It is recommended that forward-thinking workplaces adopt an open door policy to promote positive communication with employees. When every employee understands that he or she can visit with any manager or senior-level employee and talk with them about any topic chosen, you have an open door environment. The following is a sample open door policy for your workplace.
Introducing and Enforcing an Open Door Policy
The policy should appear in your employee handbook and should stress the components employees need to understand about how to pursue their options in an open door environment. Provide training to all managers and employees about what an open door policy is and how you can use it most effectively in your workplace.
If your managers are reinforcing the intents and purposes for which you established your open door policy, employees are more likely to take advantage of the opportunity to communicate up and down your organizational hierarchy.
There are right ways and wrong ways to seek an open door conversation and all employees need to understand the process. Used effectively, every employee has access to every other employee no matter their level or job title.
Sample Open Door Policy
Please feel free to use this open enrollment sample policy as a starting point when you decide to adopt the practice in your workplace. Understand that the first step is to make certain that you have the commitment of your senior leaders and managers.
Your employees are easily led down paths that cause distrust. Make sure that you mean what you say when you publish an open door policy for your employees. They will never trust you in the future if they see your failure to walk your talk.
Introduction to the Open Door Policy
Your company has adopted an Open Door Policy for all employees. This means, literally, that every manager's door is open to every employee. The purpose of our open door policy is to encourage open communication, feedback, and discussion about any matter of importance to an employee. Our open door policy means that employees are free to talk with any manager at any time about any topic.
Responsibilities Under an Open Door Policy
If any area of your work is causing you concern, you have the responsibility to address your concern with a manager. Whether you have a problem, a complaint, a suggestion, or an observation, your company managers want to hear from you. By listening to you, the company is able to improve, to address complaints, and to foster employee understanding of the rationale for practices, processes, and decisions.
Before You Pursue the Open Door Policy
Most problems can and should be solved in discussion with your immediate supervisor; this is encouraged as your first effort to solve a problem. But, an open door policy means that you may also discuss your issues and concerns with the next levels of management and/or Human Resources staff members. No matter how you approach your problem, complaint, or suggestion, you will find managers at all levels of the organization willing to listen and to help bring about a solution or a clarification.
Benefits of the Open Door Policy
By helping to solve problems, managers benefit by gaining valuable insight into possible problems with existing methods, procedures, and approaches. While there may not be an easy answer or solution to every concern, your company's employees have the opportunity at all times, through the open door policy, to be heard.
The open door policy includes the assurances that an individual employee who pursues his or her rights to talk to any level of management will experience no retaliation or interference from the employee's immediate manager. The manager should be included as needed.