In a perfect world, an open-door policy is just the thing to keep employees on your team for years.
You’re sitting at your desk—with the door wide open, naturally—and employees come in to chat and vent their problems, from the smallest issues to the largest dilemmas.
You hash out your problems, and your employee leaves the office feeling like a hundred bucks. They can’t wait to come back to work the next day.
Of course, that’s never how it really works. It’s not a perfect world.
Just because your people aren’t taking advantage of your open door policy doesn’t mean that everyone in your company is happy.
Even though your office door may be open, there are dozens of unresolved issues floating around your company that you might not be aware of.
Not convinced? Here are four key reasons why your open-door policy isn’t enough to keep drivers on your team.
You pay your drivers to drive, naturally. They’re out on the road for two to three weeks at a time, and they’re back at headquarters for just a few hours, usually for training or maintenance. Time spent at headquarters is time off the road—and time they’re not getting paid.
If you’re depending on an open-door policy to give your drivers the opportunity to give their feedback, the stars have to be perfectly aligned: you’ve got to be in your office right when your drivers are available.
That’s just not enough. Your drivers want to be able to share their concerns on their own time, not just when they happen to be back at headquarters.
With the door open, people occasionally trickle into your office to air their grievances. And that’s a good thing—your people trust you that you’ll make positive changes in light of their feedback.
What’s the best way to burn that trust and lose employee engagement at the same time? Ignoring feedback.
Companies who don’t take driver feedback seriously or fail to act upon driver feedback shouldn’t be surprised by poor engagement or high turnover.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? If you aren’t, then someone else will be.
As mentioned before, your drivers are at headquarters for just a small window of time. And if you don’t happen to be in your office at that time, your drivers won’t just forget their problem exists. They’ll go talk to your boss.
Open-door policies may encourage employees to skip intermediate steps in dispute resolution and head straight to higher management to resolve any issue.
This type of “squeaky wheel gets the grease” feedback ties up the wrong resources at your business. Worse yet, it indicates that some managers aren’t available to their people when needed—and that’s not a good impression to make.
A recent Forbes article summarizes the problem concisely. In one study, researchers found that employees often chose to hold back from sharing information that could be beneficial for the company. Why?
“The perceived risks of speaking up felt very personal and immediate to employees, whereas the possible future benefit to the organization from sharing their ideas was uncertain. So people often instinctively played it safe by keeping quiet.”
Naturally, people are afraid of saying the wrong thing or upsetting their manager. As many as one in four people fear being yelled at by their superior, even if there’s an open-door policy.
The moment there’s a negative perception about speaking out is the same moment your employees hold their tongue.
That silence costs your company dearly—when people are quiet, they don’t speak up about their happiness, safety issues, or countless other concerns.
That’s why transparent, anonymous feedback is the open-door policy for the 21st Century.
When your drivers can air their concerns remotely and anonymously—from anywhere—they’ll always get their concern heard, which helps keep them on your team.