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Submitted by Scgoldie on


I listened to the cast on shift workers, and I get it: if you have shift workers, make it work and do the O3's.  Schedule them!

My difficulty is that my workday isn't set.  I have some tasks and deadlines, but the way this company expects us to the run our weeks is, "seat of the pants" style, i.e. always on the floor, drive the sales, push the team and give regular feedback.  Stay out of your office, do the basic admin then get out there and push for sales.

I agree to an extent: a good restaurant GM ought to be like the captain of the ship, guiding each shift from the front to push cash to the bottom line and control costs.

So, how do I schedule time for O3s?  Our labor budget is a % of net sales.  That means on one day I can have 10 directs and the same day next week I could have 2.

It makes scheduling very tricky.

Does anybody have any experience or advice for completing O3s in a restaurant setting or in a similar type of shift-based and non-scheduled workplace?

mattpalmer's picture

I'm not sure you couldn't schedule your O3s, even with part-time, casual workers.  In theory, at least, you could schedule them for a fixed time, and if the person isn't at work at that time, you'll call them (and pay them for the time, of course).  In practice, that might not work, simply because of cost control issues -- tacking a few hundred dollars onto the staff wages bill might not be politically acceptable (although I'd wager it'll be the best investment in productivity and staff retention that the company's ever made...)

If it really isn't possible to *schedule* them, keep track of when you last spoke to everyone.  For anyone you haven't seen in a week, check when they're next rostered on and make a note to spend some time talking with them that shift.

On the subject of "staying out of your office", remember that you don't *have* to do O3s in your office.  Try a walking O3.  They're hard to take notes, but they do wonders for the blood pressure.

cynaus's picture
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Hi - I was just about to post a new topic that I'd completed my very first O3s (while acting in manager's position during his vacation) but it's a relevant reply to your question.

It turns out in my second week as "Acting Manager" I'm home sick with a really nasty virus.  The past week and a half has been gruelling at work due to various union issues and so I'm taking R&R or I'll never shake it.  Anyhoo.,... last week I had scheduled my O3s (with 5 directs) for the first time - first time they'd EVER experienced them too.  But due to scheduling and urgent management meetings, they couldn't go ahead.  

This week, I'm stuck at home! But I didn't want to let it slide again.... so I have JUST conducted my first two O3s on the phone.  And it was great!  We stuck to the formula and were done in 30 mins.  I have one more to phone in later this afternoon and I expect to be back on deck tomorrow for the rest.

So in essence - it's not really all about me! - you can do them anywhere, any time.  I love the walking idea too; it's better than not doing O3s at all.

We have a large casual workforce and I'm working on coaching managers to hold O3s with these employees (though they haven't even started with full time and part time staff yet!).  The first area I'm working with is catering, so much the same as the restaurant environment you are in.

My advice is to commit to a particular week when you will start. Roster all your casual employees on half an hour before their usual shift and do your O3's with each of them, back to back if need be. Split it across the month so you allow yourself some breathing space too. Depending on how many casual employees you have and when they're rostered - you only need one extra half hour per week for each.  As you say, some weeks that may be 10 and others may be 2.

And don't forget the prep.  4 weeks ago, I mentioned I would hold O3s with the team while our manager is away and I'm leading the team.  I followed up with an email (using some of the template in the Trinity emails) and sent out a request for each direct to choose a date and time they could commit to EVERY week. They did and I locked it in with a meeting request 3 weeks before we began.  :)

Good luck!!


bliv26's picture
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I've been doing O3s in a 24/7 residential crisis center for about 14 months.  I've tried several different approaches.  Currently, an assistant manager and I are sharing O3 (and therefore performance management) duties.

Here's some background.  My position, program manager, is established and monitored by state regulations (I work for a non-profit company and we contract with the state).  I have 20+ full and part time staffs who work for me.  State regulation requires that I, among other things, am on duty Mon-Fri 9-5 (and there are good reasons for this).  As a manager, I do work outside of these hours when necessary.  But I am unable to change my schedule one day a week (as recommended by the MT cast on O3s with shift workers).  Additionally, certain times are simply unavailable for O3s due to the nature of our work (for example 5am to 9am).

I've experimented with several solutions.  Fortunately for me, I also have an assistant manager who works swing shift.  I've made some very minor changes to his schedule and he is now able to do O3s with a handful of the PT staffs and two FT overnight staffs.  He is responsible for their annual performance reviews too.  One of the most important things is good communication between the assistant manager and me.  We've also developed a simple way to notify PT staffs (whose schedules change) what day/shift their O3s will occur.

We've been able to do O3s with every direct weekly.  We rarely miss them.  When I first learned about O3s, I worried that they'd be impossible in my setting.  But I set a goal of doing them weekly with every direct and then focused on finding a reasonable way to get there. 

Circumstances can always change. If so, I'll need to figure out a new way to do this.  But O3s are by far the most important management tool I've used.  I simply cannot imagine not doing them now that I've been doing them for over a year.


drenn18's picture
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I've been in this role about 6 months and have not been able to schedule O3s regularly yet. My 40 directs have 2nd jobs and school full-time. Each month, I'll print my schedule with pre-determined time slots for O3s. I fill these in as people ask me for a promotion, better shifts, etc. So I'm basically ensuring that if anyone wants to improve, they first must have a O3 and accomplish a goal. This makes it easier to explain to the more 'entitled' employees why other servers move up. I announced O3s at a staff meeting, so everyone knows they exist and how to sign up for them. I have not rolled out feedback since I haven't developed relationships with every direct yet. I'm finding this slow rollout to benefit my top performers more than my strugglers. I have a very driving high-D boss (which I love, though I'm a HIGH-c) who likes the idea of O3s but labels "shift execution" my priority.