It’s paramount to every business that the boss is approachable. After all, it could have an adverse effect if staff don’t feel comfortable in reaching out to the leader.

Whether you are a business owner or a manager, you’ll no doubt want members of your team to feel that they can speak to you – no matter what they have on their mind.  With this in mind, here are six ways that you can start to make yourself more approachable in the months ahead.

1. Introduce an open door policy

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you will literally always have your door open.  Instead, it means that you welcome visitors throughout the working day.  By letting your staff know that you have an open door policy, you will be encouraging openness – and therefore strong communication – throughout the entire office.  In most cases, staff should be able to use their initiative and will refrain from barging in for a chat when you are on the phone or busy with a client.

2. Office hours

Depending on your schedule, it could be wise to introduce office hours.  These are essentially designated times of day when you are known to be available.  Again, this measure should eliminate the likelihood that your staff are worried about disturbing you while you work.  In turn, you should find that there are far fewer people pacing outside your door wondering whether to knock.

3. Focus on time-keeping

Even the most organised individuals can suffer from time-keeping issues.  This could result in you missing a deadline – or it could result in you sending your staff the wrong message.  If you regularly appear rushed off your feet and stuck for time, your staff may feel like they can’t talk to you without further throwing your schedule off.  With this in mind, try not to always appear like you haven’t got a minute to spare.

4. Give one-to-one feedback

There are countless benefits to giving out regular one-to-one feedback.  As well as helping your staff know what they are doing well and where improvements may lie, it can also be an opportunity for you to talk to people as individuals rather than as a team.  This should help your relationship grow with every member of your workforce, which in turn will make them feel more relaxed about approaching you in future.

5. Listen to the opinions of others

Don’t forget that you should always take people’s opinions on board.  This doesn’t mean that you have to use them.  Instead, it just means that you should be seen to have a willingness to accept new ideas.  In the long run, this should ensure that people come to you without fear that their views will go ignored.

6. Remind people you’re here to help

Admittedly, this advice might seem slightly obvious.  But it’s still a valid point given that it can slip people’s minds.  No one is suggesting that you should walk around with a smile on your face while constantly asking people if there’s anything they would like to talk about.  Instead, it just means that every now and then you should round off a sentence saying ‘If anyone wants to have a word, feel free to pop over and see me’.

Running a business is one of the most rewarding things you can do – but it’s not always going to be a walk in the park. In fact, if you’re the type of boss who’s forever looking to improve, you’ll always welcome new ways to succeed. If you need any coaching – whether it’s on implementing a new strategy or becoming more confident – feel free to contact Delphinium today.

Gemma Rolstone

Gemma Rolstone

Helping good managers to become great leaders