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Do you have a cast or recommended guidance on how a manager can effectively manage two separate offices? Same business, two branch locations. 

williamelledgepe's picture

There's a cast for that.  https://www.manager-tools.com/2010/10/distant-manager-basics-part-1

I have staff in two locations that are about 15 minutes apart (yours are probably farther apart).  I use the advice in that podcast and it works great.

In addition to the advice in the cast = here are a couple other thinsg I do that seem to help.

Because I'm not far, I also work at the "other" location every Tue am and Wed am.  The time is not important - but the regularity of it has provided lots of benefits.  Tuesdays are my O3 day - so I go to the offices of the 4 directs at the other location on that Tue am - and have the 4 home based O3s on Tue pm.  Wed pm I just work from there - and I get a lot of valuable skip interaction - watercooler, hallways, kitchen, etc.  Every now and then I will relaize it is 9:30 and I'm still just "catching up" (which still feels odd as a High D High C).  Another benefit - I can tell that a couple skips have occassional questions stored for the time, they know I'll be around.  Not every week - but definitley things that they want to ask "in passing" - "hey you got a second?"  (Why is it always a second?)

Before I tookover - the "non-home" office used to get excluded from certain meetings and such - so we emphasize conference calling - where some folks used to get forgotten about.  This has proven especially useful for lessons learned and knowledge transfer because one of the office has much longer tenure and more years of experience.  

I actually changed reporting lines a little such that a couple of my directs who are at the different locations have to partner more often - which has filtered to their directs coordinating more often.  I see staff from one location at the other quite regularly now - which rarely happened when I started in this position.  It is more work - but I haven't heard any "us or them" complaints in a long time - we actually feel like one group.

Also - assuming your directs are at both locations - rotating your staff meeting btwn locations can be helpful - even if there is still a couple folks who have to call in.

Hope that helps - listen to the cast though - given two different branche locations - you're probably going to get more effective actions from the podcast.