Can We Eliminate the “Open Door Policy”?

I recently read an article by Gary Vaynerchuk about the importance of open door policies. He is taking this concept to the next level by implementing a “forced meeting policy” to ensure he has a pulse on the way his company works. I like Vaynerchuck’s philosophy, but I think there is a better alternative that doesn’t require employees to be “forced” into a meeting with their boss.

You may think, “What is wrong with an open-door policy? I want to communicate with my people, and it is important they know they can come talk to me.”

Let’s review what it could feel like to an employee who may have never interacted with management before. You want them to leave their work station, walk across the office, maybe go up several floors in an office building, walk past your Executive Assistant who has been trained to be the gatekeeper for you, plop themselves down in an office chair and just open up about their concerns, ideas, suggestions?

Realistic? I think not.

Without an outlet for the employee’s feedback they often end up frustrated and disengaged assuming no one cares and nothing will get better. And who wants increased turnover or a workforce that’s disengaged and apathetic to success or failure?

As leaders, it is our duty to establish a line of communication and trust with everyone in the organization. Get out of your office and visit with your employees! Show them that they are so important to your organization that you made time to go visit them.

You must get to know them on a personal level before they will open-up and give you the feedback you want. Once that trust and communication is established, you will have unlocked the power of your workforce and ensured you will have a winning, agile, innovative organization with an engaged workforce that will strive to do awesome things daily.

Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.

About Dale: As our Executive Director of Human Resources, Dale is the powerhouse behind helping our team grow. He graduated from USC-Upstate (but considers himself a Dayton Flyer). He has over twelve years of HR experience in a variety of industries, focused primarily on talent acquisition and organizational development. Dale is passionate about challenging himself, and when he’s not in the office, he’s training for his next big race. Each year he picks a different race to compete in. In the past it has been mostly running events, but this year is all about biking, he just completed a 3 day, 150 mile, 10,000 ft elevation race in October. Questions? Send Dale an email!


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