What if you could increase productivity, eliminate bottlenecks, and reduce wasteful tasks, all in a matter of 10 minutes? You would probably say it’s wishful thinking – but it is possible if you get down to the root of the problem, which is bad communication.
According to Forbes, businesses and/or employees often think of poor communication as a temporary setback, unsure of the ways in which poor communication costs us personally in the long term, including a loss of credibility and a drag on advancement.
Bad communication about roles, responsibilities and timelines can cause delays, lower output and create headaches. According to Fierce, Inc., a leadership development and training program, 97% of employees believe that “a lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of any given task or project.”
This lack of communication and productivity, however, doesn’t have to uproot entire departments or businesses. In most cases, all you need to do to solve this is stand-up meetings.
So, What Is a Stand-Up Meeting?
A stand-up meeting is generally held in the morning and is a quick rendezvous with your teammates to go over project updates and what they plan to work on next. Software teams have been using stand-up meetings for years to keep tabs on responsibilities and expectations and whether there are any hindrances in the SDLC that need to be addressed. However, all teams – sales, marketing, finance, HR/PeopleOps, etc. – could benefit from utilizing stand-up meetings to go over business goals, deadlines, and processes.
Do Stand-Up Meetings Actually Work?
Today it seems like everyone is all about speed. You might ask why you would take the time to host a daily meeting instead of sending out an email.
According to a report by ResearchGate on stand-up meetings, “the practice gives team members an overview of what other team members are doing and is therefore an important mechanism to increase information sharing and team awareness.” One of the huge benefits of stand-up meetings is briefly going over alignment and raising awareness of other colleagues’ goals and roles – the sincerity and importance of which you may miss if left in an email buried in your inbox.
What Are Some Best Practices for Stand-Up Meetings to Follow?
The benefits of stand-up meetings for your team can be great, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. By taking the time to analyze the nature and structure of your team and your business goals, you can vastly improve or implement stand-up meetings across business.
Here are a few tips on how to make stand-up meetings work for you.
1. Don’t Be Afraid of Video Calls
According to CNBC, “70 percent of professionals work remotely at least once a week, while 53 percent work remotely for at least half of it. Today, more and more business are catering to consumerized work environments and realizing that productivity can actually be improved by increasing work mobility. By introducing stand-up meeting video calls, you can include both employees who are in the office and out.
2. Be Considerate of Time Zones
With distributed global teams, it’s important to take geography and availability into account. While stand-up meetings are traditionally held in the mornings, you may need to adapt your meetings to a universal time that works for everyone.
If you have team members in Singapore or Sydney, for example, and you live on the America East Coast, it may be better to convert your meetings to 8 p.m. ET once a week so as to accommodate your Australian colleagues (it’ll be noon the next day their time) as well as your teammates in Singapore (it’ll be 9 a.m. the next day their time – give or take an hour, depending on daylight saving time).
Finding a time that accounts for team members in different time zones will ensure that everyone is included and heard.
3. Turn to Bots to Host Stand-Up Meetings
In the era of automation, it only makes sense to bring the power of AI into your daily meetings. A multinational conglomerate that creates consumer and professional electronics created a Stand-Up Bot with Workato that allows teams to host meetings inside of Slack with remote workers and distributed teams.
If a manager wants to set up a stand-up meeting, they simply type the command `/standup` in their team’s Slack channel. The bot will then ask the manager a few questions: what time do you want the stand-up message to send, and what are the custom questions for your team?
After setup, the bot will send a daily message to the channel automatically asking each team member to fill in their answers for that day. And that’s it! A quick stand-up meeting has been created and initiated inside of Slack.
Status Meetings Shouldn’t Be Hard
Getting people to engage in meetings has notoriously been difficult, but with stand-up meetings, it doesn’t have to be. By incorporating video calls or setting them up in Slack, attending one of these meetings is no harder than sitting in front of your computer for nearly 10 minutes – a mere 1% of the 720 minutes we spend in front of screens per day.
Stand-ups help foster transparency about status and accountability for everyone. Or, in order words, it’ll help prevent any awkward looks or conversations at the next team happy hour.