One way to make employees feel valued in the workplace is by giving them a voice with anonymity in order to speak freely. Whether employees wish to tell you anything from their desire of the company starting a recycling program to problems with management or interoffice politics, your employer suggestion box can be an invaluable tool for you to better understand your employees’ needs and wishes to help make the office run more smoothly.
Here are five ways to make employer suggestion box process go smoothly:
Provide a Simple Means for Submission
Making the employee suggestions process simple and welcoming will be the primary means of garnering honest and useful replies. You may accept submissions through any medium, which may include a designated receptacle of some kind or via email. The National Science Foundation suggests creating an email inbox filter that makes emails anonymous, dubbed the “anonymizer.” You may make the submission process anonymous, or if the employees feel comfortable revealing their identities upon submission, make it clear to them that the suggestion box will be a chance for them to speak freely without reprisal.
Collect the Suggestions and Set a Time for Review and Decision
Deciding how frequently you respond to the suggestions may help dictate the success of the process. Letting employees know that you have read their suggestions and put thought into your response as soon as possible will be critical. Even if your response does not work in their favor, they will at least feel that you listened to their concerns and decided swiftly and assuredly. Choosing a weekly meeting–perhaps on Friday mornings–to address these concerns in an open forum will help ensure satisfaction for everyone and success for the suggestion box process. Allow the meeting to be a forum for cordial discussion and questions as to why a particular suggestion was or was not implemented.
Review Suggestions to Determine Implementation
You may want to choose a committee to review the suggestions, per the recommendation of the International Labour Organization. The committee should work toward creating a standard that makes the process as fair and balanced as possible using factors to help guide their decision-making process. The committee should include members who serve to represent all employees, managers, supervisors and general demographics.
Follow Through on Implementation
If you have determined a particular suggestion is viable, then follow through and be sure to announce the implementation to the staff and ask for continued feedback on the suggestion. Ask the staff how it may be further improved if it does not meet expectations so that the implementation will be a success for your company.
Recognize and Reward Good Suggestions
If an employee submits a money-saving initiative, do not be afraid to laud them with praise or even reward them with a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant. A symbolic while still simple thank-you also will encourage future participation and excitement for helping to improve your organization and/or office culture.
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