illustration of a man an woman providing feedback via a modern day employee suggestion box

Whatever happened to the Employee Suggestion Box?

All good leaders know that the power of a business is often in the hands of its employees. Studies show us that happy employees often provide the best possible service but making a team happy isn’t always easy. The employee suggestion box was a tool to help leaders and business owners do better.

This article will explore how the employee suggestion box has evolved in modern times and what it can offer to the companies that embrace it.

What is an Employee Suggestion Box?

In the past, the employee suggestion box would be a literal box left to sit out in a room.

At this box, employees could slide in a note or fill out a form to give their feedback. It allowed employees to reach out and share their opinions without the fear of repercussions.

In more recent years, the employee box has changed in many ways, but the sentiment remains the same.

The primary difference is that now most suggestion boxes are made available in digital spaces. Therefore, making it easier for employees to give discreet feedback.

Though these modern equivalents might not have the charm of a custom-designed box, they are also less likely to wind up with chewing gum or trash shoved inside of them, so there are some benefits to this change too!

profile image of Ase Angland Lindvall, co-founder of Wide Ideas, on a transparent background

See how our Employee Suggestion Box captures ideas not chewing gum

Our Flexible Idea Management Software captures employees suggestions from the office, on the road, or over a coffee.

Interested?

Talk to us. We will show you how.

How Employee Suggestion Boxes Help Companies

The employee suggestion box has always been a tool that can yield incredible results when used correctly.

It gives employees a chance to be heard, which is good for morale. However, the benefits extend well beyond this.

These suggestion boxes give employees a voice, and when leaders listen, something amazing happens.

Employees have higher morale when they feel their company listens to them and are looking out for their general well-being.

Suggestion boxes are great for helping businesses to receive creative and valuable suggestions.

A team that feels listened to will work harder and enjoy their work more.

A good example of this is in a study where Western Electric sought to improve workplace conditions by changing the lighting. No matter what change they made, employee output always improved.

The study eventually showed that employees were likely performing better simply because their bosses care about their needs.

How to Create an Employee Suggestion Box

Creating an employee suggestion box is a simple process that most employers can set up in a manner of minutes.

With the right tools and protections, employees can fearlessly share their opinions and ideas for improvement.

Offer a Space

The modern suggestion box has many faces, making it easy to choose one that works for any team.

Creating a space is always the first step, but there is no right or wrong way to do this.

Businesses can stick with the classics and make a literal box or use an online portal instead. Alternatively, using third-party companies can remove the headache of idea management but ensure to use a company that protects your sensitive data.

Make Anonymity Possible

A big contributing factor to the success of a suggestion box is anonymity.

Some people are afraid to speak against a company, and others are afraid their ideas may have no value. However, by making it possible for your employees to remain anonymous, you will receive more honest feedback—and most employees will be more open to using this tool.

How to Generate the Best Results

An employee suggestion box is only as useful as the feedback that is placed within it.

To create a space to generate helpful feedback and start driving change, there are a few easy tips to follow.

Widen Your Reach

Employee suggestion boxes are evolving because companies know the value of different opinions.

Offering suggestion spaces for employees at all levels, customers, partners, and suppliers can really improve a workplace.

Receiving feedback from everyone who influences a business will always offer better results.

Make it Easy to Find

A suggestion box is only valuable if it receives input. Therefore the box has to be visible and clearly communicated to those you want feedback from.

Create a Feedback Loop

In business, a feedback loop is a system to gather feedback to improve something.

If a company ignores suggestions, they are less likely to gain true value.

This is why it is important to identify good suggestions and turn them into actionable changes.

When people see real change, they are more likely to contribute.

Conclusion

No one knows the ins and outs of every aspect of a business better than the people that are directly involved with it.

Suggestion boxes allow employees, customers, and partners alike to share their opinions and suggest improvement areas.

A company that identifies these needs and takes active steps to drive change will benefit from all the extra information.

The next big idea might be one suggestion away!

Written by Åse Angland-Lindvall

With relentless energy and an unrivalled vision for helping companies to be successful, a core skill she gained at her time at E.ON and Ericsson, Åse helps companies understand the need for continuous innovation.

15/06/2021

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