Hi all,

I run a technical team with about 10 direct reports, with only one full time employee and the rest  long-term contractors, with half of them offshore.

So I have two questions:

1. Should I have O3 with the contractors even though I am not responsible for their growth and careers? I'm leaning towards yes because it helps them stay in their roles knowing there are goals and targets they can achieve.

2. For the offshore teams, how should I conduct O3? Any experience with managing a remote team would help.


Thanks in advance



lindge's picture
Training Badge

Yes, you should do O3s with your contractors.  You can split the o3s into two segments of 15mins. One for them and one for you...I can't recall the name of it, but I'm pretty sure there is a cast that touches on this.

Re your offshore team, you could do the O3s by phone, webcam etc. - same break down of time in the O3 though.

el_vikingo's picture
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Bringing this one up again as I just ran into this situation where the legal department of my company shut this one down. I am not allowed to do 3Os with external workforce due to US employment laws.

Such a sad day that I cannot support growth of my directs independent of them being internal or external workforce when my company and customer reaps the benefits from a top performing team.

To make the day even worse I have just been told by my line manager not to pursue the trinity with the internal resources reporting to me in the project, I quote "We don’t consider "them" as  resources Or engineers  , we consider them as org leader and highly professional personnel to get allocated work done".

Not sure what to do or what to say, except this is really foreign to me as a leader/manager.

Smacquarrie's picture

I have to agree on this one.
Because if US law concerning contract workers, you have to treat them differently than you would a regular employee.

Are they just staff that is brought in to work projects or are they temp-perm positions?
Either way it is bad form but we can thank our legal system, and certain companies, for this travesty.

DiSC 7121

wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge

What is the law that supports not doing O3's?

One of the IRS's qualifications is: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?

If the answer is no, the company only asks for the outcome and the worker does the job according to their expertise, then they could be an Independent Contractor.

If you were managing a such a person - where you do not control what they do or how - how would a 30 minute meeting once a week to discuss where they are and what they plan to do next, asking for the resolution of issues and whether the outcome will still be achieved, not be sensible, necessary or illegal?

As far as I can tell, it's not - but I'd love for one of you (or your lawyers) to prove me wrong.


mike_bruns_99's picture
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My guess is that company's legal dept. is objecting to the 3rd 10 minutes (Future - Coaching, and Career Planning).   Especially if their management is also pushing back about employee O3s for similar reasons.  If the manager mentioned "supporting the growth of his directs" in their roll-out, I could see legal's concern.

Also, one of the IRS employee vs. contractor tests relates to training, saying that if the company provides training (especially career development training), the person was more likely to be an employee. That could be coming into play here.

Employee vs. Contractor issues are one of the largest IRS audit areas right now.  While I personally don't see the concern here (I'm not a lawyer), I know many companies are very nervous about potential issues.


If so, perhaps framing the O3 as a project/status meeting may be better.  As Wendii put it::

"a 30 minute meeting once a week to discuss where they are and what they plan to do next, asking for the resolution of issues and whether the outcome will still be achieved"


el_vikingo's picture
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I removed the coaching/delegation portion and modified the mail a bit to fit and here is what came from the legal department

The proposed approach sounds way too personal and is at risk of creating that “employer/employee” relationship.

So as a result I am not to conduct O3 and my linemanager killed the rest of the team from O3. The company I work for is globally represented and was hit with the greatest line, here in North American we do things differently...