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How to encourage employees to make an anonymous suggestion or complaint

An employee suggestion box allows individuals to make an anonymous suggestion on improving operations or the physical aspects of the workplace. It also encourages employees to verbalize their ideas in a less intimidating environment. By using a feedback system and addressing issues, management can increase motivation, encourage teamwork, and promote loyalty in the workplace.

Choosing an Electronic Suggestion Box

Several programs are available for companies to implement a digital feedback container that lets employees make an anonymous complaint without repercussions. Choose a digital community whiteboard to scribble thoughts and ideas for management to read. Software programs like Microsoft Office 365 make it easy to design a digital feedback program that’s accessible to all employees. Some types of office software even allow other team members to respond with advice and strategies to the suggestion and gives management an opportunity to comment. Create a single email address that all employees have access to that allows them to email management with ideas.

Consider the Location for an Anonymous Suggestion Box

Place the container in a low-traffic area like the in the lounge area of the break room where employees won’t feel intimidated. Boxes in the center of a break room table also make it easy to jot down ideas without feeling the pressure from management close by. Management should empty the container frequently and consider each message to encourage open communication. Post rules close by of what type of feedback is appropriate to encourage positive ideas and feedback that’s beneficial to the company.

Scheduling Anonymous Suggestions

Brainstorming sessions during company meetings provide an excellent opportunity to ask for anonymous feedback. Have each team member write a thought or complaint and place it inside a locked box. Because everyone is contributing, no one person feels singled out, so ideas remain anonymous. Use pre-printed cards or blank cards that don’t ask for a name, or even Post it® notes so employees feel inclined to leave a thought without the need to identify themselves.

Giving Rewards for Suggestion Box Ideas

Encourage employees to contribute ideas by offering rewards for those that save the company money. Choose a semi-anonymous feedback method where only management knows who made the comment. Give rewards and recognition to excellent ideas and acknowledge those who make suggestions privately to encourage participation. A simple thank you note or email for contributions works well in acknowledging an individual’s ideas. Encourage participation in the suggestion box to make employees feel valued, also even with semi-anonymous feedback, avoid backlash for being honest and instead use the feedback as a learning experience.

A suggestion box encourages the free flow of ideas between management and employees. Because employees come from a wide variety of backgrounds with a large amount of experience gathering ideas and feedback can save a company money and improve overall job satisfaction.

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