Why Having an “Open-Door Policy” Doesn’t Always Work — Recognition Series | Part 3

by Mark Epp

January 21, 2021ArticlesCultureEngagement

Series Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

This is the third installment in a series of how to recognize employees in a meaningful way, even during a pandemic.  

When employees are working from home, it is imperative to encourage open and frequent conversations to head off disengagement. In addition to encouraging dialogue, be proactive in soliciting your team members’ input and ideas. Engage in regular one-on-one conversations so you can query them about their unique motivations, aspirations and work preferences and inquire about their ongoing career goals and progress. This will assist you in identifying potential work satisfaction issues before they surface. 

Universally, managers I work with say, “I have an open-door policy; my employees can come and talk with me whenever they want to.” However, many employees will not walk through your open door. If dialogue is so important, then why doesn’t an employee just talk to you when they have an issue? It’s a matter of talent or lack of it. Talent Plus interviews tell you if an individual is going to speak up, or if you, as their leader or manager, need to reach out to them. Employees who have strong communication skills will respond to your open-door policy, whereas those who are more introverted or shy or who prefer to avoid conflict will probably not. Therefore, if you know an employee is doing great work, yet you sense they are disgruntled about something, simply ask them, “What’s up?” 

Don’t be surprised if you need to dig a little to find out why a person seems distant. When my wife and I first started dating 41 years ago, my tendency was to “run” whenever we had a disagreement – sound familiar? Thank goodness she took the time to coach me to talk about it because it turned out that communication is actually one of my strengths. I can’t stand it if I feel someone is upset with me, so I have learned to utilize communication to reach out and solve whatever issue exists. Especially if the challenge is with someone you care about (or someone who is a highly valuable employee or client), the resolution of conflict is imperative to keeping that relationship strong.  

To learn more about our solutions, contact Talent Plus today at 1.800.VARSITY or visit Scientifically validated, structured interviews and online assessments tell us not only if an individual has the potential to be successful in a specific role, but how the employee can create the most value. 

Series Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Mark Epp is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) focusing on Executive and Management development, supporting his clients to advance from where they are now to where they want to go. He joined Talent Plus ® as a Senior Management Consultant, a role in which he works predominantly with The Estée Lauder Companies, Salvatore Ferragamo, the Dorchester Collection of hotels and resorts, and many other luxury brands. Considered an expert on The Science of Talent ®, Epp teaches clients the use of Talent Plus’ scientifically validated, structured interviews and writes curriculum utilized for succession planning and leadership development. As an innovator, Epp has focused his attention on conceptualizing online solutions that help clients apply The Science of Talent through simple, practical, scalable systems that contribute to increased engagement of both employees and managers.