How to Handle Complaints and Suggestions in the Workplace
There should be clearly defined guidelines and channels your employees can utilize whenever they have a complaint or a suggestion about their work environment and fellow employees. Ideally, you will want to assign one or more people to be primary contacts and monitor complaints and suggestions.
The people with this task are normally human resource specialists since there could be confidential and private information. Depending upon the type of complaint or suggestion, it can be routed to the appropriate person to investigate and determine if, indeed, there is an issue that needs to be resolved.
If there is an issue that does need to be corrected, make sure to take action, then educate employees about the proper and expected behavior. In addition, you will want to document every detail, from the time the employee submitted their initial complaint or suggestion through to its resolution.
How a Suggestion Box Can Be Helpful
Some companies implement a suggestion box program as a means to solicit suggestions about different ideas, strategies, and so on from their employees. A suggestion box can be beneficial when implemented correctly:
- Generates More Revenue – Employees can help develop new ideas and concepts, which can lead to new products and services to boost revenues.
- Provides Value to Your Customers –Your employees could even have insight into what your customers really want.
- Lowers Production/Operating Costs – Most of your employees live on a budget and know how to reduce costs personally, which could potentially be applied to your business.
- Increases Employee Motivation and Morale – Including your employees in this manner makes them feel like they are a part of something bigger, and that their efforts contribute toward the success and failure of the company.
How a Suggestion Box Could Be Abused by Employees
A suggestion box does have a few disadvantages, so it is equally important to be aware of these:
- Without a clearly defined use of the box, employees can submit everything from ideal indoor air temperatures to improving break room Make sure to let employees know exactly what types of information and topics the suggestion box is to be used for to avoid this problem.
- When you first roll out a suggestion box program, it is not uncommon for employees to be so excited they put off their normal tasks and spend hours coming up with suggestions to submit. To avoid this problem, set a limit of one or two suggestions per employee per day.
- If you do not reward your employees’ good ideas, they will stop submitting suggestions. Make sure to reward employees with a “thank-you” for their time, like extra paid time off, gift cards, or shares of stock in the company.
As you can see, there should be clearly defined channels employees can use to make suggestions and complaints. Just remember to educate employees about which channels to use and when to use them.
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