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What exactly is an open door policy?

Posted by on Feb 11, 2020 in Best Practices, Blog, Harassment, HR Consulting | 0 comments

What exactly is an open door policy?

Most of us have heard the phrase open door policy in the work environment.  But what exactly does that mean? Or rather what should it mean?

Recently a client shared that although they have used this term before, the reality is they don’t like it.  They felt it was a waste of their time and didn’t do anything to resolve issues.  They even cited a recent business book that advised doing away with open door policies altogether!

We agree that these policies have problems, but we also agree that in most cases, they are ill-defined, have no structure, are not communicated well, and no one knows what their role is…neither managers nor staff.

What is an open door policy?

It depends. Colloquially a manager may say they have an open door policy and encourage people to come talk to them when something is on their mind.  While this seems straightforward, leaving it there leads to a host of problems and soon the manager may want to close that open door and even lock it.

In other places you see something stated in the employee handbook, usually a couple of paragraphs. But again, it rarely goes beyond letting the employees know they should talk to management if they have questions about their jobs. It certainly doesn’t tell them much about the process or provide guidance on how to resolve matters on their own.

A bona fide open door policy is designed to ensure that employees who are having issues at work have an avenue to express them to someone who can do something about it.  It invites and encourages employees to let management know if there are issues so that management can address it.  If an employee chooses not to use the open door policy, then the organization has some defense against claims the employee may make through courts or agencies.

Having said that, the way organizations [mis]manage their open door policy can cause more problems. For example:

  • Managers who have not been trained on responding to open door questions may not know they can acknowledge them without taking immediate action, which allows them to seek guidance and try to uncover other facts.
  • Also, managers may not know that ‘open door’ does not mean they can’t set limits…they may need to limit the amount of time they are available to address open door issues or redirect the discussion to current issues and not previously-discussed issues.
  • Employees have not been told what the open door policy can and cannot do for them, and they may have unrealistic expectations or believe they do not have to be part of the solution.
  • Employees use it as a means to gripe without offering solutions.
  • Some employees fear bringing matters up because they fear how they will be perceived…that they are a complainer or a problem employee.
  • Employees fear retaliation…if managers respond poorly or in a retaliatory way to issues that have been raised, employees will stop sharing them.

Avoiding pitfalls can make your open door policy an effective tool in fostering good employee relations and providing you with a means to uncover issues before they get into courts or agencies.  Here is what we recommend:

  • Develop policies and procedures that explain the role of the manager in the open door process.
  • Provide managers with guidance on how and when to respond, and how to manage the conversations.
  • Communicate the open door policy to employees and make it clear that they have the RIGHT to bring important matters up or ask questions of management about their job.  Also explain that they can go to their supervisor, senior management, or Human Resources…whomever is appropriate, or they feel most comfortable going to.  Additionally, employees need to know they also have a RESPONSIBILITY to raise concerns that are not trivial, and that they will assist in the resolution of the matter in an active fashion.
  • Train managers to understand their role and responsibility in the open door process and what actions they are required to take.  Because many managers are unfamiliar with how an open door discussion should go, we advise role playing as part of the training so that they are comfortable with handling situations effectively.
  • Make sure you follow through.  If an employee brings something up and hears nothing further, they assume their issue is not being addressed.  Make sure you advise people what you are going to do and make them aware that in some cases action may be taken but in the interest of employee privacy they may be able to disclose what actions if any will be taken.

Our experience has shown that a well-managed open door policy ensures important matters are brought up so that they be addressed and can be done so without becoming a burden to management. It goes a long way to improving morale if staff knows they are listened to, and managers know they can successfully resolve employee concerns.

Do you need assistance with your workforce strategy or other Human Resources consulting needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources.

OA supports Motogo’s February 8 2020 Benefit

Posted by on Jan 10, 2020 in Blog, Community Support, Non Profit | 0 comments

OA supports Motogo’s February 8 2020 Benefit

OA is a proud supporter of Motogo.  Motogo builds confidence by providing a hands-on introduction to real world problem solving and critical thinking through the tangible avenue of motorcycle maintenance.

On February 8 2020 we invite you to join us for the second annual benefit Bringin’ Back Shop Class to support the Motogo Mobile Shop Class.

Not only will you get to meet the Motogo team and learn more about the program and our early successes, there will be food, open bar, interactive demonstrations, silent auction and raffles, and live entertainment.

Ticket and event information can be found here.

Do you want to show your support with your organization or company?  Information on group and corporate support can be found here.

Organizational Architecture is proud to help Skidmark CLE bring these skills to students in Northeast Ohio and beyond and will be involved with helping Brian and Molly bring this program to students in 2020.

Want to learn more?  Contact Brian or Molly by email or call 216.701.7073…or better yet, stop by the garage at 5401 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram too!

 

Library Director search for the Stow – Munroe Falls Public Library

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Blog, Government and Public Sector, Openings, Public Libraries, Talent Acquisition | 0 comments

Library Director search for the Stow – Munroe Falls Public Library

On behalf of our client, the Stow – Munroe Falls Public Library, we are seeking exceptional candidates for a new Library Director opening. The Library Director will plan and administer all aspects of the operation of the Stow – Munroe Falls Public Library. As the chief administrative officer of the library, s/he is responsible for maintaining positive working relations with the Board of Trustees, for all personnel matters, and for all the services, facilities, and operations of the library. In addition, it is expected that the Library Director will demonstrate a high level of professionalism within the library and in her/his interactions with community and educational organizations and professional and civic associations.

This is a highly responsible library generalist position that involves developing and administrating library policies, programs, and practices for a visible community organization. There is full responsibility for designing and executing the library’s strategy in harmony with the organization’s overall objectives and its mission to “help create a community where ideas, culture, and knowledge thrive by providing materials, equipment and services to all people”.

Qualified candidates will have

  • A Master’s degree in Library Science is required.
  • Experience with most aspects of library operations, including human resources management, public services/educational programming, technical services, technology, and budget/fiscal management is required.
  • Experience leading, hiring, training, developing, supervising, and evaluating staff is required.
  • Experience in a management position within a public library is preferred.
  • Experience collaborating and partnering with board members, community partners, and other key stakeholders is preferred.

Benefits include medical, dental, life, and more; generous public pension plan [Ohio Public Employees Retirement System]; paid training/continuing education and professional association memberships.

To be considered for this position, please submit your resume and a cover letter [including salary requirements] via email to: ryansheehan@oahumanresources.com. No phone calls or faxes will be accepted. No third party candidates please. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

We are privileged to assist another public library with their recruiting needs. Follow the link to learn more about the Library Director opportunity at the Stow – Munroe Falls Public Library.

Client success story – Wickliffe Public Library

Posted by on Dec 17, 2019 in Blog, Government and Public Sector, HR Consulting, Public Libraries, Success Stories, Talent Acquisition | 0 comments

Client success story – Wickliffe Public Library

Organizational Architecture has been fortunate to work with many of Ohio’s public libraries including the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Stark County District Library, Cleveland Public Library, and others. We’ve even worked with their statewide professional association, the Ohio Library Council.  Our latest success story is helping the Wickliffe Public Library’s Board of Trustees select its new Library Director.

The Wickliffe Public Library serves all people, addresses informational needs, and provides opportunities for lifelong learning.  Their vision is to be the destination that inspires a learning community.

This summer the Board invited us to meet with them to learn more about their needs and share our expertise working with public libraries.  Board President Mary Ann Korenewych said:

Some of us on the Board had experience working with search partners in our professional careers, but some hadn’t. We needed a partner that could help all of our Board members understand the process and make sure the Library’s investment in working with recruiting professionals was the right thing for our patrons and the community.

 

We selected OA and the project team of Mark Fiala and Ryan Sheehan to work with us based upon their experience and understanding of the needs of Ohio’s libraries.

 

Ryan and Mark collaborated with us each step of the way.  They provided weekly updates with their activities and the progress of their candidate screening process.  They provided us with a slate of candidates that all had the ability to do the job and at the same time brought unique skills and experience to the table.

 

We could not have been more pleased with their help and guidance on this project, the quality of the candidates, and the timeliness of their work.  The Board is excited to start its work with our new Director…and continue our partnership with OA.

Public sector employers are one of our specialties.  Whether you are a municipality, agency, or public library system, we can help with your HR programs, including compensation benchmarking and pay structures.

If you need assistance with recruiting, compensation strategies or other HR consulting needs, contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.

OA supports Motogo bringing shop class back to schools

Posted by on Dec 3, 2019 in Blog, Community Support, Non Profit | 0 comments

OA supports Motogo bringing shop class back to schools

OA is a proud supporter of Motogo.  Motogo builds confidence by providing a hands-on introduction to real world problem solving and critical thinking through the tangible avenue of motorcycle maintenance.

They bring the generations of skill-building once learned in our grandfathers’ garages into the classroom. Through an industrial arts curriculum centered on a getting-your-hands-dirty application, students learn proper tool usage, measurement, calculations, and small engine operation and maintenance.

Higher learning and vocational careers should not exist as mutually exclusive entities. ALL students benefit from understanding how machines work. Many schools don’t have the resources to offer shop class in-house, or transport students to an off-site location. Motogo meets students where they are.

Our Bringing Back Shop Class benefit is on Saturday February 8 2020. Not only will you get to meet the Motogo team and learn more about the program and our early successes, there will be food, open bar, interactive demonstrations, silent auction and raffles, and live entertainment.  Details will be available soon.

If you want to help now you can donate here.

Organizational Architecture is proud to help Motogo bring these skills to students in Northeast Ohio and beyond and will be involved with helping Brian and Molly bring this program to students in 2020.

Want to learn more?  Contact Brian or Molly by email or call 216.701.7073…or better yet, stop by the garage at 5401 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by on Nov 24, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us at Organizational Architecture to you, our clients, colleagues, and friends…we wish you a happy and restful Thanksgiving.

We are grateful to all of you who have helped us throughout the year.

THANKS!

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2020

Posted by on Nov 22, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, Compliance | 0 comments

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2020

The State of Ohio has released its new Minimum Wage poster for 2020.  Ohio employers are required to post this in a conspicuous place where the employees can see the poster easily. Visit Ohio.gov to print your copy and post as many as needed in your workplace.

Watch for new updates on workforce strategy or contact us for other helpful resources.

Client success story – City of Rossford Ohio

Posted by on Nov 18, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, Government and Public Sector, Success Stories | 0 comments

Client success story – City of Rossford Ohio

We’ve worked with a number of municipalities over the years, such as the cities of Cleveland Heights, Strongsville, and others, and we were pleased to help another one this summer with compensation benchmarking for its management positions.

The City of Rossford Ohio is located in Northwest Ohio, along the Maumee River and is an ideal destination for discovery as you explore its quaint downtown, beautiful marina, its Crossroads Shopping mecca, and its historic surroundings.

Originally contacted by a member of Council for assistance with this project, we worked closely with the City Administrator and Finance Director on this project.

Ed Ciecka, Interim City Administrator and Karen Freeman, Finance Director, were our partners and said:

We were interested in understanding how compensation for our management positions compared to the market.  This information would be helpful to both the Mayor and the City Council in planning for the next year.  Council members reached out to OA and we worked with them to provide information and review the analysis before presenting it at a Council meeting.

 

The OA team provided us insight into how we compared to the market, and gave us good information on compensation best practices and trends.  They shared meaningful information both in the context of public-sector employers and the broader market for labor. They used both survey data and information they acquired directly from other municipalities that we deem to be peers.

 

This information is important as we plan our budgets for 2020, and provide us and Council with a useful perspective on fair and equitable pay for our management team.

 

The information in their report was clear.  Furthermore OA was available to answer questions in person and provided both the Finance Committee and our citizens with a clear explanation of their work and findings.  We appreciate their assistance and recommend them.

Public sector employers are one of our specialties.  Whether you are a municipality, agency, or public library system, we can help with your HR programs, including compensation benchmarking and pay structures, recruiting, and temporary HR assistance.

If you need assistance with your compensation programs or other HR consulting needs, contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.