My organisation follows a Matrix Style Org Structure. I am a Functional Manager responsible for hiring, training and managing performance for about 20-25 people comprising Permanent, Contract and Consultancy staff. I also own & manage certain initiatives/projects under my functional area. My directs work in different project teams and report to their team leads on a day to day basis. This makes it very difficult (in fact I have very little clue) for me to be up to date with the happenings in their teams and also to know about their individual performance/work. Sometimes I feel that I kind of don’t have the necessary management control over my directs and I have been seriously thinking about this.
I would be keen to get answers/ideas for the following,
- Would One on Ones help in this situation, should I be conducting one on ones though I don’t control their day to day work?
- Should O3S be conducted for the Contract and Consultancy employees as well? They are an integral part of our org really.
- Conducting O3s with 20-25 people needs to too much time, planning and effort really, may be I should do them bi weekly? Also their project schedules and meetings usually take priority as it affects their day to day work, so there will be plenty of situations where I might have to reschedule/cancel my O3S – multiple that by 20-25.
- My Most important question is What do I talk in these one on ones, especially if it is for 30 minutes.
- Generally I like to talk to the point and do not like fluff. So talking about something in the air for 20-30 minutes is not my kind of style. But I totally appreciate the fact the good relationships can only be built by regularly talking to people.
- If I leave the meeting open for my directs to talk, the chances are most of them will have nothing to say and might in fact start disliking these meetings and not turn up. Like anywhere there are different kinds of people from different parts of the world with different personalities (it includes some difficult people as well). So I am very nervous about how the meetings would go. The last thing I want is my directs to get frustrated about these meetings
- I am also concerned that even if some of my directs might have stuff about their work which they can talk for 10 mins, but when it comes to my 10 minutes I am not sure if I would have stuff to talk about which is directly related to them/their work (As I don’t oversee their work). In which case I would be at loss of words really.
- I am also worried people might not see the value of these meetings as I am not sure if they are going to get anything positively from this – especially week on week. I am a democratic manager and don’t like to force people into doing something and especially when I am personally not convinced that they are going to gain something from it on a regular basis.
I find it a bit tricky to be managing people without involving in their day to day work but at the same time I have an appreciation for a Matrix style structure as I think it’s scalable and beneficial for the company. It’s my role that’s becoming a challenge – mainly from a people management perspective. Would be interesting to learn everyone’s thoughts on this situation.