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Focus Groups: Employee Engagement Beyond The Numbers

Getting numerical results from an employee engagement survey is only part of the story. Going a step further to make the numbers meaingful improves the company culture, procedures, and engagement. Focus groups build a deeper understanding of what motivated the employee´s responses in the first place - and they can suggest valuable improvements. In a non threatening environment, focus groups provide meaningful feedback.

PLS Consulting suggests four steps:

  1. Create robust employee groups.
  2. Understand the data and create appropriate questions.
  3. Facilitate focus groups for open and honest dialogue.
  4. Create action plans from the employee perspective.
  1. Create robust employee groups.
    Engaged EmployeeCreating a focus group is not as easy as it might sound. It´s critical to assemble a good mix of employees that will reflect your employee base. Consider their position and tenure, departments and shifts, ethnicity and gender, etc. How are the selected participants viewed by other employees and managers? Can they represent the point of view of others, be someone other employees can talk to and support in improving the work environment?
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  3. Understand the data and create appropriate questions.
    Employee Engagement SurveyWhile engagement survey numbers provide a certain level of information, it´s the data analysis that is most important. Looking at the “big picture” perspective allows you to formulate questions that provide actionable information. An example: you asked about the effectiveness of the leadership team who did respondents think of when they answered the question? Was it the C-level? Their business division leaders? Their immediate management team? Understanding the data is the first step in making positive change.
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  5. Facilitate focus groups for open and honest dialogue.
    Employee Engagement CommunicationTo create real change, make sure that there is no negative impact (real or perceived) toward the employees participating in the focus groups. Use a 3rd party, unbiased vendor to ensure the comments are anonymous. (Not confidential, as these will need to be shared appropriately.) Employees often express concerns about remaining anonymous – fearing that their comments could be revealed by the process of elimination. Keeping the data and process facilitated through a 3rd party vendor allows the employees the comfort to speak freely so the real issues can be addressed.

     

     

  6. Create action plans from the employee perspective.
    AssessmentOnce the real issues are discussed, create action plans to make the work environment more aligned with effective employee engagement. Engaged employees improve productivity, profits, customer satisfaction, and the work environment, and reduce operating costs. While focus groups may not have the authority to make final decisions, they can create plans to present to management for consideration.

 

Look beyond the numbers and engage your employees in creating a better workplace. Let PLS Consulting help you create a workplace in which your employees can thrive.

For more information about our services, or to learn how your organization can benefit from a partnership with PLS, please contact us via email at info@pls.net, or by phone at (800) 827-7576.
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