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[quote]Was quite impressed with p'cast of One on Ones. Decided to use in my work place. Though you all speak of "Direct Reports", I have only two, but have decided to have these intense meetings with all associates of mine (about 10). Working great so far after one day, can't wait 'till my next meeting with more. (Can't believe how easy to implement and the joy and reception I have recieved from the associates), just doing them. Have conveyed to them, it is about them, not me or our company, and it is going super so far.[/quote]

Finished first round of O3's, all where very productive and recieved very well. As I said before, I have only 2 "Direct Reports", and it was a wise decision to include all of my people in the One On One process. The meetings provided some very interesting items, and believe it or not, 7 out of 7, and one actually a "Direct Report" generated the same theme.
Everyone of them had some kind of critism/complaint/or general observations of my #1 assistant (their Superior, in the chain of command).

[u]Is this what one should expect having One On Ones[/u]? Obviously, my associates (I think), are pretty much loyal to me and feel they can tell me all, right? I could give some details if needed, but this person is very productive when "[b]I AM PRESENT[/b]" and just find it hard to believe everything said about him. All comments generated from O3's were when [b]I AM NOT THERE[/b].

[u]Does it sound like all my associates are out to get him[/u]?

To add fuel to this smoldering fire, my superior calls me and asks questions like "How is he doing" Sounds like I am in the middle eh?
At this time, I seek the advice of all you wise and experienced leaders, what should I do?

Thanks,
Joe
:o

Mark's picture

Joe-

I don't think I understand the relationships here. You said you only have 2 directs... who are these "associates"? Are they peers/equivalent in rank to you? Do they report to your directs? And what ARE they saying about the person in question?

Mark

jmpacek's picture

Would be happy to share this with you. I am the manager of a Retail Drug store. I have 2 assistants, my "Direct Reports" as you all call them. The other associates, [b]are our workers[/b], in this case cashiers/stockers. The people who actually get the daily work done. I believe from listening to one of your podcasts, you call them "skips". These associates are a very important part of the organization, and I felt including them in the O3's was in my best interest. Hope that is enough info to get started.

General theme is this person is lazy, does nothing to help store, refuses (at least the word used) to assist my associates when problems arise, always on cell phone or landline, takes long lunches, leaves the store leaving no management person on premises. Always leaves earlier than scheduled. Now this is all from memory as my "notes" as you say are required for O3's, and they are in my office.

Now understand, all of this happens when [u]I am not there[/u]. I can suspect he will not be around very long once confronted with this, but he was hired by my superior with the intention of becoming a manager (as I do not hire Salaried Management) As I said previously, I find this hard to believe. I consider him a very important part of my team.

Hope this helps :!:

Mark's picture

First. I would be VERY likely to agree with what's being suggested about this person. It's too common to dismiss comments like this if they are widespread.

But...surely you can think of ways to check up on this?

As well, if the associates work for the assistants (right?), why aren't the assistants having one on ones with the associates? Do you write all reviews? For all intents and purposes, does everyone report to you?

Mark

jmpacek's picture

Yes there are ways of checking up on some of these, but I live an hour and 15 minutes from work, (spend 2-1/2 hours commuting) plus being there 10 to 12 hours a day. Guess will need to get very creative.

The people do report/answer to my assistants. If you recall from original post, in the quote, I just started these O3's by your recommendations just this week.
And yes, I do write the reviews and everyone reports to me.

Joe

Mark's picture

Joe-

Thanks. Okay, everyone can't report to both your assistants and you. Since you write their reviews, they all report to you. My point with that was that I wondered why you were doing O3s with skips, when we recommend specifically against that. Your associates are not skips since they report to you. Your assistants are just that, not full fledged managers.

Under these circumstances, you need to give feedback to your assistants. "When you engage in behavior that causes comments like these to be made...." "here's what happens..."

Watch for their response, any sort of retribution (fire them on the spot), and for a genuine effort to change. Your associates, if you do trust them, gave you a big vote of confidence by telling you this (they believe you'll do something). As long as you believe they're not out to get a genuinely competent and professional assistant, then give the feedback.

If you expect heat from up top, I encourage you to think of ways to be certain, regardless of how far away you live. Shorten your hours a couple of days one week, then come in on your off day. Ask someone to mystery shop the store. Call in and ask for the assistant without identifying yourself, and measure how long it takes to get through. Ask for more specific examples from your team - dates, times, what the assistant was doing versus supposed to be doing. Shouldn't be that hard.

And, believe in your assistant as well. Maybe they're scared or uncertain. Give adjusting feedback, and if they change, give affirming feedback. Don't assume one set of bad behaviors is a death knell. Tell them you'll work with them on these things, so that they can be more effective.

Hope this helps. It's a privilege to serve you.

Mark