I am manager in the cybersecurity division of my employer managing a technical team of security engineers / analysts. I have been with my company for close to 10 years and am well respected.
Recently I started dating another colleague who works as a project manager on a project that 2 of my team members were recently assigned to. As a result of having disclosed the relationship to HR due to requirement of company policy, HR shifted my two team members to report directly to their PM during the life of the project. (functional in lieu of horizontal manager as we are a matrix organization). I did not want to have to potentially pick sides between my GF and my team members on her project if they were to have work issues while they were on her project, which I said to HR. To comment from @Nvoigt, the existence of our dating relationship constrains me from easily bringing my team members off the project without scrutiny.
This week, I learned that the project for which two of my team members will be working on needed an very senior engineer from my team. This senior engineer plays a very important role in my vertical management chain (think technical lead / architect). He also mentors junior engineers on the team of which I have quite a few. As a result, if my very senior engineer were to be removed from my vertical reporting stack, productivity of my team will be severely degraded for the life of the project which can be up to quarter or more. In addition, my more junior team members will be harmed in 2 ways:
Needing to pick up the work of the senior engineer temporarily reporting to my girlfriend , the PM.
Loss of mentorship and guidance on daily tasks from the leaving senior engineer
As I said in my previous question, this HR imposed "solution" will continue to occur for as long as my GF and I are dating and will occur ad nausem on future projects for as long as I have team members on projects for which she is the PM. This uncomfortable scenario for me is not a one and done scenario. No backfill for the senior engineer is expected. I cannot influence what projects she may lead, how many projects, or the resource needs of those projects in the future. My GF is of much lesser seniority, having only about 3 years of experience in the company.
I realize this uncomfortable scenario is my own making, having begun a romantic relationship and the solution to resolve the conflict of interest was imposed on me by HR, not of my own choosing. I never expected HR could worsen the issue so much so far as team stability is concerned.
Update: Motoubatsu was a bit prophetic when he implied that my existing team members may raise concerns. Well, just today one of my team members raised a concern in 1:1 that he may need more training to take on additional work from the senior engineer removed from my reporting chain and that he wants continuity in career mentorship / technical coaching. I can't promise anything so I only said I will do best as I can within constraints I have, god forbid problem does not worsen.
As distasteful as I find this, Hilmar may be right if push comes to shove.
How do I communicate to my more junior team members of the unpleasant consequences for them? (loss of mentorship and additional work burden they may need to pick up)
How can I mitigate the productivity impairment of my team?