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Do the Right Thing: How Dedicated Employees Create Loyal Customers and Large Profits by James F. Parker

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Chapter 36. Suggestion Boxes

Many companies seek to promote employee involvement with suggestion boxes. Suggestion boxes are not necessarily a bad idea, although we never had one at Southwest Airlines.

Suggestion boxes tend to be a bit sterile, reflecting the more formal structure of classic bureaucratic organizations. They can reinforce a culture in which the response of frontline supervisors to new ideas is "Put it in the suggestion box." They can become a black hole from which employee suggestions receive no more of a response than a rubber stamp, "Idea Rejected."

To be useful, suggestion boxes require constant attention by management. Every suggestion requires a thoughtful and prompt reply, complete with an explanation of the reasoning behind ...

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