Does your organization have an open-door policy? Maybe you should. It’s been proven to increase feedback and boost employee moral by increasing communication and making leadership more available to everyone, no matter their status within the company.
Here are a few things you should know about connecting workers with managers and corporate leadership for stronger and more effective teams.
What Does It Mean?
Having an open-door policy means employees are free to talk with any manager at any time. A common problem many organizations suffer from is cloistered and unavailable leadership. This creates a siloed effect where decision makers rarely understand the situation on the ground and as such are unable to make the best call. But by inviting a more open dialogue between managers and employees, companies have greater insight into the day-to-day work and the company as a whole.
How It Helps
An open-door policy is a great way to make sure important information and feedback reaches managers who can take that information and make changes when needed. It also builds trust among employees, establishing a more loyal worker base, and an overall more productive team. It is also an excellent tool for companies to encourage cross-discipline collaboration. Once different managers and workers are interacting, they will inevitably see new ways in which groups can collaborate and think outside the box.
An open-door policy enhances problem-solving skills of both employees and management. The organization benefits from an increase in shared information and feedback, and employee trust is generated from successful experiences with a wider range of management. When it works, it’s a solid win for all participants.
An open-door policy needs to start in the employee handbook. Managers need to be open-minded and receptive to conversations with employees who are not necessarily on their team. Keep in mind though, the best problem solving—if that is what the conversation calls for—generally takes place closest to the project. Don’t let an open-door policy become a tool where employees can circumvent their own boss. Make sure any conversations that need to be redirected are.
A successful open-door policy is one that leaves the door open for all employees to speak with senior managers, but also provides guidelines that enable real problem solving at the appropriate levels of the organization. It provides the expectation that employees will address problems first with their supervisor while reaching out to higher-level leadership about non-supervisor-specific issues. This allows for the open-door policy to be honored while also making sure the chain of command is honored as well.
As corporate culture is changing across industry boundaries, employers are quickly learning the benefits of an open-door policy far outweigh the difficulties such a policy might incur. The increase in trust and communication can help give your company a better reputation among employees, new recruits, and across the industry at large. For that reason, you should consider weaving it into your employee handbook and overall internal communication strategy.
For more advice on how you can make your company more attractive to industry-leading talent and existing employees, contact a consultant at Verum Technical today.