Employee focus groups are far more useful than you may realize. It can be difficult to consider the employees who work under you when you are so heavily involved with the responsibilities of running a business. However, it is imperative to keep these people more in mind. These are the people working hard to continue your success and the goals of your company.
What can you do to make sure their voices are heard? How do you know if you are doing your best as an employer? The answer is simple…
Employee focus groups. They only requires consistency and follow through.Then, you will soon have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your employees are happy working with and for you.
What is an employee focus group?
An employee focus group is when employees of a business are brought together to discuss specific/critical issues.
An effective employee focus group is typically held after what is known as an employee survey.
These are usually made up of a variety of questions that employees can answer anonymously.
This allows upper management to gauge the overall morale, satisfaction, and chemistry of their teams.
Why should you have them?
The three main takeaways of holding regular employee focus groups are:
- Efficiency. When everything can be freely discussed and out in the open, employees feel heard and like they matter. This facilitates efficiency because individuals will be able to focus on their jobs—rather than unresolved workplace issues. If employees are not allowed the freedom to express problems and ideas, it may cause a build up of frustration. Frustration leads to careless mistakes, tension, and a frequent turnover of new employees due to quitting and/or firing. Focused employees are efficient employees.
- Engagement. Studies have found that employees are twelve times more engaged when they feel validated through open discussion, and consistent resolution of work-related issues. Employee surveys and focus groups are useless if they are never followed up with. It is very important to create an environment of open communication and well-planned resolutions to critical issues.
- Energy. Morale is boosted when employees have been able to get their ideas and/or struggles off their chests. When a team has regularly scheduled employee focus groups, they know their workplace has an open door policy on expressing work-related issues. This allows them to relax and feel like they matter and are of value to the company they work for. When employees feel valued, their energy is going to be positively affected. This will also promote a stronger mentality of teamwork and togetherness between employees.
Some other benefits of having regular employee focus groups are:
- Brainstorming from the people who know the ins and outs of the company best.
- The capacity to keep a long-term team is exponentially increased.
- Promoting from within is much easier since it is easy to gauge who has the best ideas and skills for certain tasks and positions.
- It becomes much easier to identify and fix weaknesses within the structure of the business.
Now that you know why employee focus groups are so important, you need to know how to execute them properly.
How to hold a focus groups:
Employee surveys and subsequent focus groups should be held on a regular basis that suits the environment. This could be any time period from weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. You must decide based on the size and nature of your business what kind of timing works best for your team.
When you do have these employee focus groups, it is important to host them with a member of upper management who:
- Is not the direct manger of the team, but still knows them and is respected by them. This encourages the employees to feel comfortable speaking freely.
- Has had training in running similar meetings, and knows how to do guided discussions. This will keep the conversation flowing in the most focused and productive way.
- Can remain objective and professional through even interpersonal issues between team members... This will ensure the proper steps be taken to follow workplace regulations and avoid larger issues.
Consistent communication and commitment to following through are the keys of successful employee focus groups. Armed with all this knowledge of how they can greatly improve your business. You will soon be able to build an all star team that works like a well oiled machine!