hi ,

i am a team leader and i hold the one on ones with all of my directs expect for one.

this direct,who is an under performer, received from me only once a negative feedback, and ever since, requested that when we have our one on ones, an HR representative should be an observer.

i held some meetings which involved the HR manager himself, but i couldnt see there is any improvement so far.

to be honest, i find this demand to be a bit strange and it reflects that i cannot have any relationship with this direct any longer. 

my question, how to deal with such situations, that the trust between the manager and the direct is lost? does this means that once this situation is reached- i need to fire this direct when there is no other alternative( transfer, improvements plans etc)?


thanks for any comment



piratedave's picture

 I'm a little confused.  Have you tried to do one-on-one's with an HR rep present?  Or did you just stop once the request came up?

Also - I'm curious if you waited the MT recommended time prior to giving any feedback and then the time recommended prior to throwing a negative feedback in with the positive feedback that you've been giving?

odeddavid's picture

 HI ,

thanks for your reply.

i did the 1:1 with an HR rep present and we held some sessions in this way, but i felt uncomfortable with this situation that i was "dictated" to a certain setup.

furthermore, when we had a PIP closure, we had the HR manager leading the session.

in regards to the feedback, i used the same model towards everyone which proved itself mostly in  high performance, and only this direct felt i was "abusing".

i had one year of 1:1 with this direct and giving only positive feedback and when i used a 3rd party negative feedback, the relationship that i established with the direct stopped.

in all the 1:1 i had with this direct, there was hardly any improvement, but despite that, i was still going to the positive direction of tolerance of the low performance.

when the performance was already highlighted to me by 3rd party and seeing the lack of  improved results of one year despite the relationship i had with this direct, this is when i gave the negative feedback, and the direct internalized it and was looking to contradict our 3rd party( client) feedback and refused to take any improvement measures which i requested.

my question still remains, how to deal in this situation where there is a resistant direct, who poses new setup to 1:1- this clearly reflects a distrust between employee and manager. should i comply with this demand even though that in the long run, it just serves me when this person will be dismissed?
this also radiates to the rest of the team- and i am not sure how this is perceived by the rest of the individuals of the team when it concerns their trust in me 


thank you for any comment



piratedave's picture

 I do not have personal experience with this, but let me give you my recommendation anyway - I hate to leave this open without a response.

In response to your question: should i comply with this demand even though that in the long run, it just serves me when this person will be dismissed?  Yes.  Try listening to the cast "How to Fire Someone" as well as the cast on "Shot Across the Bow" and "Systemic Feedback."  If your direct insists that an HR rep be present, then I would have an HR rep present.  While it might be uncomfortable for you, it can only help you in the long run.

Let's play out the scenario.  Your choices as I see them are:

1 - Stop the O3 with this direct: This leads nowhere fast and will definitely not make you or your direct more effective

2 - Insist on the O3 without HR:  This opens you up to grievance filings - whether or not they are warranted.

3 - Have HR in the room during your O3.  (And continue giving both positive and negative feedback at the 2/3 to 1/3 ratio, and document your conversations yourself).  In the best case, you succeed in building a relationship and improving your direct's effectiveness - perhaps the insistence on HR participation goes away over time.  In the worst case, the HR rep has been a witness to your continued attempts to reach out to this direct and will back you up when it comes time to let him or her go.

It sounds like you already have a relationship with HR on this and that is good.

odeddavid's picture

 thank you for your kind reply.

i go with choice number seems to be the most effective- where the person realized that actually this demand is not for his favor...