I manage a team of about 12 employees in an engineering business. Although I am the manager in the organizational structure, I've structured the team to have two senior engineers work as 'project leads' who manage projects on a day-to-day basis. My team are all located in our head office.
Our company recently purchased another firm operating in the same market but which is substantially smaller and located in another city. As part of merging the two firms I've been reallocated three staff who were a team providing a similar function (one manager plus two juniors). All three will report to me in the new organization structure. Job titles and responsibilities may change but there will be no change in salary. Given my new responsibilities due to the buyout, I have a need for additional staff.
Integrating the two junior engineers into my team isn't an issue, but having the team manager (manager X) report to me is causing some concerns. In practice, this would mean Manager X reporting to one of my senior engineers at a project level under the current structure. Manager X has about the same level of experience (in years) as the senior engineers.
From a functional perspective, I have no desire to change the structure of my team. I am also unsure about what Manager X's capabilities are - I have his CV but that's very different to what someone is capable of in the real world.
However, I realize from the perspective of Manager X, reporting to one of my senior engineers is a significant step backwards in terms of his career.
I see my options as:
- Tell Manager X that he'll be reporting to one of my senior engineers for project work. If he doesn't like it he can leave. I see the risk here is that he hangs around for some time while looking for a new job and drags down team morale.
- Restructure my team to bring Manager X in as a senior engineer (thus having three project leads, one located remotely) and run the risk that my team dynamic changes or that Manager X is a poor leader.
- Suggest to HR that Manager X is in fact surplus to requirements and have him made redundant. This would make other employees from the company we bought quite concerned given that they were told there would be no redundancies resulting from the merger, and undermine my case for additional employees in the team in future.
Are there any other risks I should be considering when making my choice about how to proceed, or a 'fourth' option that should be considered when dealing with this type of situation?
Clarification: A number of comments asked "why haven't you discussed this with Manager X yet". To be clear: I have on several occasions. HR and our respective bosses were part of those conversations at the early stages, followed by one-on-one discussions to sort out the details. In these discussions Manager X has indicated a strong preference to maintain his manager-level position and the status quo. This is not an option because other changes in the company have meant that the functions previously performed by Manager X's team are no longer required by the business. Also, I have now been told by my manager to 'just get it done'.
Note that my concern with (2) is not about changing the structure of the team, but in bringing in a potentially disgruntled employee into a leadership role who is not familiar with our product and creates more work for my current team.