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Suggestion Box Ideas: How To Use Suggestion Boxes At Work

26 February 2024

Suggestion Box Ideas: How To Use Suggestion Boxes At Work

If you want to get employees contributing more to shaping the company’s future, or just want their thoughts on daily office life, it might be the right time for some suggestion box ideas.

 

Now we know what you’re thinking… Isn’t a feedback box a little outdated?

 

Well arguably, it’s never been more important to seek feedback from your staff. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to hold on to the best talent.

 

Nearly two thirds – 63% – say it’s harder to retain staff than hire them, according to the TriNet Group.

 

Moreover, average employee engagement stats are only at 23%, shows the Gallup State of the Global Workplace report. Nearly six out of ten staff are ‘quiet quitting’ and 44% felt a lot of stress the previous day.

 

So it’s not surprising that 51% are watching out for, or actively seeking, a new job opportunity.

 

Arguably one of the best ways to improve engagement and workplace culture is by listening to staff views and accommodating them where possible. That’s where a suggestion box could be worth its weight in gold.

 

And of course, these days there are online and app-based options for suggestion boxes, bringing them into the 21st century.

 

So, could your office benefit from a suggestion box? Or is it just another fad your team will ignore?

 

When does an employee suggestion box work well?

 

Consider whether it fits your company culture and goals – that’s the first step.

 

Is it already common practice at your company for team members to put forward ideas for change and give feedback independently? If so, you may not need a formal process or a feedback box.

 

But what about if:

 

  • Staff rarely volunteer their thoughts without being prompted
  • You see the need for positive cultural change at the company
  • HR want to collect more employee feedback
  • You don’t have a regular staff satisfaction survey

 

If one of these statements apply, a suggestion box may be the solution you need.

 

What to watch out for with suggestion boxes

 

This method of feedback collection has some potential drawbacks if you don’t use it well enough. Risks include:

 

  • Lack of participation: Sometimes team members will share ideas initially, but then the rate of suggestions slows down.
  • No action: If you don’t take on any of their ideas, they’ll likely stop sharing. Commit to reviewing the suggestions regularly and implementing the good ideas.
  • Loss of credit: A suggestion box can take credit away from employees. Consider letting the employee who gave the suggestion take the lead if they want to.
  • Negativity: It can become a method for employees to complain, without offering any real solutions. Encourage employees to offer actionable solutions too.

 

As an expert office cleaning company in London, we’ve seen a wide range of suggestion box programmes. So to make sure you see the benefits and none of the drawbacks, here are our favourite suggestion box ideas:

 

#1 Take an online / offline hybrid approach

 

You can choose from a physical, digital, or dual approach for your suggestion box!

 

It’s usually easier to track, store and handle submissions with digital technology for the suggestion box owner. An online suggestion box can be faster and easier to share with team members in different offices and countries.

 

In most cases, it’s also more environmentally friendly – check out our green office ideas for businesses.

 

Physical boxes are the best option for collecting handwritten suggestions. Make sure it’s accessible to all employees in some way, shape or form, if you’re using a physical location.

 

#2 Guarantee privacy

 

Your staff may want to write frankly about a problem. They may worry about their suggestion criticising upper management, or they could just be nervous.

 

It should be an anonymous system if employees want it to be. Clarify how and why the suggestion box is anonymous.

 

Encryption technology can provide better anonymity for digital suggestion boxes, so staff can share ideas without fear of scrutiny. If staff are more comfortable sharing the idea with a specific department, consider including that option too.

 

To protect people’s privacy, put a lock on any physical suggestion boxes. Only the administrator in charge of reviewing suggestions should have the key.

 

#3 Offer incentives

 

Give employees a reason to use the suggestion box – incentivise them to take part and contribute.

 

Consider running a light-hearted competition. If you have several offices, the one with the highest number of suggestions implemented could win a prize, for example.

 

Incentives could include gift cards, free lunches, fun team building activities or extra budget for the work Christmas party in December.

 

Staff resource permitting, how about a half day off work for a winning suggestion? That’ll boost the number of suggestions in the box!

 

Thank staff for helping the business to make changes, acknowledge the time they have taken and reward them accordingly. Also, share progress updates – information is an incentive too, more on this shortly.

 

#4 Introduce a follow-up plan

 

Regularly review the suggestions and respond to them in a timely manner. Make sure that employees feel you’re taking their suggestions seriously and acting upon them where possible.

 

Specify:

 

  • Who will review and approve suggestions
  • Next steps for implementing approved suggestions

 

Follow up through emails or other forms of company communication – show staff that you value their feedback. Give them credit when their ideas improve a process or save the business money.

 

Don’t let staff think that you’re ignoring their suggestions – that’s not good office etiquette and soon you won’t receive any good ideas in the box.

 

#5 Set guidelines

 

Last but by no means least, clarify which types of ideas you’re looking for from your staff and outline guidelines for appropriate suggestions.

 

Is this the right forum for suggestions on product design? Do you want suggestions on improving processes, or company culture?

 

Suggestion boxes can be a good way to get feedback on the factors affecting engagement or morale.

 

For example, if staff think the office needs more regular cleaning, they may not know who to raise their concerns with.

 

When clients are coming to visit the office for meetings, it’s important to make plans for communal areas cleaning, for example. Moreover, you can improve staff morale with a clean space.

 

With a suggestion box, staff can say what they would like to see in terms of office cleanliness, anonymously.

 

Whoever is in charge of the suggestion box then ensures that the person in charge of supplier management gets the memos and takes steps to change the approach to cleaning.

 

A clear understanding of the purpose of your suggestion box will help you better define its content and expectations.

 

Final thoughts: Suggestion box ideas

 

We hope this guide has given you some inspiration for introducing a suggestion box in the workplace.

 

There are lots of useful guides on our blog – recently we have written about using visual management at work, plus luxury retail trends to watch out for.

 

And as Think FM are experienced service providers of office cleaning in London, we have plenty of suggestions to offer in that regard.

 

For example, here are the benefits of maintaining a clean office space for employees and a comprehensive office cleaning checklist.

 

For more information on our cleaning services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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