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Question: Should I transition my team members' reporting relationship; having them report directly to my Assistant Manager instead of me?

Background: I manage a small team of 1 Assistant Manager, 3 Full Time employees, and 2-3 Seasonal Part Time employees. My role has me responsible in two areas of the business - one with this staff as a Manager, and a second where I oversee a group of contract staff in addition to being an individual contributor. The reason I even mention the second area in relation to this question is the fact that it impacts my time spent with the first area. Additionally, I was brought in from outside the organization, but the rest of the team have been around for a number of years.

One of my direct reports (DR) regularly goes to the Assistant Manager (AM) with questions/concerns/thoughts before coming to me (if she even does). A big part of me wanted to be upset about this initially, but luckily I stopped to check my ego before reacting. When I examine the facts I find:

  • I am not as readily available as my AM because of the demands of my schedule
  • They desk immediately next to one another (proximity) where I am located in a different area of the building
  • There is a relationship already in place since they have worked together for so long (previously in separate departments)
  • I started late with O3's for my DR's; which impacted the relationship development
  • The AM does provide tasks and oversight to all other members of the team

While having only a handful of people that I would need to hold O3's with isn't overwhelming; I wonder if it makes sense to essentially only have one person reporting directly to me for this area of the operation. I would appreciate your feedback.

-Justin