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I am a big fan of being approachable as a leader. If employees have questions they need answer, they should feel free to ask you directly. Having an open door for your employees can minimize the risk of them making poor decisions.
On the other hand, when employees come to you with every question, it can put a great strain on your time. Certainly, you want your employees to feel free to approach you. But you don't want to answer the same questions over and over again. So, how do you deal with this dilemma?
It's all about communication. Have you provided your employees the documentation of policies and procedures that they need? Do they know where to access information when they need it? Do you have an internal "FAQ" to which employees can be directed to find answers to their questions? Before approaching you, employees should have somewhere else they can go to find their answer first.
Imagine if every employee who came to you to ask a question first said, "I couldn't find it in the _________ ..." Where is the place in your organization that employees can go to find answers to common questions? Do you have such a place? If not, you might want to look at it. It can save you time and make your employees more productive. You want to be approachable, but you also want to be smart. Clear communication is the perfect balance between saving your time and equipping your employees with what they need to get the job done.
David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.