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I am a M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology. Most of my experience has been in human resources and change management. My passion lies in employee assessment, organizational development and employee opinions. Website: www.IanMondrow.com LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/drBYoC

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The HR Door

Are you currently working in human resources? If so, ask yourself the following questions:
  1. How often do I close my door?
  2. Do I welcome employees to enter my office even if the door is closed?
  3. What are my reasons for closing the door?
  4. What message do I send when I close the door?
They seem like simple questions to us but in reality, a closed/open door can create a powerful message. When a human resources officer leaves his/her door open, employees feel more welcome to visit or approach HR personnel. The open door also increases communication between HR and employees. Employees will have a greater opportunity to develop relationships with the HR personnel because they can walk by and strike up a casual conversation. In addition, a door does not have to be open 100% of the time. Employees are understanding that there are occasions when the door may have to be closed, including: private meetings, phone calls or [obviously] when one is out of the office. From this, an open door ensures the presence of a human resources office in the organization.

Let us evaluate the opposite scenario. A door that is often closed can may send a misleading impression to employees. Employees may feel that (1) HR is too busy for us, (2) HR does not care about us, (3) HR is a forbidden zone, and/or (4) HR is never here. Fear and uncertainty can develop in staff when the door to HR is closed. They are uncertain of what goes on in the office and therefore may be intimidated to report concerns or to ask any questions. It is amazing how a simple action such as opening and closing one's door can create an entirely different culture.

The benefits of an open door are overwhelming and the process is simple. Furthermore, the higher one's position is, the more intimidating he/she is to approach. Opening one's door can assist employees in overcoming this intimidation and foster a culture of open communication and trust.

Think about it... how often is your door closed?

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