If you want to start an Open Door Policy that will get you results, try this. At first, you would want to start once a week or once a month, depending how many employees you have working for you. During my speech at The BEC Conference in Las Vegas this past March, I mentioned this policy and had several people ask me follow-up questions about it. So I wanted to pass on a couple of ideas on how to start an open door policy with some teeth.
1. Send out an email stating that you’re instituting an open door policy like they’ve never seen before.
2. Let them know that everything, and I mean everything, is up for discussion. (You may want to check with an attorney about discussing any personal issues.)
3. Tell them you’ll be in the conference for at least two hours, and anyone can come in unannounced. Just come in, and let’s start talking.
4. This is very important as to why the conference room. The conversation needs to be on neutral ground like a conference, without any distractions or interruptions.
5. Whether no one shows up, or you have a line out the door, you’ll need to limit each person to no more then 15-20 minutes. This way, you’re available to as many people as possible.
6. While you’re in there (in case no one shows up)m have something to do or read while you’re waiting. While you’re working and when someone walks in, push whatever you’re doing aside and pay attention and listen.
7. If no one shows up the first day, don’t be surprised, but more importantly don’t stop the process — plan to be there as scheduled so they know you’re committed to the feedback.
8. I would also suggest that you don’t use the phone while you’re waiting — as a matter of fact, don’t even take your cell phone in there with you. That would give someone an excuse not to approach you.
9. When the meeting is over, thank them for their comments, suggestions and input.
Next time I’ll talk about what it means if no one shows up.