I was at an internal manager meeting today discussion some recent employee survey results. One of the low spots from our employees was on training and employee development. I shared a quick overview of the trinity: How goals are set, feedback given, and using weekly one-on-ones to help things keep moving along. My directs love it.

The reaction I got from my peers underscored the importance to do one-on-ones more frequently. "I've got 20 directs. I can't spend 10 hours of my week doing one-on-ones." It's probably no surprise that they are doing O3s monthly or even quarterly. Many of our (resource/functional) managers are also project managers, which is something I've never completely understood. Now here's the kicker... we CLAIM (using my best Mark Horstman voice) that we value our employees, but the behaviors aren't backing up those claims.

So, what do I do?... As a first level manager, I am going to try and influence by example. I stated what I do and how well it works. My peers just don't seem to be willing to listen and/or admit that they've got a lot (possibly too many) directs and don't do O3s frequently enough.

On the whiteboard of ideas, at least one bullet said "more frequent follow-ups". Is there anything more I can do to help improve the way employees are treated?

tlhausmann's picture
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[quote="ctomasi"]My peers just don't seem to be willing to listen and/or admit that they've got a lot (possibly too many) directs and don't do O3s frequently enough.[/quote]

Hmmm. Is it possible your suggestions are interpreted as implied criticism of their managerial style and time management? Tear a page from Dale Carnegie and remember criticism makes people defensive and resentful.

I try to not point out the flaws in another operation since I have so many ways to improve my own. For me, O3s have made a tremendous improvement in team performance. Fewer projects are slipping and I am better able to track status without the office visits and email.

Whether others are noticing, I do not know. If anyone asks me then I will tell them how our effectiveness has improved.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"

MsSunshine's picture

[b]Bottom line[/b] Keep doing what you are doing. Make it easy for them to change their position later - don't criticize others but give help/suggestions at openings or when some come to ask. The fact is that some managers just don't want to behave differently and you won't change them - only your company can decide if it wants to keep them!

Seriously, I'm in the same situation but maybe a few months further ahead. What I have noticed is that my peers are starting go from saying it's impossible to asking how I manage it or coming to me on the side for help with their issues. A friend who is a manager - but really shouldn't be - finally admitted to me that he really doesn't want to do the "people stuff" like 03's, coaching, development, etc. He really wants to just have the power. Not surprisingly, 4 of his people have left in 6 months (he's been a manager of a group for a year) and no one internally applies for those spots. His survey numbers are bad. People complain on exit interviews. He keeps coming to me for advice but really doesn't want to do it. He's a technical person who thinks being the manager is the only step up. I think he should go back to being technical only but he thinks that's a loss of power. It's sad because it's not really what he wants. Anyway..

I know from my friends & their friends that my boss and directs are spreading the word to their friends who are asking for better management from their boss and their bosses boss. Some of the managers who said they couldn't possibly do 03's because they had too many people are having their teams split into halves - which doesn't make them happy - so it will be interesting to see if they start doing more then.

ctomasi's picture

Tom, thanks. Sometimes we sound "offensive" without trying - my wife and I run in to that a lot at home. I'm trying to soften my delivery on certain things (at work and home.) It's hard to control sometimes when you see a problem, have a solution -and are passionate about it, and it gets poo-poo'd.

It sounds like we're in a similar situation. I'll continue to lead by example. Thanks.