Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Communication Workload Open Door Policy Responsiveness Time Management

My manager told me that as part of my managerial responsibilities, I need to spend more time with my employees. I admit that I tend to stay in my office most of the day, and the reason is that I have so much work to do. My door is open if my employees need to see me, and that's about all I can do now. Do you have any suggestions?

In addition to managing the administrative and technical side of your job, you also need to manage the people side, and it sounds like you have side-stepped the latter function. Today's best managers spend considerable time meeting informally as well as formally with their employees, and the informal meetings are often in their employees' offices or work areas.

By managing by wandering around, mangers are not only able to meet with employees, answer questions, and provide coaching, they are also literally and figuratively in a position to better observe whatever may be happening. The employees appreciate the managers' increased visibility and accessibility, and these visits are an excellent way to build communication as well as productivity.

Try to make and take time to get out to the employees more often. One of the basic adages of time management is that in order to get one thing done, you need to move something else back. Since communication with your team is a high priority, you need to figure out which work can be pushed back. It is excellent to have an open door policy, but when you are immersed in work, an open door can look very closed.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!