Is an “Open-Door Policy” Really That Open?
Featured Guest Blogger: Anthony Fasano, P.E., CPC, LEED AP
Associate Civil Engineer and Professional Career & Leadership Development Coach
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Hello all. Today I thought I would write a post in response to two questions I received from one of the members of my LinkedIn Group Civil Engineering Career Development group. I would ask that you please leave your feedback below this article so that this individual will get information from various sources on this topic. Thanks!
1. What is the best way to go for “Leadership Certification”?
This is a question that I have been asked several times through my blogging efforts and unfortunately I don’t really have a great answer. I know that there are many coaching and training programs out there that will help you develop your leadership skills but I don’t know of a specific leadership certification. I have heard excellent things from engineers about the Dale Carnegie Training course; however I have not done it myself, although I certainly plan to do so.
Do you know of a leadership certification out there or can you recommend a specific leadership training course like the Dale Carnegie Training course?
2. In your opinion, when a company has an “open-door policy” what does that mean?
According to About.com an open-door policy guarantees that employees can go above their boss to seek assistance from the boss’s supervisor. An open door policy provides employee access to any manager or supervisor including the CEO. This is pretty much how I would have defined an open-door policy, however whether or not companies with these policies enforce them is a whole other story.
Personally, I would guess that 9 out of 10 companies that say they have an open-door policy do not practice it regularly, or should I say the employees don’t practice it regularly. Unfortunately today, because of the way many supervisors manage, and of course because of the economy, people are just scared to speak their mind. They are afraid 1) to lose their job and 2) that speaking out will stunt their career advancement. In my opinion there is a lack of trust between co-workers in most companies throughout corporate America and this lack of trust prompts people to either say nothing or partake in negative workplace gossip which is not the same as an open-door policy.
I believe that special leaders will rise to the top regardless of whether or not a company has an open-door policy. If there is an issue or a challenge, they will address it with the proper person in an effort to resolve it as quickly as possible. These kinds of leaders do not fear conflict, in fact their high energy approach typically doesn’t attract conflict and they are able to resolve challenges quickly, maximizing results!
Please consider the following questions in leaving feedback on this post:
Do you or have you worked at a company with an open-door-policy and if so was it really utilized as it is defined?
Did you ever utilize this policy, and if so were the results beneficial to you and your career or would you have been better off staying quiet?