Archived The Huddle

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brobley

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How important is the Huddle? Giving recognition and such, I mean.

I'm fairly new, so I've kept my seasonal head down like a dozen others, but they're keeping me now, and cross-training me.

Sometimes my TL looks me right in the eye when he asks if anyone has recognition, and I wonder if he's signalling something.

Am I a dick for not offering recognition? I do acknowledge on a daily basis, I think, my gratitude for my hardworking co-workers. Just more in 'please' and 'thank you's and favors and short conversations than in "official" huddle recognitions. Would it behoove me to bring stuff like that to the huddle if I want to, say, be a TL or ETL someday? Or would I just seem like a suck-up who's signalling his intention to advance in the company?

Recognition in advance for your thoughtful responses.
 

commiecorvus

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Recognition is one of those things that they expect people to do.
It's part of your job evaluation, how many GTC (pardon me) Vibe cards you write.
They can be safety cards or just thank you for helping me out with that team lift kind of cards.
It's not hard to get in the habit of writing at least one or two a week and presenting them at the huddle.
 

brobley

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Cards? Maybe it's because I work... nightside? Is that a term? Flow, before the store opens, I mean. At our huddles, people speak up and recognize others, then everyone claps, then information about the truck size and our deadlines, then it's over. I'm unaware of the process of card presentation...
 
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commiecorvus

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You can do regular verbal recognition without writing a card, it's just as good, if not better.
Just tell people when they are doing a good job and when you appreciate their help.
 

findmeharry

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I've overheard quite a few flow huddles, and it's nothing really different from any other huddle. We don't present the cards at huddle, (they're the ones that are up on the vibe board usually by the break room) but you do get asked what recognition you have. It's the same as flow, only we don't clap.

I think to go along with what commiecorvus is saying, recognizing others and talking about the vibe, shows that you're invested in the company.
 
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Recognition cards are a big part of creating a great Vibe. At first I thought it was a bit lame, but I watched some of my fellow TM's work twice as hard after getting one. Giving recognition shows your TL, ETL and TM's that you recognise good work habits and are willing to point this out. I am not afraid to admit that those little cards give me warm fuzzy feeling, lol.....I got a great one from our APBP, that I keep by my computer, and it helps get me thru those crazy days....
 
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Let's face it, everyone likes to hear that they're doing a good job or at least they want a hear a thank you. The bottom line is, you just want to make it sincere. I've also found out that though the general talk is that the Vibe cards are "lame," there's a lot of team members who check those boards every week and many get upset if months go by without any recognition. You don't have to do it every day you work, but I would try to get into the routine of having at least some form of recognition for a huddle at least once a week. Whether it will be just saying thank you aloud to the group or actually having a Vibe card at hand. We tend to rely on good workers and when they do a good job every day for a long time, we sometimes just take it for granted and not say anything. It's an accepted fact that team member "Sue" is a hard worker and every time she's on she gets a great zone and completes all her re-shop. Though I say thank you to everyone on a daily basis, it's good to once in a while put it on a card and/or say thank you out loud to everyone at a huddle. And to answer your original question, the huddle is supposed to be a place where your store shares information. Some stores do this better than others. You don't get to see everyone everyday, so the huddle is a chance to let your fellow team members know what's going on. It doesn't always have to be about the numbers, sales, etc. Where do you work? Softlines? Is there a new designer coming out soon? Any good deals on clearance? Hardlines? What new areas have been reset? Is your work center having certain issues that come up all the time? Use the huddle to explain them to your fellow team members and how they can help fix the situation. What popular items are we out of? Let everyone know at the huddle so that you don't have people constantly calling you to an area to "help a guest," when you can give everyone the correct information for them to share with each other all at once. Periodically you should also use the huddles as teaching exercises. For example, if you work in Softlines and a team member in another work center calls you up front to Jewelry for guest assistance. You go up and find out that the guest is asking if we sell watch batteries and do we replace them? Mention at huddles that watch batteries can be found on the Electronics boat, but we don't replace them. The more you pass on these bits of information, the less you'll be called away for menial things. And don't forget about telling your team members about any fun events coming up. Not many people pay attention to the Fast Fun and Friendly events calendar, so when something fun is coming up, keep letting the team know. Are you guys asking everyone to bake (or buy baked goods) to bring in for a pot luck treat in the breakroom? Make sure you keep reminding them. You don't know how many times people will say, "oh I forgot that was today!" Are you holding a volunteer event, such as a walk for breast cancer? Don't forget to keep mentioning it at all your huddles. Sometimes the huddles can seem trivial or unimportant, and yes when they rattle off numbers and scores it can get tedious. But the huddles are simply another way to communicate information with each other and also to keep a positive atmosphere by giving recognition as well.
 
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Vibe cards and recognition from the team members is worth so much more than from the execs. I had a TM write me one thanking me for helping back up at Food Ave (I have almost no idea what I'm doing back there, but can muddle through it and sell drinks and hot dogs). It's really silly, but knowing that she appreciated it enough to write that card makes me more eager to help her out when needed.
 
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I picked up my vibe cards this morning for the last 3 months and out of 40 cards only ONE was about something not related to redcards....
 

commiecorvus

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Do you write your cards on the clock or off?

Oh, you write them on the clock.
They're part of your performance review than writing them should be something you get paid for.
 
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Last year, I was waiting for one of our (now former) LODs to finish up his closing email so we could leave. He told me to write some vibe cards. I looked at him, not saying a word. His response? "Oh, you're not going to be one of THOSE people who insist that since they aren't on the clock that they don't have to do any work, are you?" I turned around and walked off to wait by the front doors.
 

Cel

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Last year, I was waiting for one of our (now former) LODs to finish up his closing email so we could leave. He told me to write some vibe cards. I looked at him, not saying a word. His response? "Oh, you're not going to be one of THOSE people who insist that since they aren't on the clock that they don't have to do any work, are you?" I turned around and walked off to wait by the front doors.

Wow, no wonder he's former. None of the LODs at my store would even allow a clocked out TM to carry PDAs/walkies from the front desk into the vestibule to charge even though it's about 10 feet.
 
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Evening huddles happen about 50% of the time in our store. Morning huddles always seem to happen.
 
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As a dayside backroom team member it would be nice if they would even make us aware of huddle. Any time i am 4am backroom i go to our 6am huddle but they never let dayside backroom know when the later afternoon huddle is. We miss a lot of information because of this and i have to update other dayside tm since i have a knack for hearing info from our leadership.
 

doxie71

Former Perishables Assistant
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It's a very rare day when we don't have huddle. In the mornings, we often have smart huddles. Push mcclane candy, freshness Friday, make seasonal look good, etc. Being a PA, there are many days I admittedly skip morning huddle. Most often on truck days because I figure filling my area & making it full for guests to shop is more important than standing around hearing the same crap I heard the day before. I also will almost always skip huddle if one certain ETL is closing. Their huddles are known to last at least half an hour. And I don't have time for that crap.
 
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