How Our Weekly Huddle Reinforces Our Core Values
“Huddle is the one time during the week where we can all be ‘at the same place at the same time.’” That’s how one of our team members recently described our weekly all-hands team meeting, and as the person who helps schedule meetings across everyone’s calendars, I can tell you it’s not just the one time but the only time we can come together. So how do we make sure we maximize this precious time for a company-wide meeting?
Well, it’s not as easy as you think, that’s for sure. In fact, we’ve had to make a few significant changes this year in particular as our culture responds to the pandemic. Though we haven’t had to invite Ty Pennington to host the meetings, it’s fair to say we’ve had an Extreme Makeover: Huddle Edition. Thankfully this new format — and the Core Values that are truly like our North Star — have helped us mold Huddle into a ritual that has a big impact on our ability to collaborate.
We #caredeeply by sharing wins and information so that we can celebrate together.
We flex our Care Deeply muscle at Huddle by starting the whole shebang off with what we call our Wins of the Week. We use Mentimeter and verbal shoutouts to recognize the people who have knocked it out of the park the past week, and we snap, clap, and flare out our spirit fingers in celebration. And that’s just the START of Huddle.
We follow the good vibes up with a fun rendition of In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): Praxent Slack Channels style. Due to our remote nature, we have made many a virtual water-cooler channel for various interests like #fitness, #pets, and #diy to name a few. Through ICYMI, the company gets a little peek into all the amusing #water-cooler conversations from the prior week, and allows us to connect, relate, and care deeply with each other.
A few of the fun slack channels we got going on:
We #doittogether by sharing departmental and project updates so that we may work more effectively and empathetically.
This is our News & Announcements section; we share PSA’s, upcoming events, helpful reminders, and departmental updates. This section is unique from the others in that we get to hear from other perspectives to better understand what’s happening across our company departments. Also, as the Huddle MC I get to catch my breath from talking, which is nice. 😉
Who says announcements can’t be fun?
We #owntheoutcome by discussing key business objectives and progress towards them so that the team is operating in alignment.
In our Delivery section, we get to review Praxent’s objectives and progress report towards these goals. It’s our way of Owning the Outcome, or as Chris Walker would phrase it, “say what you’re going to do, then do it.” This knowledge and transparency helps us be better accountabilibuddies (another Chris phrase!) and own the outcome together.
We #alwaysdeliver by reviewing progress towards project and business goals so that we hold ourselves accountable to the commitments we make.
Our Show and Tell section exemplifies Always Deliver! We get to watch a snippet of our peers in action each week and learn about their project and process. Also, who knew Show and Tell could exist outside of kindergarten! I feel like the name “show and tell” is associated with such wonder and excitement and those feelings from 20 odd years ago still resonate during these mini presentations today.
We #neversettle by focusing on a shared quarterly theme that enables our personal and professional development.
In the spirit of Never Settle, Praxent intertwines a theme throughout each quarter that inspires personal and professional development and is also really really fun. This year so far we’ve had:
Q1: Around the World (in about) Eighty(ish) Days
Q2: (Stuck At) Home Improvement
Which is in honor or Praxent’s 20 years of innovation!
(Shout out to Andy McErlean for designing all of these logos!)
For this third quarter, we’ve been sharing the best/worst of entertainment and music in the past twenty years (and I have learned that I apparently enjoy the worst of the worst). But even more importantly, we’ve been learning a lot about some of our peers and what they view have been their biggest achievements and lessons in the past 20 years. By giving us this space to Never Settle at Huddle, we are able to learn and laugh with each other and feel closer than ever during a time of such distance.
So that is the recipe to our secret sauce (which I guess is not so secretive anymore). The last ingredient to mention and the most important of them is feedback! I am so lucky to work with a team that cares enough to provide feedback. While we do have our lovely core values as guidance, we could never truly know how effective our company wide meeting is without our teams’ thoughts and suggestions. Based on current feedback, it seems like we have found a good groove and can finally say,
“Bus driver, move that bus!”