I'm in an interesting situation. I'm a new manager at a small laboratory attached to an ER in a small town. We are a 24/7 always open facility. 

Because of certain silly rules regarding scheduling, I am only able to see my night shift once a week for 30 minutes.

One of them is a low performer. 

My employees work alone due to budgeting constraints (not enough patients to staff 2 techs at once), so I'm having one-on-ones every two weeks with each night shift person during shift change because there is no other time for face-to-face contact. One of them is a low performer with a terrible behavioral record, so it is crucial that I keep good communication with her.

I guess the question is, is it ok to call these employees for one-on-ones at 8 or 9 pm? Do I want to be working unpaid to keep tabs on how they are doing? They are used to working solo, so the current biweekly meetings might work, but the podcast and the book both strongly encourage weekly meetings, especially ones that aren't taking place during a shift change. However, none of their previous managers even had one-on-ones, and the last one didn't have meetings at all, so I am worried that calling them will catch them at a busy time or weird them out.

Any thoughts on this matter are appreciated.

schroederc's picture
Licensee Badge

Hi, I guess that every other week is better then no O3 at all. Dont make the perfect the enemy of the good - as I heard someone saying. 

When you have established a routine with them and you get to know them at least a bit, then they might see the value in the O3. And if they see it, then you can take it outside the working hours.

Maybe if all other team members are having it outside the working hours, then the special one might take it easier.

Just a thought.

pucciot's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

In the Kingdom of the Blind...


Hurray, keep on it.  Constancy with the O3's is the key.

Good Job.


Question :  Are you being paid hourly -- as a manager ?

Question : Do these  rules make it not-allowable for you to call them or stop by for a visit in the alternate(in between)  weeks ?


You may want to consider that even doing unpaid 03's on alternating weeks will save you a great deal of stress and trouble later on.    Look at the effects wholistically. 

And remember that the health of your staff, your organization, and your patients are really what your outcomes are all about.

Good Luck



AmberleyF's picture

Congratulations on starting O3's with your team, espectially when you have very limited face-to-face time with them.

Regarding your comment about "weirding out" your employees - I believe there is an example in a podcast of how to roll out O3's to your staff where you explain what the goal is of an O3 (build relationships). If your team understood this, they might appreciate the "check in" as another opportunity to speak with you and not see it as an intrusion. You can also discuss with them a time that is mutually agreeable so your free time in the evening is impacted minimally and your staff have a dependable schedule to take your call.

Shift changes can be busy and distracting. If you're able to contact them in the evening it may be more productive. And if your performance is being measured on the performance of your team, it is worth the time to deal with the poor performer.

Best Wishes!

TKO_Boss's picture

I wanted to write a quick update in case anyone is curious.

I ended up having short O3s during shift change. My low performer went from being afraid of work to doing ok - I have had very few complaints. I only talk to her 30 minutes every 2 weeks but the meetings seem to have made a difference. She's still bad at her job, but it used to be worse.

I overheard another direct telling a serivice rep that "my boss talks to me and asks me about my future and my goals, and that makes me feel human instead of like a cog."

So far, the people aspect of this job has been far easier than the paperwork and regulatory stuff! Thank you all so much for your comments. It is true, some O3 is better than none!