Gone are the days when organizations used to follow a strict vertical chain of hierarchy at the workplace.
Organizations have now understood the critical role of employee satisfaction at the workplace in increasing productivity and work efficiency. Business leaders and managers have talked about the importance of employee trust and effective grievance handling time and again. A new culture of promoting the environment of transparency, trust, and belongingness has emerged rapidly in the last few years.
The introduction of ‘open door policy’ seems to be the perfect way of achieving this kind of work environment.
An open-door policy encourages the employees to come to their managers for any sort of discussions regarding work grievances, complaints, suggestions, or queries without any hesitation. It makes the employees believe that they can approach any manager bypassing the numerous levels of management. It means that every manager’s door is open for every employee.
In today’s time, all the managers believe that gaining employee trust and confidence is crucial for the success of the organization. Open door policy helps in achieving this environment by promoting effective and regular communication among the management and employees.
There are various reasons why an open door policy is important for improving organizational culture and the environment.
- It bridges the gap between employee and management through active communication.
- Helps managers to improve working conditions for employees through direct feedback and information.
- Reduce employee turnover by increasing satisfaction and sense of belongingness
- Effective grievance handling by direct interference of managers
- Open discussions promote high employee morale.
The presence of open-door policy certainly helps the organization to increase productivity ultimately. But it might also create hindrances in the proper working of the organization and may lead to ignorance towards the organizational structure if not framed properly.
Maintaining certain boundaries and establishing guidelines for the open door policy may help the organization handle the shortcomings and manage the work environment in a more effective way.
According to the ideal management structure, most issues should be tackled at the level of immediate supervisor. But an open door policy may lead the employees to skip this level altogether. High-level managers must redirect employees to their immediate supervisor first.
In the situation where the issue is related to the supervisor, the management should involve the supervisor but as an intermediary. Managers can have the independence to create their individual schedules for addressing issues of employees.
Let the employees understand that you are available for them but you also have your work responsibilities to fulfill. Arrange to follow up meetings with the employees. Let them realize that you care about them and are available for them. Applicability of open-door policy at the workplace can certainly help managers in establishing successful work relationships with employees.
But having a look at the current situation of work culture where almost half of the workforce is working remotely, the question arises how can the open door policy implemented in your organization when you don’t interact physically. Employee trust and communication are equally important in remote settings as in traditional offices.
The open-door policy can work just as effectively only by adopting a few different methods. Here’s how:
- Encourage regular interactions
- Conduct frequent online meetings
- Encourage employees to discuss their views and opinions on the organization environment
- Use a common chat platform where employees can reach you directly
- Schedule one-on-one calls with your team
- Trust your remote employees that they will fulfill their responsibilities.
The whole rationale behind the open door policy is to develop employee trust and communication so that management can take action for improvement in the organization after understanding the issues of the ground level.
The advantages of open-door policy can be numerous and of great value for an organization if implemented properly. It helps managers to understand the actual needs of their teams. Communication is the best way of solving employee issues and retaining them.
In the end, the whole point is to understand the obstacles and potential hindrances in providing practical solutions for the betterment of employees and organizations.