A 'Virtual Open Door' Policy is a Great Way to Communicate with Disparate Staff.

Dear PPMA members and friends

This week’s blog post has been written by Jabbar Sardar, Director of HR and OD at CAFCASS as well as also our Regional Chair for Yorkshire and Humberside. He talks about the importance of effective communication with staff, particularly remote workers.

At the time of writing this I have just completed a teleconference that was arranged at immediate notice to discuss an urgent issue. Like many national organisations Cafcass’ HR team are spread wide and far, from London to Yorkshire, Derbyshire to Devon supporting 53 offices and around 2000 staff.

Although I daily contact with colleagues, some I only actually see face to face 4 times a year. Rather than consider this an inhibitor, I see remote working offering a distinct advantage in our support to organisational effectiveness. As a Director, I focus much of my day on communicating with my team at all levels. This is fostered through my managers and staff via the professional use of smartphones, teleconferencing and videoconferencing with internal colleagues and external partners.

The effectiveness of direct communication is therefore critical and all team members, including myself foster a ‘virtual open door’ policy, meaning that for much of the day we preserve the quality of our service through being accessible and responsive, and also being direct and clear in the messages we give. The effectiveness of this model offers much greater ‘virtual visibility’ than if we were based in a single office.

HR staff are not micro managed around every event but encouraged to work towards agreed goals and managers are encouraged to take time to discuss situations with colleagues instead of simply offering direction, providing a basis to increase capacity as the team are better equipped to deal with varied scenarios. As the Public Sector is faced by the need for increased remote working, along with the emerging demands to work across organisations collaboratively, all managers must consider trusting this way of working as providing a more effective service in today’s world, and keeping to the priorities which emerge from the ‘doing more with less’.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts on and experiences of, communicating with disparate staff,  just leave us a comment by clicking ‘comments at the top of this post.

Jabbar Sadar
Director of HR and OD, CAFCASS and PPMA Regional Lead, Yorkshire & Humberside

By | 2017-07-30T12:23:18+00:00 June 16th, 2013|Categories: Guest Blogger, Jabbar Sadar|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Martin Rayson 26th June 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Good post Jabbar. The need for trust and a focus on outputs and outcomes have always been at the heart of a positive performance management relationship. This need has been enhanced as people become more dispersed. I have always sought to create a clear framework for the people who work with me, within which they can work and take responsibility for decisions. My own availability for support and guidance is a part of that framework.

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