Hi There - I'm a recent outside hire in the role of Manager. My boss is the Director of the department and before he hired me he reorganized the department so that everyone who used to report to him now report to my position. I've been here a few months and I'm getting the impression that this change in structure was not his idea but his boss' who saw that he didn't have good supervisory skills.
The Director has been with the organization for a number of years and has institutional knowledge that I don't have yet, so that combined with the fact that he used to be their supervisor have led to a tendancy for my directs to go straight to him to ask him for direction. When they have come to me to ask, I have suggested that we go to the Director together to get the answer, but more often than not they just go straight to him, which leaves me out of the loop so I don't know what they are doing and am not picking up the institutional knowledge myself. The Director also tends to go straight to them to Direct them to do things rather than going to me as well.
I've listened to the podcasts entitled "My Boss skips me" and "Never step out of the middle" and I'm trying to employ the advice there, but asking my staff to let me know when they get direction from the Director seems like overkill at times when the direct and I both know the he's the one that will have to be asked anyway. AND...it's a small number of staff with a somewhat "flat" heirarchy, which makes giving them direction like "Don't ask the Director for direction without asking me first," just seems like overkill. How do I ensure that my directs are telling me when they are getting direction from the Director that he initiates and also break them of the habit of going directly to him for direction?