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I know what the guys say about weekly 1:1s and I implemented them with success when I had a team of 6 directs.  I just listened to part 1 of the latest podcast but I'm still wondering what's best for my specific situation.

For the last year or so I've had a team of 15 directs that are all remote (as I am as well).  The team works mostly regular business hours but frequently they have nights and weekends when they're working as well.  I've typically allowed (encouraged) "compensation time" for the time they put into nights/weekends.

Since my team grew to 15 I slide back into old bad habits and did the basic 1 hour monthly 1:1 which isn't accomplishing what I loved about weekly 1:1s - namely the feeling of being much better connected with members of the team (and they with me).

Unfortunately given the number of directs, the travel time I need to take and the volume of other internal and external meetings I'm in, I just can't see being able to consistently pull off 15 1:1s each week.

Given my situation, what's the collective guidance here on doing 1:1s every OTHER week with my team?

AndrewLighten's picture

I'd question the basic idea that one person can manage 15 directs. One-on-Ones aren't the issue here! 

4jdunne's picture

I love this post because I have an almost identical problem.  I work for a very large company in the US who does the majority of their work via teleconference and remote teams are the norm.  I myself have 15 folks and struggle to keep up with all the items on my plate including my directs.  How do we make the best of this situation since we cannot make it ideal.  The expectations in my company have changed and I have to figure out how to roll with those changes.

We live in Instant Messenging and use a daily chat room for the entire team to keep abreast of issues and work toghether.  We also meet daily for 15 minutes in a 'huddle' to get everyone on the same page, hear each others voices, etc.

I'd love other ideas to help me keep up in this fast paced environment.

Thanks,

mtietel's picture

Phone O3s work just fine.  I had some folks half-way round the world (11.5 hours time difference) and weekly 30 minute phone O3s worked well.  When I traveled there, weekly 30-minute phone O3s back to my folks here worked fine as well.

I missed an O3 with someone last week due to an operational crisis and I can feel the difference in that direct's space...  I'm convinced that by doing O3s I save more than 30-minutes of fire-fighting per week with each direct.  Not making time for O3s is false economy.

As an alternative have an O3 with each direct every 2 weeks.  Once a month is far too infrequent.

williamz's picture

Unfortunately this won't change anytime soon in my organization.  It definitely won't go any higher but reductions aren't likely.

williamz's picture

It's simply the time it takes for 15 each week that isn't practical in my situation given other mandatory meetings and typical travel.

Is anyone doing bi-weekly O3s and feels it going well?