It’s no exaggeration to say, “there’s an app for everything!” Businesses are all-in on digital overhaul and using the full range of applications at their disposal. Now, employee suggestion box apps are the latest craze, but are they worth the cost and ongoing effort? Here are some pros and cons to think about when looking at new suggestion box apps.
Sometimes, it’s better to remain anonymous when discussing sensitive issues at work. Conversely, this can lead to unproductive outcomes. It’s all about balance.
“With employee retention at an all-time low, it’s never been more important for team members to feel heard. One of the best ways to facilitate that is through anonymous employee feedback, which can allow team members to make comments and suggestions without fear of repercussions or retribution. A company should strive to be a place where people want to come to work, and it should never shy away from constructive criticism.” – Marc Atiyeh, CEO of Pawp.
“When you drop suggestions anonymously, you can speak more freely about topics that you might otherwise stay quiet about at work. Other people might not have a problem speaking their minds and being identified as outspoken. It’s about personality types and the prevailing culture in your workplace.” – Seb Evans, Co-Founder of Banquist.
“You have an obligation to listen to your employees, no matter what channel they use to vocalize their feedback. Plenty of studies show that with more feedback comes higher rates of employee satisfaction, better long-term retention, and fewer issues in the workplace overall. If a simple app can give you all these benefits, what’s stopping you?” – Ryan Rockefeller, CEO and Co-Founder of Cleared.
Hybrid Office Advantage
As the business world moves into the hybrid office environment, there will be plenty of suggestions to go around. Flexibility and feedback will be key for success.
“The whole idea of a hybrid office is so new and unique – nobody has best practices written, and nothing is set in stone. An employee suggestion box app is exactly the thing we need most right now to fix inefficiencies and issues before they grow into bigger problems. Apps like this could be the saving grace for many companies navigating these choppy waters.” – Hector Gutierrez, CEO of JOI.
“Whoever claims to have the perfect plan for a hybrid office isn’t fooling anybody but themselves. This is a team effort within companies and across industries, and we need to coordinate a strong feedback loop to stay on top of evolving demands. Setting up a digital suggestion box can be a powerful source of innovation for the hybrid workplace.” – Michael Jankie of Natural Patch.
“Remote work is still the norm for thousands of employees, and they need some way to make their voices heard while they aren’t physically present in the office. A suggestion box app is a great idea because it gives these workers an outlet – and management takes it seriously!” – Matthew Mundt, CEO and Founder of Hug Sleep.
“It’s obvious to everyone that the hybrid work environment is far from perfect and that there’s plenty of room for improvement. We need to listen to the people on the front lines, working each day with the technology provided to them – that’s our employees. They’ll have the best insights and outside-the-box ideas to make the hybrid office truly thrive.” – Courtney Buhler, CEO and Founder of Sugarlash Pro.
Keep the feedback flowing – that’s one of the fastest ways to solve problems with creative solutions. Can suggestion boxes help or hinder the cause?
“No matter how good you think you are as a leader, the people around you will have plenty of ideas for how you can improve. I’d say the key thing about leadership is the humility to ask for feedback and always aim to get better.” – Jim Yong Kim, Vice Chairman and Partner at Global Infrastructure Partners.
“I believe any tool that enhances communication and feedback can have profound effects. Especially in terms of how people learn from each other and create better working environments.” – Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft
“I am always looking for real feedback without filters, and anonymous suggestions help coordinate that for my team and me. Ideally, employees would feel comfortable coming forward and saying whatever comes to mind at any time, but we understand that’s not always possible with how things are structured.” – Lauren Kleinman, Co-Founder of The Quality Edit.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of employee feedback, and it’s more important than ever during these unprecedented times. Employees are spread out across time zones and on different schedules, and we could all benefit from more cohesion on a company-wide level. There’s no downside to a suggestion box app, or something like that, as far as I can tell.” – Dylan Arthur Garber, Co-Founder of Audien Hearing
Not everyone is so eager to introduce employee suggestion box apps into the workplace, and they all have their own reasons. Always consider the opposing viewpoint.
“I can see why some organizations wouldn’t want an app like this or get rid of it after some time. There should be open channels of feedback already established and a sense of trust within the community. I would focus on authentic communication rather than looking for quick fixes like apps.” – Katie Kiernan, Co-Founder of Nue Life.
“This is one of those apps that is great in theory but may not get you the results you want in practice. I would implement a test run and see what happens, but I wouldn’t put too much faith behind it. A better solution is a strong culture and mature dialogue among people working towards a common goal.” – Tyler Hayden Read, Founder of PT Pioneer.
“Consider the broader consequences of using an app like this, especially if you have a huge workforce and a more traditional corporate structure. Will you get the best feedback from the smartest people 100% of the time? Let’s be honest – probably not. Be ready to sift through a lot of useless stuff if you want to find diamonds in the rough.” – Ramin Oskoui, Director of Growth Marketing at Nurosene.
“If you find suggestion boxes to be useful, by all means, go ahead with apps like this. However, I’d encourage you to get to the root of the problem by helping employees feel more empowered and confident to speak their minds on key issues. That’s the only way to achieve real growth as a culture and company.” – James Sun, Founder of Beautytap.
Employee suggestion box apps may or may not be a wide addition to your digital infrastructure, but why not give it a try? Business is about taking chances, learning lessons, and always improving.