An “open door” environment (notice I didn’t say “policy”) can help you create the trust you need to be effective.
Your clients and users will be more open to discussing problems and working with you to develop solutions to those problems when you don’t “shoot the messenger”.
Employees will trust the fact that they can be open and honest about issues with their manager when they aren’t penalized for discussing tough subjects.
To have an open door process, you have to do more than just state that you have one. How you go about handling those who seek your counsel and advice will set the tone for whether your IT organization actually provides an open door “environment” or simply refers to a “policy”.
Creating the right environment to work in is by far more important than creating a policy.
Don’t get this tip confused with a legitimate “open door policy” where an employee has the ability to talk to your boss about an issue. This is important but not what I’m focusing on in this article.
You want to create an environment where people feel comfortable, even encouraged, in coming to talk with you about their issues. If you don’t create such an environment, the big loser will be you, , , so ask yourself the question, “Are people comfortable in discussing their problems with you?” If not, you need to make some changes that helps them get there.