We all know the golden rule for effective employee communication: Know your audience. Yet communicators too often get so bogged down trying to please senior leaders that they forget all about the employees they’re trying to reach.

So what can you do to refresh your perspective? Focus groups are a great way to elicit valuable employee feedback. Plus, they can be quick and cost-efficient.

Here are seven steps to get you started:

1

Establish an objective
In one sentence, lay out what you are trying to discover.

2

Keep logistics simple
Use the same location and moderator—or go virtual.

3

Develop a discussion guide
Create a structured list of questions to ensure you cover key topics.   

4

Limit your scope
One or two 60-minute sessions may be enough, especially if you invite a cross section of employees.

5

Record the session
That way, you can review what employees said and capture verbatim comments for your findings report.

6

Review notes
Debrief right after the session to make sense of what was said and identify key findings.

7

Apply what you’ve learned
Use your findings to make immediate improvements.

 

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:

“7 exercises to increase participation in your next focus group.” White paper 

“Get employee feedback fast by using virtual focus groups.” Smart tip 

“Need feedback quickly? Try a fast focus group.” Smart tip 

 “Conduct virtual focus groups.” On-demand learning session 

How to conduct employee focus groups. Book

 

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