Every company needs a protocol to ensure communication across all levels of management is consistent. Once in a while, someone may go too far up or down the ladder of management to communicate information, or may not communicate properly at all.
An open door policy is most effective when proper protocols are put in place so it is used efficiently. Having a company email address and phone number that people can reach you at to set up an appointment is best. Some people aren’t comfortable spilling details over email, but at least using email and the phone to book the time can prevent a lot of inefficiency.
Over the past two years, I’ve seen the level of dialogue I’ve had with people become more effective because people use email and the phone to address issues before making an in-person visit.
As managers, the open door should be open for the open door policy to be effective, but that doesn’t mean the open door has to be walked through; just as effectively, a well-crafted email and phone policy can make you seem more open to feedback than you are now.