I am a member of the managerial team at a large international school. I coordinate about 40 staff members. I am considering emailing them at the beginning of next academic year, and possibly at the beginning of every academic year thereafter, with the purpose of soliciting suggestions about how I can better do my job as a manager.
In the email, I would probably specify:
- Please list your suggestions in order of importance.
- Please identify any possible drawbacks of each suggestion. (Followed by examples.)
- Suggestions will be carefully considered, but not necessarily implemented.
On the one hand, it might bring to my attention simple, effective ways to make things better for various stakeholders. Sometimes staff have good ideas but don't let me know about them (maybe they don't want to be seen as a complainer, or they're just shy, or they just forget to mention it). Also, such an email would help foster a culture of open communication.
On the other hand, it might cause animosity. For example, staff might think, "You asked for suggestions; I gave you some very good ones, but you ignored them". Or, I might think, "You're making a suggestion about that particular issue - after everything I've done for you regarding that issue, you're still not satisfied?" Also, implementing the suggestions might have a time cost, and thus negatively impact my work-life balance.
Do you think this is a good idea? If so, is there anything else I should include in the email? If not, is there a better alternative to achieve similiar positive outcomes?
EDIT (after reading Kilisi's pithy & effective comment)
In my email, I would present the idea like: "Suggestions are welcome, if you happen to have any". So it doesn't come across as "homework". Then I would include a few examples of actual suggestions from the past that were helpful to me ("Could someone be put in charge of training students on email etiquette..." or "Could we have a consistent policy on when to return marked exam papers to students...")