As a company, one of your best sources of information regarding operations, public image and more is your own employees. This is why all organizations should be utilizing their resources and collecting as much information from their employees as possible.
However, they need to collect this in a way that does not hinder employee productivity or become a hassle for staff to participate in. If this happens, then the company will likely get both far less and lower quality information.
One of the most effective ways to gather information from employees is to conduct employee focus groups. When this is combined with semi-regular surveys, employers can learn a wealth of information from their valuable staff.
However, if a company is going to conduct qualitative information gathering sessions, then they should make sure that they are doing it right and gathering relevant, useful data. Otherwise, they are just wasting everyone's time. Here are a few methods that can be used to ensure that companies are getting meaningful data from their employee focus groups.
Make Meetings Short and Small
One of the least productive ways to gather information is through large, long employee focus groups. These become a hassle to everyone involved and therefore do not encourage honest feedback or engagement, making the information collected rather low-quality.
It is highly recommended that these employee focus groups are kept to a size of 10 to 15 employees and last no longer than an hour. This ensures that every employee stays engaged and has the chance to contribute their opinion.
Document and Record
The purpose of these employee focus groups is to gather information, so it is vital for employers to have a documentation process prepared before the sessions. At minimum, employers should have someone in the room that is strictly there to record what is said and make concise notes on the main points. An even better option, though, would be to utilize a voice recorder and tape the entire meeting. By doing this, an employer can go back and listen to exactly what the employees said, at their own convenience. This ensures that no important data is missed.
Prepare Talking Points
Disorganized meetings often lead to irrelevant conversations and a waste of everyone’s time.
To avoid this, employers need to go into meetings with a prepared list of general talking points that will guide employee conversation. This ensures that every point made is meaningful to the overall goal.
An organization should collect meaningful information via employee focus groups. As a result, employers can assess employee feedback and implement new programs to address any problems. These will enhance the employee experience and boost engagement. To find out more about how you can improve the flow of communication between you and your employees, contact us today.