Popular talks in the industry right now revolve around companies having open-door policies. There is a constant debate on whether open-door policies are a good idea. An open-door policy means every manager’s door is open to every employee the company has. You may be asking yourself, “what is the point of this?” Good question! The purpose is to encourage open communication, feedback, and discussion about any matter of importance the employee feels. Employees can take their workplace concerns, questions, or suggestions outside their chain of command without regard to what others might think or say. It is a great way to develop trust among employees and ensures everyone feels they are part of a team. There are many advantages to having an open-door policy. These advantages include improved communication across all levels of the business; problem-solving between supervisors and their team members; and addressing issues or challenges proactively before they become larger problem areas. However, an open-door policy is not always beneficial. Some say that it urges employees to be more impatient and less resourceful. If an employee knows that they can interrupt whenever they have a question, there is less motivation to solve problems independently.
Many also argue that an open-door policy makes it more difficult for leaders to focus and can waste management’s time, resulting in declined productivity. With an open-door policy, employees might take time away from their managers’ schedules to vent concerns at work. Often with an open-door policy, the Chain of Command is disrupted, as employees are encouraged to go over their boss to leaders above them. While there may be some disadvantages to an open-door policy, many employees and supervisors have expressed that the practice is viewed as a morale booster when employees feel they can openly speak with their employer about issues face-to-face. Allowing an open-door policy in your office could help your business drastically. However, creating an open-door approach is not easy for a company to enforce without first putting proper steps in place.
Revolutionary Solutions would like to offer the following steps to help you create the open-door policy of your dreams: Set expectations; Talk to employees who might utilize the open door and gain their trust and support for the process; Establish boundaries; Have a conflict-management plan; Provide accessibility; Promote healthy discussions. In the end you may find the policy will boost office morale and begin improving working relationships. Influential leaders communicate an open-door policy by being present. They invite people into their offices and are sympathetic to comments. They can also request additional information if an employee is communicating a potential company issue. If you have questions or concerns about open-door policies, please contact us!
“An open-door policy doesn’t do much for a closed mind” – Bob Nelson