Best Practices for Deploying an Online Suggestion Box

Happy employees brainstorming ideas in a conference room.

Follow these steps to start getting winning feedback

Ready to roll out your online suggestion box and start getting employee feedback? A few simple steps can mean the difference between getting lots of useful submissions and being out of sight, out of mind. Here are our top tips for a successful rollout to make sure your suggestion box is easy to access and always on people’s minds when they have an idea, a complaint or a brainstorm:

DO!

  • Announce your new suggestion box and tell employees or customers what kind of feedback you’re seeking. Make it a big deal because it is a big deal. By rolling out a suggestion box you’re showing people that you value their feedback. A recent study showed that employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work.
  • Emphasize the anonymity and privacy of the Suggestion Ox service. Let your people know that you chose this service because you want their truly candid feedback. Employees are more comfortable telling you what you need to hear when they know they can speak freely without being identified. Choosing a 3rd-party service to collect responses ensures anonymity.
  • Make sure your box’s URL is easy to find. Put the link prominently on your company intranet or internal blog. Add a permanent link as a Slack channel topic or as a resource in Microsoft Teams. Regularly include the link in company newsletters. Put up posters in the break room (contact us for a pre-designed poster with your box’s URL). If you’re a manager, regularly remind your reports about the box and make sure the link is easy to find.
  • Frequently promote the box to employees or customers. After the initial rollout, you’ll want to repeatedly ask for feedback and remind people of the box’s URL. Don’t assume that people will remember you have a suggestion box. Make sure that promoting your suggestion box is part of new employee onboarding.
  • Use custom fields to capture the exact information you’re seeking. Will it help you take action to know the respondent’s department or general job function? Don’t hesitate to add fields requesting that information. Do you have specific questions or concerns? Add fields for those. Help guide people as to what kind of feedback will be most useful and productive.
  • Add instructions to your box that tell people the kind of feedback you’d like and what you’ll do with the feedback. Consider thanking people in advance for taking the time to submit. If you have a specific process for responding to suggestions, let people know what to expect.
  • Customize your box with a memorable URL like /yourcompanyname or /departmentname. Consider adding your logo and company colors to brand it your own.
  • Add additional managers so feedback spreads to those who need to hear it. You can set up managers with full access to the suggestion box, or simply set them up to receive copies of incoming suggestion by email.

DON’T!

  • Don’t restrict access behind a company login or firewall. You can easily password protect your box through Suggestion Ox, but make sure people can access it without worrying that their identities will be revealed to you or your IT team. The number-one reason people don’t submit to a suggestion box is concern for anonymity. Make sure that people can submit from any device, any network.
  • Don’t forget to promote your box. The more you remind people about your box, the more feedback you’ll get. Consider a “Question of the week” to encourage regular usage and feedback.
  • Don’t make your suggestion box a black hole. Thank employees for submitting and regularly share how you’re taking suggestions under consideration. Consider activating the Public Response feature to share selected suggestions (and your responses) where everyone can read them. Also consider using the Direct Reply feature for anonymous 1-1 conversations with respondents. Whatever your strategy, it’s important for people to know that you are reading, hearing and taking action.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. Unhappy workers cost the U.S. up to $550 billion in lost productivity each year. While it can sometimes be difficult to hear the unvarnished truth, this is the only way to prevent small problems from becoming big problems. Ask people to be honest.
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out to Suggestion Ox for help. We’ve helped tens of thousands of organizations gather employee feedback and become more effective. Our team can help you deploy your box successfully!

Suggestion Ox has turbocharged the suggestion box. Over 50,000 companies, associations and government agencies use their anonymous online suggestion box to gather actionable employee feedback, gain customer insights or empower whistleblowing and reporting.

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