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Benefits of an Open Door Policy in the Workplace - HRDQ

Benefits of an Open Door Policy in the Workplace

Employees value managers who are communicative and available to answer their questions and address their concerns as needed. An open door policy facilitates effective workplace communication, boosts office morale, and increases productivity by allowing employees to discuss their concerns with higher-ups at any time.

Open door policies promote transparency and develop employee trust. Managers also benefit from open door policies as they are able to hear their employees’ feedback and implement changes that positively impact workplace efficiency and productivity.

So how can you implement an open door policy and reap these important benefits? Let’s take a closer look at what an open door policy is, what the benefits are, and how you can successfully implement such a policy in your workplace.

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What is an Open Door Policy?

An open door policy means that employees have the freedom to meet with managers or other leadership figures throughout the workday to discuss their concerns and provide feedback. This type of policy ensures employees are able to communicate pressing issues with managers and gives them the impression that their opinions are valued, which goes a long way in improving trust between employees and leadership figures.

Benefits of an Open Door Policy in the Workplace | HRDQ

Benefits of an Open Door Policy

Open door policies offer several benefits for employees and managers, all of which help bolster workplace performance and keep office morale high:

Talent Retention

Skilled employees are incredibly valuable, and it’s important for those in leadership positions to take steps to retain high-performing employees. By implementing an open door policy, your most important employees are more likely to feel valued and be satisfied with their roles in your organization. Poor management and communication are two of the most common factors that lead to employee dissatisfaction, and an open door policy can help you avoid these pitfalls.

Improved Communication

Strong communication is the lifeblood of a successful and productive workplace. Open door policies encourage employees to speak their minds any time an important concern or question arises, and managers benefit from constantly being kept in the loop on workplace issues. Managers with closed doors may find themselves isolated from their employees, and as a result, they may not be aware of urgent issues in the office.

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Stronger Relationships

To maintain positive office morale, it’s important for managers and other leadership figures to have strong relationships with their employees. An open door policy accomplishes this by promoting an open and friendly workplace culture.

Proactive Problem Solving

When left unaddressed, small issues can become major problems that disrupt day-to-day activities and negatively impact productivity. Open door policies allow employees to present issues to management as they arise so they can be addressed before they begin to affect morale and efficiency.

Ultimately, implementing an open door policy facilitates more effective communication with the goal of improving productivity, boosting morale, and establishing a strong sense of trust between leadership figures and employees.

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How to Implement an Open Door Policy

Setting up an open door policy in your workplace doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s important to do it correctly to avoid some of the pitfalls that can come with being too open with your employees. To implement an effective open door policy, make sure to follow these steps:

Establish Boundaries

An open door policy helps managers stay current with employee concerns, but without establishing boundaries, employees may come to you with every minor issue, which can inhibit productivity. While it’s important for employees to be able to communicate with you, it’s also important for them to be able to handle minor concerns without distracting you from your other duties.

To maintain an effective open door policy, you may consider the following:

  • Establish certain hours during the day that your door is open for communication. Outside of these hours, you might consider only encouraging employees to contact you for emergencies.
  • Make it clear that, as long as your door is open, employees are free to walk in and open a discussion with you. However, if your door is closed, it may be better for them to schedule a meeting for a later time.
  • Encourage employees to try solving problems themselves before bringing them to you.

Establishing boundaries like these encourage open communication while simultaneously encouraging employees to be independent and try to solve workplace issues on their own.

Listen to Your Employees

An open door policy is only effective if managers actually make an effort to listen attentively to their employees and understand their concerns.

Avoid taking calls, answering emails, or otherwise distracting yourself while your employees are speaking to you, and be careful to not dismiss employees’ issues as trivial. Focus the conversation on trying to find a solution to the employee’s problem.

Respond Quickly

Maintaining an effective open door policy depends on managers responding quickly and effectively to employee concerns.

While not every issue can be solved immediately, managers should always make an effort to resolve an issue the first time it is presented to them by an employee. By addressing problems as soon as they become apparent, managers can more easily maintain a productive workplace.

More Ways to Improve Workplace Productivity


Establishing an open door policy is a great way for organizations of any size to streamline communications, build employee trust, and improve productivity.

At HRDQ, we specialize in providing experiential, soft-skills training materials and solutions for organizations of all sizes. The HRDQ Reproducible Training Library (RTL) includes a full range of customizable training materials so you can easily build out your own unique training programs. The RTL features a collection of 80+ customizable soft-skill programs for virtual or classroom instructor-led training and online self-study learning. Explore the HRDQ Reproducible Training Library

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.