I'm contemplating the transfer of O3 meetings for two staff members to our Assistant Manager (whom I would continue O3's with). I am looking at this as I aim to provide better clarity in reporting and day-to-day oversight for our team.
My responsibilities and schedule can be somewhat erratic and inconsistent due to the demands of my role. This has caused some confusion for members of my team. They aren't sure when they need to bring something to me, or when they should just go directly to the Assistant Manager, who is readily available on a daily basis. It has caused trouble with questions being asked to both of us separately (we do well to be in sync, luckily), and occaisionally tasks being assigned by one of us without the other fully knowing what was expected. During annual reviews, the confusion was identified as an area needing addressed.
I want to be sure to work towards impeccable communication and low confusion. However, I also don't just want to pass off the reporting relationship because it is "easier" to do, or for the wrong reasons. What are your thoughts?
Direct Report (aspiring manager) here...
I would fully expect the assistant manager to take over the O3s, feedback, coaching, delegation, etc.
The directs are now skips to you; they report to the assistant manager now. Refer them to him if they come to you till they get into the groove.
Communicate this clearly to all parties like any other tool.
If you fail to do this, I think it would be confusing to the directs and also (worse yet) undermines your assistant manager.
Just one boss please
Is it possible you have created a situation where your employees don't know to whom they report? If so, how do you think it is to be an assistant manager working for you? You are not available, but employees know that their supervisors are powerless and have no authority to solve problems. Eventually, they will skip past them in their 1x1's with you and get the real answers.
If you have managers under you, then they should be doing the direct supervision, and you should be leading through them.
You holding one on ones with the people around those managers undermines any managers reporting to you.
Either manage everyone directly yourself, or fully delegate supervision and hold that manager accountable for the performance of everyone under them. Don't try to do both. The assistant managers will end up as ignored do-nothings, and you will have an inefficient reporting structure with you never available.
Suggest you listen to the delegation podcast in manager tools basics.
If you want to find out how things are going, hold skip level meetings every now and then with the whole team.