Want patients to experience the camaraderie of a unified and cheerful staff? It doesn’t just happen. A little bit of nurturing is necessary to break the ice and generate team spirit—and this is precisely why we recommend a short yet effective morning huddle ritual to all of our practices.

Before patients start arriving and the day gets hectic, start on the right foot—as a team. With a smile. With something fun! A united team attacks the day with good spirits and solidarity…andeverybodybenefits. It’s the same idea as a huddle before a football game…only your playing field has less turf and more surgical steel and hand sanitizer. Let’s go!

Use your morning huddle to:

  • Generate positive energy
  • Make team members smile
  • Break down barriers and bring employees closer
  • Kick start the day energetically
  • Encourage closer-knit interaction
  • Wake ‘em up and get brains working!
  • Remind team of your mission and ensure a great day

Depending on how energetic and open-minded your team and practice are, some huddle exercises may be more appropriate and well-received than others. Here are our favorite morning huddle exercises.

We’ve included a spice-o-meter rating: Mild, Medium, and Spicy Hot

  1. Truth or dare. Remember the old days when you used to have slumber parties? Well, truth or dare isn’t just for teenagers anymore! It’s for your medical practice…but the questions may have to be slightly more appropriate now. Let the doctor start it. Have the team go around, one to the next. Rating: Extra-spunky teams / Spice-o-meter: 3 peppers.
  2. Two truths and a lie.It’s kinda like Truth or Dare but for the less daring. This version will prevent people from jumping off things or getting physically injured. Here are two truths and a lie about Virginia Creative Group:1) We love Chick-Fil-A! 2) We have three team members named Jamie. 3) We love our clients! Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  3. Heads Up! This fun trivia-on-the-go app is a game that Ellen DeGeneres plays on her show. Each staffer will try to guess the word that’s on their head—with the help of clues from fellow staff members—before the timer runs out. Want a similar game that doesn’t require smart phones? Check out the HedBanz board game. Spice-o-meter: 2 peppers.
  4. Whodunit. Turn your morning huddle into a quick yet engaging detective story. Have each team member write down something interesting, silly or unexpected they’ve done. Put them all into a container, shake ‘em up, and have each participant draw a paper. Their job is to guess “who done it” and why they think so. Then the actual doer reveals their identity.Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  5. Desert island selections. What are three things you’d bring to a deserted island? Have team members answer this question, and we guarantee they’ll learn something new about one another. Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  6. Hide and seek. Have the doctor hide something: a stress ball, your Invisalign scanner, somebody’s keys—it doesn’t matter. Give a clue to the team. The team has 60-seconds to find it and gets a prize if they do. Or simply up the ante by hiding the prize: a bag of candy or a box of breakfast treats. Spice-o-meter: 2 peppers.
  7. Say something nice.Go around in a circle and give the person next to you a compliment. Not a bad way to start the day, right? Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  8. Fun fact Friday. Did you know that sloths don’t fart? Here are 172 fun facts to get you started. Spice-o-meter: 2 peppers.
  9. Heads down, thumbs up. Remember elementary school when everybody put their heads down and thumbs up on rainy days? Here’s a reminder of how to play. Now if only we could reinstate naptime! Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  10. Google and learn a new yoga pose. One pose per day. Take turns between team members finding the pose and teaching it to the group. Spice-o-meter: 2 peppers.
  11. Quote of the day. We love the way quotes can provide a new perspective or a different way of thinking about something. Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  12. Joke of the day. What do you call a fish with two knees? A tu-nee fish.Because silly jokes create smiles, whether you’re laughing because they’re funny or because of how bad they are. Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  13. Vocab word of the day. Expand those beautiful brains with new vocab words. Make them fun or silly to say, and we know team members will be finding ways to use them throughout the day. Bumfuzzle. Cattywampus. Taradiddle. They’re in the dictionary…check it out. Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  14. Close-up picture.So easy-peasy with smart phone cameras! Take a picture of something from a really close view, and let the team guess what it is. Get creative. Could be a close-up of a piece of equipment, something in the lobby, someone’s lunch or a team member’s nostril. Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  15. Word scramble.Quick and fun. Hold up a word for the team to unscramble, and they’ll get a quick feeling of achievement. Plus, it’s a great way to remind your team members that they’re EREDNILCBI. Spice-o-meter: 1 pepper.
  16. Conga line. Because who doesn’t love a Conga line to a fun song? Have the doctor lead the way. Spice-o-meter: 2 peppers.
  17. Dance party. Once per day, let individual team members choose a song that gets them revved up. Play the song and let everybody feel the groove. Spice-o-meter: 3 peppers.

The things that make the best practices stand out aren’t always what you’d expect. And most of the time, they’re not even difficult. Sometimes they’re achieved through a 5 minute Conga line!

Seriously…make your morning huddle a daily occurrence and you will see the difference in the culture and camaraderie of your team.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk.