Communicators in a focus group


You’ve put so much energy into planning your survey, it’s easy to fall into the trap of packing in too much and making it work too hard.

Instead, consider a one-two punch: start with a survey and follow up with a focus group (or two). The survey will uncover the issues. The focus groups will help solve them.

Here are five reasons to complement your quantitative research with a focus group—and improve the effectiveness of communication:

  Reasons to add a focus group Your annual communication survey uncovered: Conduct a focus group to:
Number 1 Reveal preferences Employees’ responses varied widely across regions. Better understand how and why preferences differ, and brainstorm ways to bridge the gaps.
Number 2 Learn why Most employees don’t attend town halls. Discuss how employees decide when to attend and test changes that could encourage attendance.
Number 3 Clarify open-ended survey results Employees have ideas to improve communication, but their responses are contradictory; for example, some want more emails, some want fewer. Encourage employees to theorize about the contradiction: Are there specific times when employees want more communication by email? Or scenarios when fewer emails are appropriate?
Number 4 Understand behaviors Employees don’t believe reading newsletter articles is a good use of their time—plus, metrics show employees open the newsletter, but don’t click on stories. Ask employees to walk you through their actions when they receive the newsletter. Ask them, “Do you read all articles or just some? How do you decide which articles to read? What would encourage you to read more articles?”
Number 5 Gather ideas Employees don’t understand the competitive landscape. Discuss ways that could help employees get more informed about the market.