Today’s Suggestion Boxes

This article first appeared in City Business, July 1998.

By Frank Jossi

Minnesota firms are giving their employees 800 numbers to call in their best ideas and greatest grievances

In an office with a broad expanse of windows overlooking Lake Calhoun, Peter Lilienthal allows a visitor to listen in on employees who have called an 800 number with comments, suggestions and complaints about their workplaces.

One man enumerates an innovative idea for incorporating coupons into a marketing initiative launched by his employer, a food company. Another caller wonders why it takes three weeks to be reimbursed for dependent care costs covered in her benefit package. A hospital employee reports the security guard near the entrance where she works is rude. A woman calls to ask if the line really offers absolute anonymity.

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