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Suggestion Boxes: Pros, Ideas, How to Create 

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3 min read
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If you’re looking for the root cause of your high turnover rate, low employee engagement is a promising place to start. A massive 41% of employees have quit their jobs because they feel they weren’t listened to. 

The humble and admittedly retro employee suggestion box offers a simple solution. They can foster a culture of open communication and promote idea generation, making staff feel valued and heard. 

In this article, we’ll cover their benefits, some easy tips and how to implement them effectively. 

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What is a Suggestion Box?

An employee suggestion box, or idea box, is a physical or digital repository designed to collect anonymous feedback and suggestions from employees within an organisation. Its purpose is to provide a channel for individuals to voice their opinions, share insights, and contribute to improving various workplace aspects.

Traditionally, suggestion boxes were physical containers placed in common areas, allowing employees to drop written suggestions into the box. More recently, the popularity of virtual suggestion boxes has grown.

Do Suggestion Boxes Work?

The success of suggestion boxes and anonymous feedback has been a topic of debate for years. Sceptics argue that they’re just symbolic gestures, whereas some research suggests that they can be a powerful tool for organisational improvement, bringing the benefits listed below: 

  1. Engagement and satisfaction: When employees feel that their opinions and ideas are valued, it creates a sense of empowerment and ownership. Motivation improves as a result, driving greater output and profit; companies with high engagement are reportedly 21% more profitable
  2. Innovation and problem-solving: Employees on the front lines often have unique insights into daily operations, customer interactions, and workflow efficiencies. By providing a channel for them to share their ideas, organisations can tap into a diverse pool of knowledge, bringing more creative approaches to challenges. 
  3. Employer brand: When employees have a designated space to share their thoughts, it shows that your organisation values open dialogue, making your company more attractive to desirable candidates. Essentially, an idea box can be a powerful tool for talent acquisition, too!  

Suggestion Box Ideas

Implementing a successful employee suggestion box programme involves more than just placing a container in the office or creating a digital form. To maximise the effectiveness of suggestion boxes, organisations can consider the following ideas:

  1. Theme-based suggestions: Encourage employees to provide suggestions related to specific themes or challenges the organisation is facing. This focused approach can generate targeted and actionable ideas.
  2. Recognition and rewards: Incentivise participation by implementing a recognition and rewards system. Acknowledge valuable suggestions publicly and consider providing tangible rewards such as gift cards or additional time off.
  3. Regular feedback sessions: Organise regular feedback sessions where the management discusses selected suggestions and provides updates on implementing previous ideas. This creates a feedback loop and shows employees that their input is actively considered.
  4. Anonymous and confidential options: Offer anonymity to employees who might be hesitant to share their thoughts openly. This can increase the likelihood of receiving honest and constructive feedback.

How to Create a Suggestion Box

 To set up a physical idea box in the workplace, follow these steps: 

  1. Choose an appropriate location 
  2. Select the right container (easily distinguishable) 
  3. Inform employees clearly using internal channels 
  4. Establish guidelines (e.g. whether ideas should be anonymous, the preferred format, and any specific topics or themes the organisation is interested in) 
  5. Create a feedback mechanism and designate a responsible team or individual to check the suggestion box and communicate outcomes to employees regularly 

How to Create a Virtual Suggestion Box

Creating a virtual suggestion box may be the preferred method for remote or hybrid companies! Follow these steps to set up your digital suggestions box:  

  1. Choose a platform: Select a user-friendly platform or software that allows employees to submit suggestions online. This could be a dedicated suggestion box software or an integrated feature within existing communication tools.
  2. Ensure accessibility: Ensure the feedback box is easily accessible to all employees. Provide clear instructions on using the platform and troubleshoot any potential issues to enhance user experience.
  3. Maintain anonymity: If anonymity is a priority, ensure that the virtual platform allows employees to submit suggestions confidentially. Highlight the security measures in place to instil trust in the process.
  4. Integrate with existing systems: Integrate it with other organisational communication and feedback systems. This ensures a seamless flow of information and prevents suggestions from being overlooked.
  5. Regularly review and respond: This is the most important part, but one that is often overlooked! Assign a dedicated team or individual to review and respond to suggestions submitted through the box regularly. Implement a structured process to analyse, prioritise, and implement viable ideas. The only thing worse than not hearing from employees is hearing but not listening

Listen to Employees Easily with Factorial 

Keep your ears close to the ground, prioritise employee engagement and perfect your employer brand with Factorial, the all-in-one HR software that enables managers to gather feedback and build a data-driven workforce management strategy. 

Factorial allows you to collect a regular employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) to temperature-check your organisation. It automates and centralises the process so you can regularly monitor satisfaction and make necessary adjustments.  

With our user-friendly solution, you can empower employees to manage their own documentation, time off, schedules and more with our self-service Employee Portal. 

Plus, it makes it easy to create a fun company culture, build team bonds, and encourage communication with our Events and Communications tool. It allows you to share company updates instantly so everyone is in the loop. You can also give shout-outs so employees feel valued and celebrate milestones and birthdays to foster team spirit.

Emma is a Content Writer with 5 years of Marketing experience. She specialises in HR strategy and modern workplace trends. When she's not writing, she's running by the beach or cooking Italian food.

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