I've decided to take the plunge and get started with one on ones.

I've been listening to the podcasts for a while now and thinking along the lines of "once I know a bit more I will start" (DiSC profile anyone??) basically a bit of procastination. I wont be able to do O3's weekly as my directs work shifts so best I can hope for is three weeks in five.
I have around 15 people who should get these meetings, but so its not so daunting and because my structure allows me to, I've decided to start with 5 of them. So today I started to mention that I was revamping certain things we do and one of the things I was introducing was one on one meetings.
I am working on M&M's intro email with a few tweaks so I can introduce the idea of feedback at the same time. Its something we do very poorly and usually only when its bad feedback.
We have a daily debrief meeting which is usually a rambling affair. This is my first target with a fairly fixed agenda, a fixed start time and a fixed duration. Hopefully this will be a painless intoduction for everyone into the idea of change, and crisp meetings.
My target for the O3 email is Thursday 16th with a start date of Tuesday 29th May.
(There I've said it, made a commitment etc :) )

Wish me luck

Mark's picture
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First, I like your avatar. Sweet.

Second, WELL DONE on moving forward! Look forward to hearing of O3 success.

Third, some issues with your approach. I'll just address the ... "semantics". :wink:

- Your folks working in shifts is not the reason you "won't" do one on ones weekly. It's your lack of willingness to come in when they're working.

- Your "structure" isn't what "allows" you to "start with 5". It's your choice. And starting with a small group can be VERY dangerous. Watch for misunderstandings about "why them".

- Why are you mixing O3 and feedback introductions? Unnecessarily complex.

Keep us posted!


attmonk's picture

Thanks for the feedback Mark, I will definately keep posting.

To run through and try and explain a little more:

I am introducing feedback at the same time simply because no one is used to hearing the phrase "May I give you some feedback?"
All I was trying to achieve was a "look out for me saying this as I believe it will help us". How could I do it better?

I could come in when the guys are working nights and achieve a possible four weeks out of five, and if I think it will make the process better then I will. Part of their shift is a week off so I'll usually miss that one. Is it worth doing a night shift to get one O3 done?

We are working on a possible restrucutre based around changes in workload caused by changes is legislation and systems, this may lead to a different reporting structure. Currently I have the 5 guys I am starting with as directs, the others report in to my directs strictly speaking. Thats how I got the starting 5 guys.
We are an operational team and my directs and skips (5 of each) have very different jobs so for a lot of the time the skips report into me and look to me for guidance on the new legislation and systems (my directs are somewhat removed from these things). Even if the structure doesnt change I am thinking of doing O3's with these skips. Is this a good idea?

The other 5 are maintenance guys who also report into my office a lot, again I think it would be beneficial doing O3's with these guys. Another good idea?

What I wanted to avoid was a stuttering start where I overwhelmed myself with meetings and ended up missing some. I thought getting the routine established and then expanding it would be more likely to succeed.

I would love to hear you opinions again.


juliahhavener's picture
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My team of 15 work varied shifts. When you say 'night' shift, do they come in after you leave for the day each day of the week? How do the shifts rotate? If only five are your direct reports, then only five should have your O3 time. Part of their development should be to institute O3s with *their* directs.

It does sound like your group [i]needs[/i] some restructuring based on what you are saying. Even so, weekly O3s with YOUR direct reports should be the goal. Could you run a split shift one day a week to keep it weekly? How about a phone O3?

In my particular situation, I have mine bi-weekly. On off weeks, I do individual coaching (in the same time slot their O3s are in). This allows me focus on the basis of their actual work (call center coaching) and the individual (O3). Because my evening guys come in before I leave, I schedule my Tuesdays and Thursdays as my 'long' or 'late' days depending on what else i need to do. This allows me to see my evening folks late in the day after they come in and my daytime folks in the morning/early afternoons. Only one person on the team has a weekly O3 - he is my team lead, so instead of O3/coaching flips, we have a weekly O3.

While scheduling can be interesting, it has not been a problem yet. My team is extremely happy to have dedicated Julia time. They keep me to my schedule (eliminating problems of my not sticking to the schedule). In instances where they have taken a day off, they are very quick to ask me to reschedule.

Last O3 week I had to shift an entire afternoon due to a visit from an outside office group. I moved half of them to the day before, the other half to the day after - only one was moved to the next Monday because of conflicts in her schedule within my available time slots (I made all of Friday afternoon open for O3s when this happened).

While I've been using the feedback model previously, I hadn't taken the time to explain it to everyone in details. In our last O3s, that was one of my points to discuss. It doesn't have to go that way, you could roll it out in your weekly meeting, if only your directs attend.

Mark's picture
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Yes, it's worth coming in at night for one O3. You don't have to stay for the whole shift, but you could. I would.

I get the "5" thing. You only need to do 5 O3s, and after a couple of months, ask them to do them with THEIR directs. (Unless you're saying you write everyone's review, in which case I recommend all 15.) but if they are skips, no O3s with them.

I don't care for waiting ANYTHING EVER on "restructurings". Bad results you turn in won't go down any easier when you say, "well, I was waiting for the restructure." Not on my watch, says the Executive Dark Mark . We're not getting paid to restructure.

Just go. And leave out the feedback thing for a couple months. One on Ones.

Discover what's really going on out there in the jungle.


attmonk's picture

Thanks a lot guys

Feedback takes a back seat for a while, I'll start and bring it in to O3 meeting in a few weeks.

As a company we dont do annual reviews (!!) but if we did then I would write them for everybody.

I finish work anywhere between 4 and 5 PM usually and my night shift starts at 10PM. Im sure I could work a way of doing an O3 with the night guy.

Appreciate the help guys


**edit** A bit of thought at work this morning, I usually arrive early at around 6:30 so if I make the effort and arrive at around 5AM I can do an O3 with my night guy. Thanks Mark, whats that quote..."Look for problems in ever increasing concentic circles around your own desk" Too right!!

attmonk's picture

Does a one on one have to be in my environment, can it be where my directs work?

I share my office with a collegue so its not really private, would the one on one be as effictive if I go to my directs desk and do the meeting there?

Mark's picture
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Did you listen to the cast?



attmonk's picture

I did, in fact I just went over the first part again. What did I miss?

Mark's picture
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We didn't say you couldn't. The only proscription regarding locale is NOT IN PUBLIC. That is to say, not private is okay.

Meet wherever you like. Walks around the building work for some.


attmonk's picture

Great, thanks. As these meetings will have to be different times of day according to the shift the guys are on, I'll let that kind of decided where we can meet.

attmonk's picture

Invite emails sent out this morning, so at least I'm on track.

I used the sample email and very nearly missed the fact that it doesnt include anything on when the meetings will start as I was focusing on the content.

DGSchmidt's picture



I am reviewing our One on One plans within our company (medium sized Transit Property).  My boss has instructed my level to conduct monthly O3's.  As we all know, this is not highly recommended by the MT team. 

My question is more along any ideas to make them fit our shift schedules.  At my level, there is a team of myself and 2 others (equal responsibility, rotating days/nights 3 week rotation).  We share 5 full time and 7 part time directs.  (the part time directs have full time positions with us as skips and can not take time from that job in any regular way) The shifts that the directs  work vary drastically between days and nights, shift rotation and there are a couple of the members who I only see twice over 3 weeks.  Also, my duties are very flexible, but do require me to respond to issues such as accidents or other incidents.  My schedule is not very full, because it is mostly open to react to the day's events.

We tried to initiate a system of 'unscheduled' O3's to be taken  at times of opportunity from any of my level, whenever they could get one of our directs to agree to sit down with us.  It has not worked very well.

Has anyone out there had a similar situation with such a loose system?  I would like to propose to my boss that we be assigned some directs even though we work with all.  That way we could at least try to do a 'every 3rd week' start-up plan.  If each of my level were to do a O3 with each of our directs, each week, I believe we would be overdoing this concept, however, if it works for someone, I would throw that up too!  We need to come up with something that works most of all.

 So far, I am intending to follow the MT way and get this system up and running!

Thanks for your thoughts!



kddonath's picture

 Andy - from one high C to another: that fact that you're jumping in and dealing with the messy side of O3's and feedback is great.  Keep it up!