First off, I want to thank Mark and Mike for their great site and podcast and for all the great tools they've given me so far. Like the promise at the beginning of the podcast, I have gained tools that I could put to use today (and have)!

I am a manager at a large retail location and have 150 members on my team. Essentially I have 8 direct reports and I've already spoken to them all individually about the upcoming one-on-one process and that they were going to be all scheduled for these weekly in their calendars. Already the response I've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.

My only concern is this: Being a 24 hour operation I make my schedule very flexible so that I'm able to see everyone "regularly," however, it is still a challenge to be able to see everyone for more than 1-2 shifts a week. In hearing Mark's advice about doing the Tuesday/Thursday scheduling to be open to rescheduling, something occured to me: If I need to reschedule a One-on-One with one of my directs for any reason, I'm not sure how easy that will be given the tightness of all our schedules. The overlaps are not as frequent as I'd like them to be.

Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself but I want to make this system work 100%.

I wanted to know if anyone else is in a similar position and has any tips for me going into this about how to make the One-on-One process successful in this situation. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to make the process work but given the nature of business I'm worried that things will come up that will make rescheduling a challenge.

Thanks in advance! :)

MikeK's picture

I wouldn't worry about his too much chefelf. Starting them and keeping them going everytime possible that they work is all that you need. Show some committment on your side that you are upholding them or at least always trying to reschedule, I'm sure your directs will understand.

I have directs that do to a fair bit of field work and onsite commissioning, I regulary miss one of my O3s in a week. It has not been a problem at all, we either reschedule that week if it works or wait till next week.

Just go with it and see how it works!

nathanbeaudry's picture

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm going to go foward and see how it goes. Like I said, I've already gotten very positive feedback about even considering to do this so I have a good feeling that it's going to make communications that much better.

Thanks again. :)

Mark's picture


Mike has it right. And, my guidance about Tues/Thurs is much more meant for a standard workweek, versus the special challenges you have in a 24/7 operation. Do whatever works for you, and do your best to stick to it, and you'll be fine. Your team will give you silent feedback about whether they perceive you to be walking your talk about 1on1s.

Good luck, keep us posted, and glad you've already gotten some positive feedback. (I remember when I started them, hearing the same thing, and thinking, "all those lost years!")

It's a privilege!


nathanbeaudry's picture

Thanks again for your help. I've scheduled all the one-on-ones. I'll post here with any insight I can offer for my particular situation. I think it should be fine provided I take extra care in how I write all of their schedules going forward.

Thanks again! :)

nathanbeaudry's picture

I'd just like to announce that I'm wrapping up my second round (or week) of One-on-Ones and it's gone amazingly well. I'd gotten a lot of positive feedback just announcing the new process and actually going through the process with some of my directs for two weeks in a row I can really see the whole thing coming together.

It's in this second week, referring back to last week's notes and following up on projects, status, etc. that the power of the One-on-One is really becoming clear. It's allowing me, already, to be so much more effective and most importantly allowing communication to operate so much more efficiently throughout my entire team.

Given my 24 hour/7 day operation it's required a great deal of rescheduling and planning but it's been worth every second so far!


Mark's picture


Well done you! Glad it's going so well. Your referencing the "second week effect" is something I haven't talked about before on Manager Tools, and what a huge miss! It's a key selling point, and after living with this concept for 15 years, sometimes concepts fall through my mind's cracks.

Thanks for reminding everyone of the value.


nathanbeaudry's picture

It had a huge impact. I was exactly like the people you mentioned on the podcast. I thought, "Well, I talk to my directs all the time." Maybe so, but the format here with the regularly scheduled meetings, following the same format every time is so much more effective.

I mentioned this concept to a peer and he had the same reaction: "Well, I do that already." I didn't have any luck trying to convince him that this was different.

When I told my boss about this new system I could tell by the look in her eyes that she did not think this was a great idea. However, she reluctantly supported me.

Given that our directs and their performance should be treated like projects and that we are measured on their successes and failures, I can't think of a better, faster and more effective way of developing their skills, talents and effectiveness than by doing one-on-ones.

Being a coach/mentor/trainer is not something that comes naturally to me but I find through one-on-ones I am able to help coach my direct reports so much more naturally than ever before.

Mark's picture

Here's a thought for you: If your team loves it, ask one or two who can handle this suggestions to drop a hint to your boss that they are loving it, and mention a couple of things that have gotten better because of it.

THAT is subtle political persuasion: sweet.


nathanbeaudry's picture

I think I will do just that. :)