The employee suggestion box is a classic mainstay of the corporate world—but in the 2020s, it’s a little outdated. Nevertheless, collecting feedback from your organization’s people is just as important as ever, especially in the age of anonymous reporting and the EU Whistleblower Directive. So instead of throwing the employee suggestion box out of the window entirely, why not modernize it into something more secure and effective?
In this article, we’ll discuss why and how you can put together a modern employee suggestion program and some workplace suggestion box ideas that suit today’s workplace.
Does your company need an employee suggestion box?
The first step to implementing a modern employee suggestion program is considering whether it fits your company culture and goals. If it’s already the norm at your company for people to independently bring up ideas for change and feedback without a formal process, you may not need an employee suggestion box.
On the other hand, if the following statements apply to you, a suggestion box may be precisely the solution you need.
- One of HR’s goals is to collect more employee feedback
- People don’t readily volunteer their thoughts without being prompted
- It’s clear that there’s room for positive change within the organization
- Previous attempts at encouraging brainstorming or idea-sharing have not been very successful
- In the past, anonymous forms of data collection have been more successful than when companies ask people to share opinions openly in front of others
Key tips for an effective suggestion box
If you have decided that a workplace suggestion box is a good fit for your organization, here are some tips to help you create an effective suggestion program your people will use.
- Be responsive to suggestions: The suggestion box is about more than giving people a place to voice their opinions—it’s just as important to listen and respond to them. Your suggestion program should include a plan for who will respond to suggestions, how often, and how. This way, people will feel adequately heard and confident that real change will happen.
- Be clear about procedures: When you kick off your suggestion program, be sure to make an employee suggestion box announcement informing your people about the program. Use the announcement to explain exactly how people can use the suggestion box.
- Offer guidance: To help kick off brainstorming, offer your people guidance. Ask them questions or offer prompts about areas you’re particularly interested in receiving feedback on.
- Encourage detailed suggestions: To discourage people from submitting unhelpful one-sentence suggestions (or even shorter), request or require suggestions to include a certain level of detail, such as a “why” or “how” section.
- Give rewards: One way to encourage participation in your suggestion program is to reward people whose suggestions you implement. If you choose to do this, be sure to communicate it ahead of time.
Virtual employee suggestion box
The good news for HR pros looking to start a suggestion box program is that we’re well into the internet age now, and you no longer have to go through the slow, manual process of sifting through a physical suggestion box.
Instead, you can use a digital employee suggestion box like HiBob’s Your Voice tool created to offer people a safe space for anonymous reporting where they can comfortably voice their opinions. Encryption technology provides true anonymity so people can share what is really on their minds without fear of repercussion. And for admins, it’s significantly easier to track, store, and address submissions with digital technology.
Why anonymous employee suggestion box software is better
There are many reasons why you’ll probably prefer a digital employee suggestion box over paper options like a printable employee suggestion box form template, including:
- It’s easier to set up and manage
- It’s more secure
- You’ll be able to access the data from anywhere
- It’s more convenient for HR and the people making suggestions, increasing the likelihood that people will use it
- It’s more environmentally friendly
Recommended For Further Reading
Employee suggestion box vs. suggestion program
One important thing to consider is your approach to people’s suggestions. An old-school employee suggestion box is easy to set and forget, leaving suggestions gathering dust in the break room without creating any meaningful change.
Digital employee suggestion software allows you to view what you are doing as a complete program that goes beyond just collecting feedback to actually responding, implementing, and rewarding. This way, you’ll be more likely to meet the goals you create for your suggestion initiative.
What are your employee suggestion box ideas?
Now that you’ve got all of the information you need, your next step is to build out an employee suggestion program of your own to meet your organization’s unique needs. Employee suggestion program examples are all around–what will yours look like?