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Human Resources/Employee Suggestion Box.


Dear Brian

Do you consider a good HR practice to have a Employee Suggestion Box at the corporate office?.



Thanks for your question.

No.     I would not endorse the idea of a suggestion box unless the suggestions are done in one of two ways:

1- ONLY read by the President or the owner of the company in private to use as they see fit;  or
2-  same as #1, except the owner or top level manager personally responds to each employee question or comment in writing or in a meeting to share for all employees.  This way everyone knows the question and everyone hears the President/ Owner's answer-  including the managers...   

Low and mid-level managers should NOT review suggestions.  Why ?  They should already know what is being put in the box!  Reason is the Owner is presumed to run the business from eagle perspective and is not swayed by comments that  may be weighted to one agenda or another.  This assumes you are referring to a small company with up to 100 or 200 employees...  

Having a low or mid-level manager read and rate suggestion boxes from their OWN employees is outdated and demonstrates how front line management may be disengaged from their employees.   Also, it really isn't hard to figure out WHO left a comment whether a certain employee or someone in a certain department.   Why leave comments in a box when employees should feel comfortable talking with a manager about ANY work issue?    If the managers have not earned trust, or at a minimum demonstrated fairness, then employees will not leave comments in the box NOR  approach a manager to talk about work issues important to the employee or their peers.   In these cases, you can tell the environment the employees are in because employees keep their head down and keep working and worry about themselves only.

Keep in mind, employees who don't trust a manager will drop jokes in the box, feel important comments may be ignored, comments may not be acted upon even if true and the one leaving them will fear reprisal.  Also on the other side,  some employees feel a comment box is like a genie's lamp!   Drop in comments and corrections and they expect their comments will be implemented and if they're not,  employees question,  "Why did I bother adding a comment ?"

Managers should have rapport  (or earn rapport)  with employees to know what issues are important to their employees.  If "upper" managers want to use suggestion boxes to check on front line managers, the suggestion box is the wrong way.

I can talk more on this, but I'll keep answer short.   I would use a different approach in larger companies of 200+ employees.    I hope this advice  and opinion is helpful to you.

Brian Phillips

Human Resources

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Awards and Honors
* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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