Focus Groups: An Underutilized Step in Engaging Employees

The word "focus" is in red in the center of other blurred words in black

Employee focus groups can bring clear, fresh and implementable ideas on ways to effectively address the results of your employee engagement survey.

More leaders are wisely paying attention to employee engagement these days. They understand that engaged workers are over 40% more productive and effective than their unengaged counterparts. Imagine the difference that can make in an organization’s performance. And the reverse? A decrease in engagement can result in a 1-2% reduction in both operating margin and net profit.

Highly engaged workforces advocate better for the company, give more discretionary effort, look forward to coming to work, help their teammates to succeed and perform at higher levels. All of which makes a strong argument for testing the waters and finding out, with an employee engagement survey, just how engaged your employees are.

But then what? Few organizations are as good at implementing what they learn from the survey as they are at administering the survey. This is not surprising. Designing and administering a survey is much easier that getting an organization behind the critical few actions required to improve employee engagement. We have written a lot about “doing it right” in terms of communicating and deploying the survey and then being ready and willing to act upon the results. But here, we want to throw out a suggestion that has worked for many of our clients…employee focus groups.

When you have the results of your survey, have analyzed them and come up with the critical few engagement areas that need improvement, why not include your employees in the plan to go forward? Show that you value the input of those who will be most affected by the changes. With their on-the-job experience and insight, your employees can help formulate implementable and meaningful action steps for improvement.

Here is how to involve your employees in improving engagement:

  1. Identify representative employee groups.
    Ideally every employee should have an opportunity to shape the steps required to improve employee engagement. But at a minimum, make sure that every employee group is represented and, for the purpose of good and all-inclusive discussion, keep the number at 12 or under. Many organizations encourage different departments, locations or teams to set up their own focus groups to come up with suggestions on how to meaningfully improve engagement.
  2. Act quickly.
    Organize the groups as soon as possible after the employee engagement survey results have been reported. Do not wait for the perfect time. There is no such thing. The faster you get people identifying and committing to meaningful actions, the better.
  3. Select an effective moderator for each group.
    This person should have experience in facilitating discussions and should be someone respected by the group. We recommend that managers not be moderators in order to allow for a more free exchange of thoughts and ideas.
  4. Set up a system for the groups to share their ideas and monitor progress.
    This is a way to hold leaders and employees accountable for following through. Check in periodically to see what progress has been made against their plans for improving employee engagement.

Inviting your employees to participate in focus groups engages them immediately in the improvements. They feel valued and begin to act as owners of the company’s culture.

Download an employee engagement and retention toolkit for leaders now

Comments are closed.

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

Margie Bunting
HR Manager

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More