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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 www.talentplus.com. 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

Mark is the Management Consultant Director at Talent Plus where he aligns The Science of Potentiality ® to each client’s unique needs and support their growth. He brings potential to life through the practical application of our science and enables employees to prosper and organizations to succeed.

“There is nothing more satisfying than witnessing the exponential growth of an employee when they discover and express their talent.”

Talents: Ego Drive, Focus, Individualized Approach, Persuasion, Relationship