One simple thing we did was change the standard questions of "what you worked on yesterday", "what you are working on today", and "what are your blockers?". As you mentioned, it was a stale routine and statuses varied. Blockers were rarely or never mentioned. I think the word "blocker" has a negative connotation to it so it can be uncomfortable to mention it when everyone is staring at you.
My feedback to my team was that I don't care what you worked on or what you are going to work on today. This was not meant in a harsh way, but knowing what someone is working on did not seem to help the team in any way. What I do care about is what I can do to help the team make progress. That doesn't need to be a "blocker", it can be something less significant like getting something reviewed or having a quick chat about something.
We changed the question to "what do you need from the team? If nothing, what can you help with?" and that seems to be working much better.
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