08.03.17: Closed door policy
THIS HINT may not have much to do with design. But I think it’s still valuable for those of you who work in a newsroom.
During a recent conversation, a friend mentioned that he always has “an open door policy. Anyone knows they can come in my office at any time.”
That’s laudable. And it’s a policy I follow, too.
However, during my years as a newsroom manager, I also had a strict closed door policy—and I let those who worked with me know that it applied to all comers…at all times.
I told the people who worked with me that they could come into my office at any time to talk. If the talk was of a serious or private nature, I would immediately close the door so they would know:
- They had my full attention.
- No one else would know what we were talking about.
- What we discussed would never go outside of my office.
I am convinced to this day that my closed door policy gave newsroom staffers the confidence they needed to come to me and talk about their problems and concerns. Many of them shared information that needed to be kept secret and I was humbled to know they trusted me.
To this day, even when I’m visiting in another newsroom, I maintain my closed door policy. And I know it has helped those who come to me. It has also helped me work with publishers and editors to improve how they manage the news staff.
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