I just started a new job this past Monday (thank you, Interview Series!) and I went from 10 directs at my prior job to 24 at my new job.  I have a supervisor on the team underneath me, but he is not in charge of writing evaluations and everyone actually reports up to me.  He's just more of a lead/go-to guy when the lower level folks don't know how to proceed on an issue.

Should I roll down some of the team and teach my supervisor how to have one on ones, or should I just assume responsibility for meeting with all 24 directs?  That's 12 hours of one on ones a week, unless I move to biweekly which I want to avoid if I can. 

If I roll down one on ones (and eventually the entire trinity) to my supervisor, how do I deliniate which directs meet with him and which meet with me?

DesmondJ's picture


I have about 28 people in my group but I do not provide direct supervision over everyone because in my case it is impossible in terms of time and logistics.  However, since there are functional areas/groups, there is one "senior or higher level " person in each group.  This person became my "Direct" and I meet with them on what I try to make a weekly basis.

While these people may not officially "supervise" the other staff, they coordinate the work, are responsible for the output of the functional group, can delegate down and understand the details of the work.  They also have better relationships because they work more closely together. 

I occassionally meet with the direct + group but have not done it frequently enough.

Only one of the directs has initiated O3s and i have provided guidance and support.  The rest I am not pushing for official O3s, but I request information regarding the output of the unit and try to keep things moving in the correct direction.

While having weekly O3s with all 28 would be great in terms of building relationships, I wouldn't be able to do any other work. 

Good luck


mfculbert's picture

 Although it is not ideal I believe that having o3's every other week with each member is better than trying to cover them all every week. Worse yet would be not doing o3s. I have 13 directs and weekly o3s is taxing. I could theoretically put a couple more in each week but not many more than 15 or 16.

Over time, as your crew becomes more comfortable you may want to hand down some of the o3s to your lead go-to-guy. I don't recommend that until you have a good track record and know the procedures fairly well.

fredique's picture

I would try to develop the reporting supervisor to such level, that he could run O3's himself. That would give you some extra time for the rest of the team and a chance to build up your bench.
At the same time, having 24 O3's a week seems to me as a big challenge; I agree with McFulbert that doing some of O3s every other weeks is a possible solution at least until you develop some key positions in the team (e.g. leads for some areas).

Good luck.

jaredavd's picture

Thanks all.

I was able to work a way for the supervisor to take about half of them-- I have three "levels" and I am having the supervisor do level 1 while I do levels 2 and 3.  It has us meeting with everyone weekly and it is working out great so far.

Thomas05's picture

Hello jaredavd & Community,

I´ll start of also in a new Team with 24 directs..
I just listened to the Team Formation – How Big? Cast
Here Mark & Mike talk about 8.. or max 12-14 Directs.. Anyhow.. I don´t have the luck to choose the amount of Directs for now.

I have been Team Lead of 14 People before and did biweekly One on Ones what worked out great for the Team & me.

Considering the increasing amount of people, I still want to do regular One on Ones with the new Team.
Besides.. I will have two Team Leads in this Team.. but as Mark & Mike mentioned in Podcasts before.. you cant outsource Relationships.

A Way I thought of handling the new situation was:
Offer the possibility of biweekly O3´s to all People in the Tea..but make every third week mandatory.. (don´t know yet how to put that in a mail :O)
Like this surly only some (hopefully the top performers :o) would like to meet every other week.
On the other Hand I will still meet at least around 4-5 times each Individual in the Team.

What do you think?
Do you have any other suggestions?