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Old 10-21-2014, 01:41 PM
 
2,117 posts, read 2,517,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPowering1 View Post
If an employee wishes to meet with me I've never refused them, but when I was a front line manager with 90 reports, it would have been foolish to regularly schedule a monthly meeting with each of them, particularly since it would have meant more than a week of meetings each month. I already knew what they were doing, I was there with my sleeves rolled up directing traffic. I always had an open door policy, so it wasn't an issue.

NO company would support a manager spending that kind of time meeting with people who directly report to them.
That's a structural issue. 90 direct reports is insane.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:48 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,279 posts, read 3,730,809 times
Reputation: 4001
It's part of the normal workplace culture nearly everywhere I've ever worked. Weekly or Bi-weekly one-on-one's are the norm at my current company.

Mine are typically 15 minutes - sometimes we have to extend or schedule a followup meeting a day later if we run out of time and there's something important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veuvegirl View Post
Exactly! It is interesting what a negative connotation this has among so many. Almost every company I have worked for I have had a standing 1:1 with my boss, either weekly or bi-monthly. It's important for not only communication, but for those employees who need relationships to feel successful in their job.

I have a standing 1:1 with my boss, sometimes we cancel it when neither of us has anything important. You may want to check the company culture and see what others are doing. I think it is a valuable tool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by almost3am View Post
They are required monthly at my company, they are helpful if laid out correctly to focus on progress towards goals so everyone is on the same page.

Yup! They're also a great way to ensure that nothing on an annual performance review is ever a surprise.

Surprised at the hostility some have towards the idea of regular one-on-ones. They've a valuable career development tool! It's great to ensure you have regular face time with your manager. It also enables your manager to know what all of their direct reports are working on, their accomplishments, etc. (In my case, since I work independently and my manager doesn't delegate work to me or supervise my work directly, it's important and useful for him to have this window of insight into what I'm doing, the blockers I am dealing with, etc.)
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:08 PM
Status: "Busy being triggered by pumpkins" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Suburb of Chicago
17,367 posts, read 8,548,684 times
Reputation: 18100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
That's a structural issue. 90 direct reports is insane.
And so was I. It was one of those 'we're hiring you to clean up the mess' opportunities that I so love (seriously) and I had to fire three of the four supervisors unexpectedly and put the fourth on probation. I put teams in place with team leaders to act as a temporary buffer but until I could get a grasp on what was going on, everyone reported to me.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:29 PM
Status: "working!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
33 posts, read 25,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
Any manager that does not have 30 minutes per month to meet with an employee is not a good manager. Most importantly, these meetings can deal with small issues before they become big problems. Every good manager I have had has initiated this type of recurring meeting. The poor ones did not and, not surprisingly, we terrible at communicating with their employees and dealing with problems.
Amen Arthur, amen, as a IT manager, I tell my group, if even I look dead (lack of coffee), you can ask me a question for that exact reason.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:24 PM
 
Location: GA
399 posts, read 426,570 times
Reputation: 1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wry_Martini View Post
They're also a great way to ensure that nothing on an annual performance review is ever a surprise.
I have never, ever had an employee who was surprised at what is on a performance evaluation without meeting with them twice a month. Not one. I don't catch anyone by surprise. I call attention to every mistake before it becomes a BIG mistake. I ensure everyone is trained to MY satisfaction, which happens to be a higher satisfaction than that of my employer.

In fact, my employees will tell you that IF I'm meeting with you twice a month, you shouldn't be surprised that eventually you won't HAVE a performance evaluation because you'd have lost your job for poor performance. I'm not a babysitter.

8-5, walk in my office ANY. TIME. YOU. WANT. If i'm not there, leave me a post it or an email and you'll be sitting in there when I get back and I'm available. The only time I'm NOT available? Between 5pm and 8am and on weekends and holidays.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
3,423 posts, read 2,818,158 times
Reputation: 5888
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmk31088 View Post
Yeah, I don't have time for that. I don't like to babysit my employees. If you have a specific question or issue, let's deal with that but twice a month which usually never ends up being 15 minutes but more like 30 or 45 just because you need a short work therapy session?

No.
Pfft: sometimes people need therapy. Others don't. I've managed orgs large and small. Alienate people, they leave. I've made that error. I wised up. A strong manager time-boxes it all pretty clearly, keeping control of the meeting. Higher up a manager goes, more precious (his, her) time is. Employees can be taught that. Box in a half-hour with a clear agenda, stick to it, people will respect it AND have a chance to air their grievances.

That whole top-down management style no longer works, with Millennials especially. Worked for a guy like that about 1.5 years, not all that long ago, who should have known better. Brilliant, but more of a crisis leader than inspirational. Oddly, he works for the same company I do now. They'll crush him, next couple years, because that dog does not hunt for those who are actually successful and moving up in a company. He'll stay exactly where he is until hell freezes over, because that's one-trick-pony behavior.

My current firm has a small army of human factors and organizational analysis type people, and the money to pay for what they don't know. They study employer-employee interactions thoroughly. Those who feel they are part of a team, something larger than themselves, are by the averages higher performers. Small example: every quarter they have a "lunch with leadership" event for new employees. The event in our division is led by a vice president, meaning someone bringing in roughly a million dollars (salary, bonuses, options) per year, with a billion or multi-billion dollar (revenue) portfolio they're responsible for. At least. Other attendees are some of the dozen or so general managers reporting to said-VP. They make themselves available, and remain at-minimum on a nodding acquaintance with ALL employees in their org. That makes it pretty clear that each and every hire is an important and valuable contributor to that billion or more in revenue.

On the other hand, employees who shirk and hide from 1:1s probably aren't terribly high performance, in my experience. They've usually got stuff going on under the radar. More issues than LIFE Magazine, turns out, 9/10 times. Not team players. Get oudda here, back to the closet. A good manager can ferret that out, too, using methods both subtle and not.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,176 posts, read 5,412,896 times
Reputation: 2067
I work in the tech industry and I have weekly 1:1 meetings with my manager. I like the meetings and find them to be productive. We also work (fairly) closely together and communicate often, so we use the 1:1 time specifically to talk about anything I want to talk about -- usually ideas that I have for roadmap/future projects, but sometimes I'll have questions or other thoughts/issues I feel like talking about.

My manager has two direct reports -- me and one other person, so it's not like he's managing a team of 40.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:19 PM
Status: "Busy being triggered by pumpkins" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Suburb of Chicago
17,367 posts, read 8,548,684 times
Reputation: 18100
Some of you who are posting that people can come and talk to you whenever they'd like, or have regularly scheduled meetings if there are problems - are completing missing the point. Those are not the same as having regularly scheduled 30 minute meetings with everyone on your staff. You're comparing apples and oranges.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,875 posts, read 28,154,657 times
Reputation: 25988
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPowering1 View Post
See, now you're misunderstanding my post in the same exact way I misunderstood mochamajesty's post.

Middle managers would want to meet with their boss, I'm not saying they wouldn't. What I'm saying is if you have thirty people reporting to that middle manager, there is no need for that manager to meet regularly with each of them.
30 people reporting to one manager? That is ridiculous! What industry is that common. Everyone i know is way overwhelmed with 7-10 reports.
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