Open Door Policies Don’t Work

Dave Berke

We have all worked for leaders with an “open door” policy. Some of us have implemented them ourselves. We want to be accessible to our team and make them comfortable to speak candidly on any issue. No one wants to see a closed door or feel like the leader doesn’t have time to talk.

There’s only one problem: Open Door Policies don’t work. Don’t expect your subordinates to line up outside your open door waiting to speak to you. It’s unlikely that they will. It puts the burden on them to find you, and they get stuck having to navigate the chain of command to get to you.

Instead, implement an Empty Chair Policy. As a leader, you should get out of your seat every day and go connect with your team. That’s your job, and it’s the best way to build relationships with your people. We all know that relationships are far more powerful than the chain of command. The more you know about your people, the stronger your connection will be, and the more successful your team will be.

Making that happen is up to you, and opening your door won’t get it done.

Now get after it!

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