think of a better investment of our team’s time.
Mike Klein also recently described Online Tech’s core purpose in a podcast interview with Ted Sarvata, including an emphasis on quality people – “Exceptional People Delivering Exceptional Experiences.” Visit our website to listen to the podcast now.