Sometimes we underestimate how difficult a short team meeting can be. Getting everyone together, keeping them focused, and making sure the discussion is productive is no easy task. Unless you're vigilant about bad standup habits, they can become a major waste of everyone's time.

But when they're done right, a daily standup can unite, motivate, and inform the entire organization. The trick is figuring out what's right for your business and your team.

Here are 11 ways different entrepreneurs create successful daily standups:

1. Reduce the frequency of calls

Nobody wants to sit on a call every single day. We only run standups when we're at a critical inflection point in the business. This could be weekly or monthly. We want to have a culture where everyone gets their work done without being checked in on every day. With greater responsibility comes greater productivity and happier employees!--Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

2. Have company stats ready to review ahead of time

We love sharing company statistics at our standups. And while these might be things that everyone could look up, it helps to say them out loud and have people process the information during our daily meetings. That way, if there's a big skew one way or another we can address it head-on instead of letting it fall by the wayside.--Nathalie Lussier, AmbitionAlly

3. Make sure there is accountability

All employees know what they are expected to communicate in our morning huddle. If they aren't prepared or late, everyone notices. Each member of the team needs to be prepared, or the meeting is a waste of time. Employees feel peer-pressured to have what they need at the meeting. If a recurring issue is noticed, their manager addresses it as well.--Angela Harless, AcrobatAnt

4. Start it at the same time every day

We run a company-wide daily huddle, now with nearly 100 employees. The key to this information-sharing session is to start at the same time each day. We begin our huddle at exactly 11:50 a.m., which provides 10 minutes to run through the agenda of good news, numbers, systems, upcoming events, and thank-you's. The meeting leader wraps up the huddle by noon so we can all break for lunch.--David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

5. Establish a 15-minute rule

Studies show that the average person can only give their full, undivided attention for 10-18 minutes at a time. So keep your standup to 15 minutes and make the most of it by splitting the first 10 minutes among those who need to speak, leaving the last few minutes for questions and clarifications. If one topic needs more time than that, it should probably be discussed in-depth after the standup.--Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics

6. Meditate first

We found that doing two minutes of meditation before standups helps everyone focus and clear their mind for improved attention. We do a guided breathing meditation to help everyone find their balance, then we jump into meetings. These have a time limit, a clear objective, and a whiteboarding session so we can take notes and move through quickly and effectively.--Marcela DeVivo, Homeselfe

7. Stick to necessary topics

We have held daily huddles for a long time now, but not until recently did they truly become productive. What did the trick was cutting out all the fluff and leaving only the necessary topics, or the blockers. That is, each person quickly goes over what is or could possibly block them from getting things done that day. It leaves space to work as a team to quickly discover the best solutions. -David Tomas, Cyberclick

8. Set strict rules

Set strict rules for standup. You don't want to waste too much time, so ask your team to be as concise as possible and appoint someone as the "Scrum Master" to really keep everyone in-check and the standup running smoothly. If someone is taking too much time, ask to schedule some time outside of the standup to discuss.--Christopher Swenor, East Coast Product

9. Start with a laugh

A great Scrum Master once taught me a valuable lesson: pique their interest at the start, and leave them feeling motivated. I used this same methodology to create a Scrum environment that starts and ends with fun, but contains a highly productive core. Starting with humor is the quickest way to engage the entire staff, and ending with it gives the team that feeling of euphoria necessary to start the day strong.--Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker

10. Create smaller huddles

We found that having our whole team in a standup was time-consuming and unnecessary. Now we have smaller huddles with each team. Once those huddles are over, team leaders get together for one more huddle to share any pertinent information.--Amy Balliett, Killer Infographics

11. Schedule a customer call right after

Schedule a customer call to follow directly after the meeting. It forces everyone to stay focused because running over isn't an option. -Mike Trevino, Indigenous Software

These are the top results from a survey of entrepreneurs on the topic of employee motivation tips provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Published on: Feb 24, 2016