The past few days I did a Facebook Live video on my Facebook page and the primary focus was for you to be able to check your Open Door and see how effective it is. I essentially gave 3 ways to improve it and gave 4 things that you could be missing if you didn’t follow the 3 ways to improve your open door!
Tuesday and Wednesday I basically covered the 3 ways to improve your Open Door. The 1st way is to be Proactive and not reactive. The more Proactive you are with your people the easier it will be for you to head off serious problems and opportunities as well as help keep up morale. In other words, be more seen by your people and let them know that you care by actually talking with them and actually hearing them. Sure, you may have a few that do nothing but complain but those are the ones that are probably hurting your business and culture and need to go anyways. The 2nd point was to actually show your people you care. Much of this could be accomplished by simply listening since that’s all most people want anyways. This doesn’t mean to give them everything they want and fulfill all there demands and desires but simply lending an ear and actually paying attention to what they are saying. The 3rd point was to be interested and involved with your people and in your business. Actually caring and being engaging can handle this one sometimes but if you’re always couped up behind your desk it isn’t going to be too inviting. Remember that most people are timid and intimidated about talking to management especially if they don’t believe your door is actually an open one and confidential one. So, not only to you need to make yourself available you must also be trustworthy!
Now, there are a few things you could miss if you don’t have an effective open door. The 1st is you could miss one of your employees that’s really struggling with something and it would’ve been an opportunity for you to help them. There again if you’re Proactive instead of reactive you might have seen this earlier before it got so serious. The 2nd thing you could miss is the next superstar. There is always one unique and gifted individual that slips through the cracks because they aren’t noticed or shown attention. This mostly happens because management overlooks them because they aren’t involved with their people as they should. Next thing you know is that superstar is working for your competition and there’s nothing you can do now but cry over spilt milk! The 3rd thing you could miss is a great idea. Often times great ideas come from the least greatest of people or situations. If you would just keep your eyes and ears open and actually converse with your people sometimes you might pick up an idea that will send your business skyrocketing! The 4th and final thing you could miss is the fact that someone may be stealing from you or taking advantage of you without you knowing until it’s far too late! This often happens because you aren’t interested and invested in your people enough to be able to pick up on questionable situations and people! If you were this may not happen!
All this to say that I believe that having an effective Open Door or not having one is both the cause and solution of poor morale in the workplace. If you have an effective open door and actually use it regularly then chances are you have pretty good morale in your place of business. On the other hand, if you don’t have an effective Open Door, or one at all, then chances are the morale in and around the workplace is suffering and then so is your profits.
Take a serious look at your Door to see if it’s actually open all the way or is it closed and locked! Just because it’s open doesn’t mean it’s really open to your employees!