Why is a morning huddle important?

By Lynne Leggett, DrBicuspid.com contributing writer

February 7, 2020 -- As a dental coach/consultant, I hear very similar complaints from dentists across the U.S. They typically revolve around the "team" not being on the same page. This occurs for various reasons, but I frequently respond with this question, "Do you have a morning huddle?" Often, the answer is no, which leads me to discuss why a morning huddle is important.

The morning huddle is an opportunity for everyone on the team to communicate and understand their expectations during the day. That is really it in a nutshell. There is nothing magical about it, but it needs to be done the correct way so it benefits everyone and sets the tone for the day.

Lynne Leggett
Lynne Leggett.

It starts with the doctor/leader creating the culture that attendance is expected, so your patients receive the best care possible. When your patients are the priority, everything falls into its proper place. Meeting is great, but you must have an agenda to follow or else you are wasting precious time. Some offices struggle with this step of putting an agenda together. I recommend having a whiteboard or a place for everyone to note any situation that occurred during the day. Some things happen that we cannot predict, and these situations are the very items that need to be on the agenda of the next day's huddle.

My suggestion is always to have a system for your huddles, so you will be able to follow up with whoever is tasked with an item and ensure that accountability has taken place. As you know, this is an area of weakness as well. A simple word document can suffice. It doesn't need to be fancy, but it needs to work for you.

The agenda needs to contain the following each day:

  • Notes about the schedule: These should include any item that you need to bring to team members' attention such as which patients need certain paperwork or any money owed.
  • Where can emergencies be seen today: This is your opportunity for every member of the team to communicate with one another -- from the front office to the back and visa versa.
  • Any situation that occurred yesterday that needs to be discussed: Take this from the whiteboard.

When you have a morning huddle, team members become accountable to one another since everything is discussed out in the open. No one can hide from his or her responsibility. The culture of the practice is strengthened with this as well. It never ceases to amaze me that many conflicts are due to poor communication, and the morning huddle alleviates a lot of those potential conflicts. When every member of the team understands his or her role in the schedule that day, it will reduce the surprises that tend to catch us off guard due to communication issues.

Some items may be too lengthy to fully resolve during a morning huddle. When this happens, please add that item to your agenda for your next monthly team meeting. Not having those meetings? That will be the topic for a different post, so stay tuned.

Check out more of my thoughts on the morning huddle in the video below.

Lynne Leggett has more than 25 years of business experience in several industries, including dentistry, medical, pharmacy, sales, transportation, logistics, and project management. Learn more about her and her services on the Victory Dental Management website.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.


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