Open door policy in the workplace

This open door policy in the workplace template is free, customizable and useful for promoting a culture of communication and trust in your organization.

open door policy in the workplace

Open door policy purpose

Our open door policy in business reflects our commitment to transparent and flexible communication between managers and team members.

What is Open Door Policy at work?

Here’s our open door policy definition: it’s simply the management practice of leaving your proverbial door open to all employees. This enhances communication across levels of the organization.

And what’s the open door policy significance to our business? It translates to better communication which in turn helps build a culture of trust. We think this is the only way to achieve innovation and growth. Everyone has valuable thoughts to share and both our workplace and ways of working could always be improved.

We ask our employees, as the heart of our business, to be ready to provide positive or negative feedback, or share ideas that can help us thrive.

Scope

We expect managers of all levels to keep their door open; and this refers to so much more than their office door. They should be ready to listen to their employees in person or over digital means we use at work (email or messaging apps). They should establish a culture of trust and communication in their team. This also applies to senior management who should remain approachable for everyone in the organization.

Team members are free to communicate their thoughts with upper management.

Of course, this policy extends to HR. If you have serious matters on your mind, ranging from concerns over your compensation to workplace harassment, feel free to come to us.

Policy elements

Managers should have their office door open so employees can approach them easily to:

  • Ask for counsel or feedback.
  • Ask questions about a subject.
  • Express a complaint or concern.
  • Raise awareness for a problem.
  • Ask for resolution to an inside dispute or conflict.
  • Make suggestions for change.
  • Discuss other personal topics.

Benefits of open door policy in the workplace

We already emphasized the importance of open communication when it comes to innovation and improvement of our company. More specifically, we hope that listening to employees will help us:

  • Address employee concerns in time.
  • Resolve disputes before tensions escalate.
  • Help employees who were victimized or harassed.
  • Seize opportunities to improve processes.
  • Foster a culture of mutual trust and collaboration.

Manager’s responsibilities

As a manager, listening to your team members is part of your duties. You should always be ready to discuss important subjects (like harassment – see our free Workplace harassment sample template) as soon as possible, but you should also make time to listen to your team members’ concerns or ideas.

Action is also important. Our company open door policy aims to translate good feedback to better results. This means it’s your job to follow through with improvements that matter. Use your judgement to determine whether you should pass information to your own manager or create a plan to address what your team member has told you.

Always be transparent about what you’re going to do. Don’t promise anything that you’re not sure you can deliver. Discuss with your team member, let them know your own thoughts and concerns. After all, communication works both ways.

Of course, we expect you to take any negative feedback or criticism in stride. You must not retaliate (see our free No Retaliation Company Policy template) against or victimize team members. If you’re not sure how to handle the information you received, remember: your manager and HR’s door is also open.

Team member’s responsibilities

Communication is important and is built on mutual trust. This means that just as you trust your manager to listen to you, your manager trusts you to help them digest information better.

So we ask you to:

  • Ask for an appointment in advance, whenever possible, if you want to talk about a significant or delicate matter.
  • Communicate with your manager whenever possible instead of going to more senior manager first. You can bypass your manager in some cases: for example, if they’re out of office, if they’re involved in a harassment claim or they’ve consistently and willfully violated our company open door policy (which you can report to HR).
  • Try to resolve minor disputes with your colleagues before reaching out to your manager. Trust and communication should work horizontally as well as vertically in our company.

In general, speak up when you have an opinion about something. Also, inform us when you notice harassment, victimization or any violation of our code of conduct. We need all of you to ensure the workplace is safe and nice to work in for everyone.

Disclaimer: This policy template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.
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