A true “open door” policy is difficult to maintain. With lean production scheduling and tight deadlines, you don’t always have time for employees to pop in and ask you a question. After all, if they know they can always come to you to solve their problems, what incentive do they have to figure it out on their own?
An “open mind” policy shows that you are open to frank discussion and you will set appropriate boundaries that work for you and your team. Let your employees know that you are there for them when they truly need you, but not for every single complaint or question.
1. Make sure that no matter what you hear, you don’t “kill the messenger.” Listen without interruption and ask for your employee’s suggestion in solving the issue.
2. Have a “thanks for sharing” attitude instead of a “yeah but” attitude. If you fight or argue about the points that your team member is trying to make, they will stop sharing.
3. Never ask a question that you don’t really want the answer to. Become a master of the “Poker Face” and provide a safe haven for them to share thoughts and ideas with you.
To get this and 97 other ideas on Manufacturing Engagement, please check out Lisa Ryan’s book, “Manufacturing Engagement: 98 Proven Strategies to Attract and Retain Your Industry’s Top Talent“