Hi there, new to the forum and I found this when I was looking for guidance on a new team I have been been assigned to lately.
I work at a non-profit organisation with a hospitality character and am leading a team of about 6 and part-timers (about 8) It's a hands-on job where everyone has to fill in for reception and floor duties when we are low on staff. My boss micromanages and my staff members gets direct instructions from him without me even being cued in. They consider him their boss, His decision making is arbitrary and contradictory at times. On a whim things policies are changed and I only learn about it from an email I am cc-ed in. Basically I have very litte actual authority because even simple things as leave, and work schedules, shift changes etc get approved by him. The staff now knows I get very little support from my boss and they use it to their advantage. Since I have been in this job only for about 7 months and have learned that other managers have left because of it I decided to work around this by applying reason to decision making. If it makes sense then why challenge it. And for a certain amount of time this works but there are moments where there has to be some sort of accountability.
When at some point someone stayed away from work without any notice and another one decided he could just not fullfill his basic responsibilities and actually told me to "why don't you do it yourself" I informed my boss that this required warning letters as per base policy in this organization. He did acknowledge that this was warranted but didn't want to do this because "it would make things worse". He had a chat with the staff members. To me it seems how this place has been run for a long time and I can see now how staff just gets away with everything. He did tell me when I started that they were a "sensitive" group of people who will make everything as difficult as possible and know the ropes since most have been working there for 10 years.
Is there a better strategy then what I have been doing? Over time I have become a little insecure as well because of this which I think they are noticing as well, hard to hide.