The Upside of Daily Line-Up

Can you imagine an American football team making it to the Super Bowl without ever having a huddle? The huddle is a critical part of the game. It’s used to communicate strategy, to make sure players understand their role, and to inspire a winning attitude. Players huddle many times throughout the game in order to keep the team informed and unified.

A huddle can serve a similar purpose at your business or healthcare organization. At The Ritz-Carlton, our version of the huddle is called Daily Line-Up. Daily Line-Up is a standing meeting that includes all staff and takes place at the beginning of each shift. Line-Ups typically take about 15 minutes, but because they serve as a Warm-up, a Tune-up, and a Catch-up, they have a lasting impact on employee engagement and organizational culture.

The Warm-up—Transitioning from Daily Life

An orchestra tunes their instruments before they start to play. Pilots conduct a pre-flight check before taking off. Most athletes stretch before participating in any strenuous activity, and theater actors engage in some form of pre-show routine or warm-up exercise. They would never think of walking in the stage door at the last moment, putting on their costume and then stepping onto the stage five minutes later. We can think of front-line employees as being “on stage.” But how well do we prepare them for the start of their shift?

Employees are coming into work with a variety of mindsets: One employee may be having financial trouble, one employee may be having child-care issues, and another employee may have had an aggravating commute into work. Do you want them all to go straight into their jobs and “get warmed up” with the first five or six customers or patients they meet? Or would you rather provide a transition from home to work? Just like an actor, employees benefit from an activity that will provide a transition from the mindset they “brought in the door” to the mindset your organization would like them to bring to customers and patients. The Daily Line-Up gives employees the opportunity to shift gears to a work mentality before they ever meet a customer or patient.

The Tune-up—Enlivening Your Culture

Author Napoleon Hill noted: “Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.” Your culture and values must be systematically enlivened and renewed for your employees. Telling your employees about culture in orientation, or putting framed posters of your values around the office, is not the same as actually living your organizational values.

Daily Line-Up is the opportunity to reconnect each employee with their purpose and their mission before they start their day. Although there may be many elements to your Line-Up—such as corporate announcements and birthdays—the emphasis should be on your culture and values. At The Ritz-Carlton, the Daily Line-Up focuses on one aspect of our Gold Standards. Often the person leading Line-Up shares a personal example of how he or she has demonstrated or witnessed this Gold Standard being expressed. Hearing how your colleagues are living the culture inspires you to do likewise.

Line-Up is also a chance for Senior Leaders to model the very same behaviors that they would like their employees to exhibit in their interactions with co-workers and customers or patients. For example, leaders can model the same greeting that they expect employees to provide their customers or patients. Leaders can bring the same level of energy—as conveyed in their body language as well as in the volume and inflection of their voice—that they would like employees to display in their daily work.

Catch-up—Communicating Noteworthy News

Line-Up is the perfect time to share organizational news, recognize employees or departments for outstanding achievements, and communicate announcements that impact your team. The Daily Line-Up at The Ritz-Carlton regularly includes celebration and employee recognition. Often times the recognition comes from leaders, but it also comes from colleagues who want to express their gratitude. Line-Up produces a team atmosphere, and when Senior Leaders share organizational news with employees, employees feel as if they are valued members of the team. Your organization will feel more transparent and trustworthy.

Benefits of Daily Line-Up

It may seem like too much of a time commitment to have every employee participate in a daily meeting, but investing a few minutes every day will have significant impact on your organization. After attending a presentation by The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, an employee returned to her organization and implemented a Daily Line-Up. Her boss shared the following feedback: “I have witnessed a complete transformation in our team…and ultimately our clients and prospects are benefitting greatly—which is the true test of any new initiative. It has simply been remarkable. Today was our 22nd day of Line-Ups! We have officially made it a habit, and it has been, without exaggerating at all, the best habit we have implemented in the 25 years I have been founder and CEO of my firm!” Daily Line-Ups benefit employees as well as customers or patients. If your organization would like to strengthen a culture of legendary service and increase employee engagement and organizational trust—don’t wait 25 years. Start your Daily Line-Ups today. 

The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center offers advisory services, courses and presentations to organizations that wish to benchmark the award-winning business practices of The Ritz-Carlton. Your organization can learn about The Ritz-Carlton methodology for customer service, employee engagement and leadership development. We also guide organizations through a multi-step process in order to achieve sustainable culture transformation.