During the recession, you've actively adjusted your message to address the needs and concerns of customers and prospects. But have you assuaged the fears of worried employees with similar gusto?

If not, consider this: While you won't be able to put everyone's mind at ease, you may be able to improve team spirit by establishing "office hours"—an open-door policy borrowed from university professors.

"We'd take classes with professors who were busy, distracted from teaching with research in the lab or the library, and otherwise remote and unapproachable," notes Bill Taylor at Harvard Business Online. "But we knew that for a couple of hours, at least one day a week, we could stop by their office, ask for advice, try out an idea, and get the guidance that we needed."


Taylor has seen the collegiate concept emerge as a trend in the business world, and offers as an example a company called 37signals:

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