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Follow an Open Door Policy in the Office...

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By Ajay Wahi

This relates to the culture you would like to create in your company No matter how new / old the SME, you need to emphasise creating a strong culture, because that is the environment people breathe, eat, smell and feel. That is what would either turn them On or Off, impacting their productivity positively or negatively.

 An open door policy communicates to employees that you are accessible to them, that you are one of them. It motivates them and sends a positive message about how the company is being run. But there are deeper benefits as well. When employees feel free to walk into the boss’ room, they feel close to the boss. This makes them feel special.

Typically, when they walk in through the open door, they will bring with them many problems and obstacles which they would like you, the boss, to fix for them. If you can resist their attempts at upward delegation, then this can become a great teaching moment. How?

Respond to their problems by saying, “What do you think? How can it be solved? What are the possible solutions?” Guide them but do not spoon feed them. Slowly, employees will get the message: the door is open always so that they can learn from you, but not for you to solve their problems. Next time, they will come to you with problems and with possible solutions for those problems and ask you for the best one.

Again, rather than giving the answer, use the situation to teach them how to evaluate possible solutions, so that they learn how to analyse situations and recommend alternatives. Eventually, employees will enter your room saying this was the problem and these were the alternatives and finally they selected one particular solution. That is the day of celebration, since the employee is now trained and confident enough to handle any problem!

If the door had been closed, they would have never come to you and would still be grappling with the problem of how to find alternative solutions. But with the open-door policy, they came to you frequently, learnt something each time, and made their own decisions. In guiding them to arrive at this point, you enhanced both the quality and eventually, the speed of decision-making across the organisation, boosting employees’ confidence.

All because of an open door! If even 20% of your employees think half-way like senior management, there could be a substantial increase in senior management intelligence in the company! As employees begin to think and make decisions like senior management, your SME is bound to grow exponentially.
!  Guard against misuse of the open door – people must respect your time and space.

Resist solving employees’ problems for them. Guide them how to resolve.

What Is In It For Me...?

  1.  Employees develop thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  2. Employee morale is boosted because senior management is accessible. 
  3. Speed and quality of decision-making is enhanced.


About the Author

Mr. Ajay Wahi has got two and half decades of all-round exeprience in all areas of organisation functioning like general management, sales and marketing , finance, HR, software development, brand building, team work etc.

He has been working for SMEs  for the last 15 years. With all this experience , the author has managed to fast-track the growth of all the SMEs he has worked for. It is these experiences which he has put in this book: and the award for BEST SME of year goes to… Mr. Wahi shares the insights of his book in a series of columns through Small Enterprise India.com

For more details about the book and the award for BEST SME of year goes to… contact Mr Ajay Wahi at   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 January 2011 13:05 )  

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