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Guarantee Electrical is a St. Louis-based electrical contractor with 900 employees, 200 of whom are office-based professionals while 700 are electricians at job sites across the country. The company was founded in 1902 and has grown 40% over the last year thanks to several targeted acquisitions.
“If you really want to take your business to the next level, you need a strategic mindset behind the service you give to customers, which is obviously provided by your people.”
VP of Human Resources
In a fast-growing organization with employees distributed across the country, Greg knew it was critical to hear ideas and concerns from people outside the head office. But while the company had done engagement surveys in the past, the survey cadence meant that they were only getting feedback on an infrequent basis. In addition, they knew that employees who had experienced distrustful company cultures at prior jobs might not feel comfortable sharing candid feedback with typical tools.
“We wanted a channel for employees to share their feedback in an anonymous way, without fear of retribution or retaliation, or any of the perceived biases that may come with offering candid feedback.”
Greg and the team at Guarantee Electrical were able to roll out Suggestion Ox to all employees at all locations within a few days. Even at busy job sites, it was no problem for a worker to pull up the Suggestion Box URL on their phone and tap out a quick suggestion or question when inspiration struck. In the office, they were able to post QR codes generated by Suggestion Ox with links to the suggestion box, making it a snap for employees to share their ideas.
With Greg’s urging, the leadership team decided to err on the side of sharing as much employee feedback as possible, trusting that this candor and being willing to answer hard questions would pay off.
“I said to the leadership team, you know, we’re going to have to be honest and respond to everything in a professional way for all to see. And that was what really grew interest and involvement. We really started to see an uptick in use once we started putting the candid suggestions and responses out there.”
The team also worked proactively to remind people about Suggestion Ox and to continue to drive feedback. They launched reminder campaigns and put flyers up. They put a big Suggestion Ox icon on the homepage of their intranet and sent reminder emails. They made it clear to the team that they wanted as much feedback as possible.
“We’d send out reminder emails referencing past suggestions and how we responded. This was a great way to continue to get input.”
As the suggestions and questions rolled in, Guarantee Electrical created positive feedback loops by posting the feedback and responses from leadership, and by taking action. Changes included putting an air fryer in the cafeteria, to building a new fitness center, to improving wheelchair accessibility for a particular building to updating the bereavement leave policy. They were also able to fine-tune their processes for how they communicate with employees.
“It’s small things to big things. In HR you don’t want to guess and you don’t want to just throw things at the wall and hope they stick. Suggestion Ox lets us diagnose and understand what’s working, what’s not working. Where are the opportunities?”
Despite fast growth, the company is supporting its people even better than before. Thanks to Suggestion Ox, the best ideas are bubbling up to leadership, and thanks to leadership’s willingness to answer questions candidly, a culture of trust continues to flourish.
“Basically, we’ve created a safer environment. We’ve provided a voice to employees.”
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Suggestion Ox has turbocharged the suggestion box. Over 60,000 companies, associations and government agencies use their anonymous online suggestion box to gather actionable employee feedback, gain customer insights or empower whistleblowing and reporting.