Beware the ‘Open Door Policy’!
- Most modern Managers state to new recruits and existing team members alike: “My door is always open”
- While we massively respect this idea when compared to the autocratic closed door leadership approach of old, we often see issues occur as a result of these words being taken literally.
- As you likely know, business is about creating and delivering value. Anything that enhances the value that people create is a good thing; anything that diminishes value creation is usually bad.
- If workers know they can disturb their Manager at any time, then where’s the filter? What’s stopping Managers hearing about any and every issue and detail in the business? Where’s the personal growth for workers who don’t need to think for themselves? They can simply abdicate responsibility by deferring decisions to their Manager.
- Beyond that, what about the time management issues that arise from interruptions? What loss of value is caused when a Manager gets involved in the nitty gritty side of the business?
- The solution is simple: Managers should have several set times per day when people can approach them with questions. In this way, workers are given the choice to either ‘wait’ or ‘solve their issues themselves’, while Managers can focus on their work undisturbed until the scheduled times. (Of course, with any health & safety or major client issues, people must use common sense and interrupt their Manager.)
- All in all, the sentiment of “be open with me” is the correct one; we simply want people to grow, for Managers to stay focused on being managers, and for the business to create amazing value!
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