How to introduce a suggestion box

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A suggestion box is a great way for management to learn more about ways to improve their office and their business. Many businesses have them, but implementing the suggestion box appropriately can be a little tricky. To make sure that you get good feedback through the suggestion box, there are a few steps that can be taken.

Choose a box to be used as the suggestion box. Some businesses simply cut a slit into a shoebox, but something a little more lasting is recommended. A locking metal box with a narrow opening is a good choice.

Choose a good place for the box, such as a high-traffic area that is not formally monitored. Also think about whether you want to make the suggestion box available to the public as well as your employees.

Label the box using markers. You also can cover the box with paper and then label it for a more friendly look.

Post signs nearby telling people what it is and inviting them to comment. Some people walk right past the box without noticing it's there at all. For a fun look, make some signs with paper and markers, or simply print some out.

Announce the suggestion box. Though everyone knows what a suggestion box is, and how it is used, formally announcing it will help your employees start to think about it.

Ensure anonymity. Tell your employees that their suggestions will be held in strictest confidence and that no one is going to try to figure out who said what. This can help more nervous employees who are worried that they are making unpopular suggestions.

Promise that all suggestions will be read by at least two managers. No one is going to submit ideas to a suggestion box that they feel is ignored.

Reward good suggestions. If someone signs a suggestion and it is implemented, give them a bonus or a prize. It might not be a major prize, but it shows that the company appreciates the ideas that are being offered.

Post the suggestions where others can see them. If your company sends out a newsletter, sending out a list of received suggestions, whether they are amusing or serious, can be fun. It can create a feeling of community among your employees and it can promote discussion.

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