How to Create an Employee Suggestion Box Policy

by Duncan

Suggestion boxes are a great way to open lines of communication with your staff. Not only will they allow employees the chance to share their ideas and report any workplace failures, but they'll also provide management, with on-the-ground feedback about everyday business operations.

But what if you aren't sure what the policy should look like? What rules and regulations should you put into place to make sure everyone uses the box to its fullest potential? Here are just a few suggestions for creating your employee suggestion box policy.

1. Anonymous suggestions or Non-Anonymous?

While anonymous submissions will be more honest, you'll also lose all accountability for whatever is said on the slips. An easy compromise is to require a name for submission but promise complete confidentiality when discussing or implementing it. At the end of the day, however, the choice is yours.

2. Outline What You Will and Won't Accept

Accepted suggestion

Make sure your employees know that they can't use the suggestion box to request a raise. You might also want to forbid the mention of things that are too classified or controversial. Some managers don't want to know about things like broken rules, preferring their suggestion boxes to be places of positivity and innovation.

3. Clearly Define Your Incentive Program

If you offer cash or other perks for good ideas, you'll definitely need to sketch those limits in advance. What defines a successful idea? How many rewards can be earned in a year? Who gets the money if two people offer the same suggestion? This is a very important part of your employee suggestion box policy, so sit down and create a written terms of use.

4. Decide Who Can Use It

While most suggestion boxes are open to all staffers, there might be circumstances where you disallow submissions from people in certain positions. For example, you might not want your managers and department heads to use the box because their chain of command should send ideas/suggestions directly to you.

5. Don't Forget the Fine Print

Managers - suggestion policy

You'll want your box to be legally sound. Make sure all of your employees know that rewards will be taxed and that any ideas submitted become property of the company. These things may seem obvious, but it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to potential trouble.

Conclusion - plan and you will succeed....

These are just a few things to keep in mind when drafting your employee suggestion box policy. Planning is key to creating something strong and full of longevity.

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"We wanted an online suggestion box that's easy to run and Vetter fits the bill"

Healther Saunders; ECITB Product Dev. Manager

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