With recent down sizing I just inherited 18 directs.

Now I have a total of 34. This seems overwhelming to start doing one on ones.

Weekly meeting seem unlikely, I don't know/

I haven't started O3's, but I have been making plans to get started before in my staff doubled.

Any suggestions on how to handle this large group?

I'm also in a technical repair business, where most techs would rather be left alone.

Peter.westley's picture
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I thought that Who’s on first, What’s on second, and I Don’t Know’s on third... *

[couldn't resist that]

But seriously, I had 20 directs at one stage and that was _just_ manageable doing weekly 30-minute O3s.

34 weekly O3s means 17 hours - or half the working week - assuming you have other work to do, that would probably be pretty difficult and exhausting - not to mention timing for the shift workers.

You could consider a couple of options:

  • bi-weekly O3s - it's not as effective but a generally accepted way of dealing with large numbers of directs
  • introduce some structure to your group - i.e. make a couple of directs into team leads or similar and delegate some people management responsibilities to them - of course you would have to have the authority to do this. And of course they would be selected on their ability to be effective in that part of their role. You would probably have to take these individuals and coach them but it would be time well invested.
  • making O3s shorter - say 15 minutes

As for techs wanting to be left alone, too bad for them. You're the manager, you get to choose how the team is run and that includes having O3s with all of them because it's the single most effective management tool there is..


-- Peter

DISC: 2564

* from a famous Abbott and Costello skit

Darrell's picture
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34 people on three shifts reporting directly to you with no one in between -- (info from another forum posting).  That is a very wide span of control if they all report to you *directly*.  Are you sure there aren't team leaders for each shift or some other grouping?

You can't work 24/7, and I am guessing that you do not have entire shifts left unsupervised.  That makes me think that there are some team leads / shift supervisors.  My proposal is that have your One on One's with 3 or 4 shift supervisors and encourage them to have one on one's with their directs (the 34 tech repair crew). 

34 one on ones is too many in a single week.  Even divided in half for biweekly is a full roster. 

In the other post you referenced that there were stress & mgr leaves left unfilled.  If the company is cutting back that deeply, you may need to have a challenging conversation with them.   It is a deep demand to ask to have 34 people directly reporting to you.  Perhaps they would entertain a proposal from you about establishing shift supervisors / leads. 

Your company has put a great deal of responsibility on you.  Have a frank discussion with your one-up manager.  Your manager will listen, because their nightmare scenario is having an extra 34 more directs reporting to him when you leave (especially if some of them are cantankerous).