TL;DR What are your options with a manager with "passive" management style, very little teamwork, knowledge sharing, bad onboarding for new employees, very little meetings and no incentive to change anything - if you are someone who wants to learn and grow, work with others and loves change and challenges?
In my workplace the manager (of a department of about 20 people, most of them software developers) deals with things only when they are directly brought to their attention.
Specifically, there is the statement by the managers "talk to me if you have a problem / something to talk about". But the manager does not seek communication on his end and he does not create a space where employees come together (e.g. weekly meeting, daily standup or something like that). Also, whether the teams do this is up to the teams.
So, this is mostly a one-way conversation, where the employee is the active part, and the manager, the passive.
This means - as far as I can tell
- there are no regular 1-on-1 meetings with manager / employee - only if this is requested by the employee.
- there is no active management by objectives
- there is no accountability - you get some tasks to do, but basically, no one cares if you effectively work 1 hour a day or 10
- there are no code reviews
- there are no scrum / kanban methods in place
- there is no active plan for growth and development
- there are no regular meetings in the department - this takes place about once a year, if at all.
- several people are unhappy about similar things but there is no space to talk about and work on this together and change things.
Everyone is an island. There is no "we" in this place.
There is very little communication conveyed. In the department (about 20 people) there have been people hired months ago and I still don't know what they do and only by chance even noticed that new people have arrived. Before Corona, this was not ideal, but since Corona, most people still work at home most of the time.
For me, this is very unusual, it is hard for me to adapt to this and I see several problems in the workplace that seem to be due to this practice and culture. Also, I know how people in other companies work and the way we do this seems not ideal and even bizarre.
There is very little teamwork. In general this works well for people who are experienced and who can manage themselves well. In this case, this might even be beneficial, but a number of people have just been hired, I am afraid they will adapt to the general culture if left to fend to themselves and now would be a good time to change things.
In addition to this, there are a number of things I am unhappy about and I have already raised some issues with my manager and my manager's manager (who does not want to become involved and basically tells me to clarify things with my boss). I have already been able to make some changes and improvements - by just doing them. In one case, my boss was supportive. In the other case, I just made the change despite his objection.
I could leave this workplace (and already have a job offer), but there are a number of reasons I am reluctant - for one, the pay is very good here, I am afraid I am "not good enough" for this other company and I had far worse (afraid of "from frying pan into the fire"). Also, this management style gives you a lot of freedom, but it seems to have a demoralizing effect in the long run on me - and probably on others as well. It's like no one really cares what you do.
I cannot change much in my team since I am a team of 1 person in this department. There are a number of teams, most of them with 2 people and the people working in these tiny teams are isolated.