Within the last few years I noticed that the best managers I ever worked for were those that kept open lines of communication. I had two managers that may have needed to actually have less of an open door policy as I have no clue how they ever got actual work accomplished. However, you could always get the status of anything you needed at any given time. Unfortunately there have been very few managers that I have worked for that made the environment as open as these two did. It was a delight to work for them and when I moved on I actually felt bad knowing I was leaving them.
Therefore, today’s casual business lesson is going to be focused around open lines of communication. Being a manager who has always practiced open lines of communication with my employees I know it can be difficult as it often takes time away from other work to keep everyone informed. The flip side is that your employees will take more stock in their position with the company and feel more like a part of the team when you keep them in the loop.
Several places I’ve worked have given me managers that are poster children for broken lines of communication with staff. In each location I’ve seen the same problems arise. There is always confusion amongst the employees, eventually an uprising and that’s usually when people begin searching for other forms of employment due to the unhappiness with their current work situation. These are all problems that can be avoided.
My last place of employment gave me an opportunity to get to know my employees very well as my office was in the corner of their break room. It was an interesting office situation that could be trying at times to get my work done, but it did allow me the chance to continually keep my staff up to date on everything that I was able to share. Obviously there are topics that you will not be able to openly communicate, but there are many that you will be able to and your employees will appreciate hearing them.
When I made the decision to leave my last job it was very difficult. After three years I felt as if we were less of a workforce and more of a dynamic family situation. I cared about each of the employees as I watched on as the attended college, graduated, got married and even moved on to professional careers of their own. I was always sad to see them go, but so proud to see them achieving their goals and starting their own careers. In my mind this was all due to our open lines of communication and the wonderful work environment we all maintained each and every day.
Take a moment out of your day and think if you have taken the time to chat with your staff. Do you know anything about them outside of work? Are they looking to move forward in their career? Do they feel like they have a good grip on the company and what is going on around them? Are you sharing information accurately and equally with all of your team? If you are having trouble with some of these questions than it might just be time to re-evaluate the way you interact with your team and share information.
What ever happened to good old elevator etiquette? Now I know that there are many cities across the United States that don’t have building that need to utilize elevators and maybe that has something to do with so many people not understanding the etiquette that goes along with them. Since I am now working in a building that has multiple floors, I use any of the numerous elevators that are at work multiple times a day. Sometimes I get to observe how guests handle the situation, but mostly it is observing how other employees use the elevators. During our two recent trips to Chicago we stayed in the same hotel both time and therefore got to witness many elevator usages.
Many of you might be thinking, “Has she lost her mind? Who cares about elevator etiquette?” Well cyber readers, I do! Now I have observed that people have learned over the years that if a button is lit then it has already been pushed and pushing it again will not make any move any faster. I’m very happy to see this as that used to be a phenomenon that I couldn’t understand adults not comprehending. However, now I have a new observation that is slowly driving me bonkers.
When the elevator reaches the desired floor, and you are inside of it, who has the right of way? Is it the person who is exiting the elevator, which would be you, or is it the person who is boarding the elevator? My rationalization has always been that the person exiting has right of way since this makes more space for those that are boarding the elevator. I came to this decision by using common sense, special awareness and even mathematics if you want to look at it that way. However, I am coming to find I might be the only one that believes an elevator works this way.
Each day, multiple times in a day, I use the elevators at work and as soon as the door opens whoever is standing there rushes on and then shoves their way around as there is not usually enough space for them yet. Now if only something would have left the elevator before they got on then they would have enough space. I wonder what would help this situation. Oh yes, I know! How about you let me get off first! For starters, that is my destination and by shoving me back into the elevator to make room for you I am not unable to get off at the floor I chose. Secondly, I’m sure you would rather the additional space and by me getting off so we can avoid standing awkwardly close with your elbow shoved into my rib cage. I would gladly make the room for you if only you would let me get off.
I know that in the midst of all the “Occupy (fill in the blank)” that elevator etiquette isn’t really at the top of everyone’s list of importance, but maybe one of the Presidential candidates should consider adding this to their list of platforms. After all, it seems like some of them are just creating platforms out of thin air anyway. Let’s bring elevator etiquette back people. I bet there are many that would greatly appreciate it. After all, there are several websites that are completely in existence due to this subject. Have you ever visited Elevator Rules? The website clearly states “While waiting to board, stand AWAY from the door opening. DO NOT board the car unless you are sure no one is getting off on your floor. If there is someone exiting, allow them to clear the door before attempting to board. What a novel idea. Try searching “elevator etiquette” and you’ll be amazed how many websites pop up for the search. Where do you stand? Who do you believe has the right of way when it comes to elevator etiquette?