Huddle Up for Health & Well-Being
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
When it comes to engaging retail team members around health and well-being initiatives, it’s important to communicate frequently with key messages to keep them informed, excited and connected to programming. One way to do this is by consistently participating in regular scheduled meetings which inform employees about daily events, company goals and new projects. Many retailers, in fact, hold morning huddle meetings on a daily basis. These stand-up meetings allow the team to convene in a brief, focused way to drive employee engagement and to keep their teams apprised of the many daily issues that crop up in the retail environment. They also allow leaders to develop teams that are well-trained, efficient, trusting and unified in providing excellent service to customers. Leaders also gain an opportunity to listen to employee concerns, ideas and opinions. Here are some tips for integrating health and well-being into the discussion:
- Make a regular appearance – By consistently being at team huddle meetings you are showing that H&W is an important company goal. If you cover a number of stores or work corporately, you may have to rotate the meetings you attend, or send your information to store leaders to share. Ask your store operations team what would be most effective.
- Be bright and brief – Deliver your update in a positive and compelling way and remember it’s important to be very brief and concise – whether you’re sharing in person or in writing. Huddle meetings are meant to typically be no more than 30 minutes and will cover a variety of topics. Try to cover no more than one or two issues.
- Introduce new initiatives – Every retail RDN has experienced the frustration of trying to get team member support for a new program. Share new initiatives and consider discussing what’s in it for the employee, how can they communicate the service or information to customers and where to go for resources. Offer a handout to reinforce your message if needed.
- Review key programs and share positive outcomes – It’s important to discuss how existing programs are going to make sure they are performing and on track. If any programs are changing course these steps should be communicated as well.
- Ask questions and ask for help – If you are hitting a roadblock on a program then ask others what they think and if they have any suggestions. If a display or signage for one of your programs is not being properly maintained for example, be specific about what needs to be done.
- Provide education – Consider what brief educational-selling techniques or information you can convey that will help employees communicate wellness solutions to customers and to drive shopper engagement and sales. Provide a quick role-play scenario as an example.
While huddle meetings are often conducted at the store level, there is no reason this practice couldn’t also be part of a corporate team atmosphere to discuss priorities and build comradery. The goal is to have health and well-being programming as an important and consistent part of the conversation.