The modern corporate culture needs management to be constantly aware of what’s on with their teams. They need to know if employees are experiencing issues that could affect productivity and operations. Thus there is a need for an Open Door Policy.
Employees also have some expectations. They want to work under managers that are willing and available to decide any issues that may emerge.
An open-door policy is a solution for both sides. It helps managers fathom their teams and what is going on with them. It also allows employees to feel like a part of the team.
What An Open-Door Policy Means
An open-door policy is where a business’s senior staff and managers are available, leaving their office doors open for all employees. The policy supports employees to approach any senior manager when they have workplace apprehensions that need to be attended to.
An effective open-door policy also supports all managers to listen to employees. Not only that, but it also trains the managers with the proper instruction for handling the different issues brought up by employees.
In spirit, an open-door policy removes the availability blockades of a traditional chain of command. It keeps an avenue for communication open for employees, where they can approach managers to discuss and address workplace concerns efficiently.
The Purpose of an Open-door Policy
The end goal or aim of an open-door policy is just one; transparency. Transparency at all levels in the chain of command is what it aims for.
When every staff member, regardless of their position in a business, can have an open discussion and share their opinions with the senior team members, a workplace culture of equality and empowerment exists.
Another essential purpose of an open-door policy is to reduce workplace bias.
Workplace bias is real and can create a very toxic environment for your employees. All managers can fall prey to it. A transparent and open culture allows managers to engage with every employee in the workplace. This helps ensure an impartial attitude of managers towards their employees.
4 Reasons Why Your Company Should Have An Open-Door Policy
Modern businesses cannot afford to shut executive doors for their employees. They have to offer some level of transparency and open communication all through the command chain. And while an open-door policy is not always perfect, the benefits are more significant than the drawbacks.
Here’s how a business stands to benefit from the policy:
Quick Access To Key Information And Unique Ideas.
In a “conventional” office where the chain of command is firmly followed, information usually passes through several roles before getting to the final decision-maker. Such a system is slow and can drastically impact the quality and flow of information.
What’s more, the information may never get to the intended decision maker as one of the roles in the chain of command may select to brush it off. Such a system also creates a distance between management and contributing employees who feel their concerns are never taken seriously.
An open-door office culture addresses such issues. Managers get direct information on what is happening. And since employees are answerable for the majority of the day-to-day functions, they know the workflow better than anyone else. That means they can give deep insights into how to progress business processes.
For example, suppose a company has multiple marketing strategies. One of those strategies is content marketing. All channels need fresh and high-quality content, which is hard to produce in-house. Your marketing team will share their concerns about meeting the demands in an atmosphere where employee engagement is encouraged.
Plus, they will point out possible solutions. For example, they could suggest splitting the workload into two, where they’ll work on the core content and request you to hire freelance writers to create the subsidiary content. This helps the company achieve its goals while keeping the employees satisfied.
It’s nearly impossible to get such insights in a culture where management is closed off from employees.
Improved Workplace Relations.
Keeping managerial doors open encourages a culture of openness and transparency. It brings down the walls of authority and helps to improve workplace relationships.
One benefit of better workplace relations is that it makes staff members feel valued. It’s conducive to decreasing employee turnover. The informal discussions can also give managers brilliant viewpoints on how to take their business to the next level.
Understand Employee Attitudes.
An open-door policy generates a favorable environment for open communication. It lets employees be more open about their work-based problems and concerns that they face.
An open-door policy will help managers understand the mindsets and opinions of their team. The best part is that they can identify many challenging issues early on before they grow to interrupt day-to-day tasks.
Higher Levels of Engagement.
One of the best ways to ensure daily jobs run efficiently is by keeping in touch with what is happening on the main floor. Sadly, in an office where managers’ doors are shut, employees will be hesitant to engage with their managers, and many valuable opinions and apprehensions go discussed and addressed.
An effective open-door policy enthusiastically supports activities in which there is a real-time and efficient flow of information. This is beneficial for everyone in the firm. Management will remain in touch with employees’ concerns, and emerging business challenges will be communicated quickly. Employees will learn that their contribution is respected. All this results in a healthy and productive workplace.
An open-door policy enhances the 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 broader range of management. When it is implemented effectively and works, it’s a solid win for all participants and the business especially.
Sadia Zaheer holds a Masters in Business Administration from IBA, Karachi. After working in several financial institutions in Client Management, Corporate Lending, Islamic Banking and Product Management she jumped careers to pursue a career in writing.
She is a Finance, Business and HR Development writer with four years of experience. She reads a lot and takes care of her multiple cats to remain calm.