When I stepped in to lead a software development group, I initiated O3s with my directs and asked that they perform O3s with their directs for a trial period.
I have received positive feedback from many on the team, but one of my skip-level, senior software engineers complained that the O3s with his manager (my direct) are a waste of time. It's worth noting that he's matrixed to project manager outside of my group.
The engineer cited the following complaints for weekly O3s (preferring occasional, unscheduled discussions):
- "My functional manager is only here to sign forms, such as vacation requests."
- "I provide status to my project manager. Why does my functional manager need to know status too? A project should have only one customer (project manager, not the functional manager too)."
- "The relationship with my functional manager is fine. I don't need to improve it."
- "Maybe O3s are useful for junior engineers, but as a senior engineer, I don't need any help or guidance from my functional manager."
- "O3s are a waste of time. A half hour a week for a whole year means three full days in extra meetings."
Do you have suggestions of how to make the O3s more effective for employees who think that they're a waste of time?