Position with two managers

Does anyone have experience with successfully setting up a position that reports to two different managers? I'm CHRO. The Chief Culture Officer and I see an opportunity for an individual to do work for each of us respectively. The problem is we cannot agree on who the position should report to (we both want the person to report to ourselves).  Unfortunately we are at an impasse and the situation has caused some friction between us. While we have some overlapping accountabilities (my accountabilities overlap with some of his), the work the position would do for the CCO is outside of our joint accountabilities. Thank you for any insights you may have!

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    • Kate Legters
    • Organizational Psychologist. HR/OD Leader.
    • Kate_Legters
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi Janice

    I've worked in setting up positions that involve working with more than one executive or directors with overlapping accountability but also separate functions. In my past experience, I have conducted a job analysis (so perhaps someone who could be an unbiased third party could do this?) to get a measure of the true job responsibilities, needs, and KSAs. Based on who oversees the majority of the job responsibilities, would be that person's manager. However, I've also had it come to a 50/50 split. In those cases, I consulted with each manager and provided a recommendation for who should lead based several factors: who is going to have the most time to dedicate to setting this person up for success, who will be a stronger mentor for the person, who could oversee their career growth (who would this person eventually pipeline?) and eventually we could reach an agreement. In these cases as well, we would always establish a direct manager and an indirect manager (meaning the indirect manager still has influence over the goals/objectives of the position but must partner with the direct manager). 

    If after these considerations you're still at an impasse, it's important to get the perspective of key stakeholders, and maybe even your CEO.  I understand these situations can be tricky! Hopefully if you're hiring the right person, they won't need much "management" and both of you can be mentors to this person. 

    Hope this helps!

    Kate Legters, MSIO, MHR, PHR

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-legters-msio-mhr-phr-a7b02133/

    • Nikki Smith
    • People Partner, Life Coach, HR Consultant
    • Nikki_Smith
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I have experience with both reporting to 2 managers and having employees who report to me and one other manager. In both instances, I had specific daily responsibilities as well as project-driven tasks. Based on that we determined how much time should be allotted to each and the managers meet to discuss if there was something that required more time than typically expected. Each had input on performance and was required to approve time off requests. I'd be happy to talk specifics with you if you'd like. nsmith@defoxx.com

  • Nikki Smith Thank you so much! I will reach out if I come up with other questions. Thanks again!

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