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An Open Door Policy

A policy used by a manufacturing company, aimed at encouraging communication.

September 18, 2003
Related Topics: Benefit Design and Communication, Compensation
The Company has an Open Door Policy for all Associates, which provides aninternal procedure to present work-related concerns, ideas or suggestions. TheOpen Door Policy is designed to encourage Associates to communicate theirconcerns, ideas, or suggestions to their supervisors and also to provide themwith the option of carrying their concern to the next higher level ofmanagement, to Human Resources, or to senior management without retaliation orfear of retaliation.

    The Open Door Policy is intended to provide effective communications withinthe Company, but is not intended as a contractual right to any due process orgrievance procedure.


Normal Procedure

  • Associates are encouraged to discuss their concerns, ideas or suggestionswith their supervisor. The supervisor knows more about the Associate and the jobthan anyone else and is in the best position to handle the situation quickly andsatisfactorily. Often, frank and open communication about a situation is theeasiest way to address it.
  • First--The Associate should discuss the matter with his/her supervisor(unless, due to the nature of the matter, the Associate cannot discuss it withhis/her supervisor, then the Associate should discuss it with the next levelmanager). The supervisor should act to resolve and answer the concern. If anAssociate feels a concern, idea, or suggestion has not received the attention itdeserves, then…
  • Second--The Associate should attempt to resolve the matter with thenext level of management within the local facility because they are best able towork out a satisfactory solution for all concerned. However, if an Associatefeels that a satisfactory answer still has not been received, continue to thenext levels of management, or…
  • Third--The Associate may address the matter with any other manager heor she chooses.

    The Human Resources Manager is available to assist the Associate at anytime and with any level of management in pursuing the resolution of a matterunder the Open Door policy. Upon request, the Human Resources Manager may alsoassist the manager/supervisor in understanding reasons for the matter raisedthrough the Open Door procedure and provide guidance and information onpolicies, benefits, etc.

Direct Referral to Corporate Management

  • There may be times when an Associate may wish to submit a statement inwriting for consideration by a specific level of management. The writtenstatement should be as specific as possible and identify the Associate.
  • The Company will provide the Associate with a confidential answer inwriting, usually within ten working days from the receipt of the statement, whenpossible and appropriate.

Management Responsibility

  • All members of management have a basic responsibility to see that OpenDoor matters are considered carefully and seriously and that an answer ispromptly given.
  • Management also has the responsibility to ensure that no Associate ispenalized for exercising his or her privilege to utilize the Open Door policy.

   While the above procedure is preferred, it should be understood that anyAssociate, at any time, and for whatever reason, has the right to bring up anissue of concern directly to the Chairman and/or other Corporate Officers.

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from “Exhibit Books of Personal Policies--Set II; Volume 3: Benefits and Employee Programs,” Watson Wyatt DataServices. For more information, visit or call (201)843-1177.

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