Focus Group Discussions: Employee Engagement

Conducting focus group discussions is an essential compliment to administering a survey or a questionnaire. The information gained through these discussions can provide insights into the following:

  • • Are employees engaged in the work environment?
  • • Do employees feel safe in allowing themselves to be engaged?
  • • Does the work environment facilitate engagement?
  • • Does the management team support engagement of employees?

A focus group generally is most effective if it consists of approximately no more than 6-10 people brought together to engage in a discussion guided by a facilitator to provide information on specific topics. Before holding the focus group session, ensure that the objective of the focus group has been developed, the time frame for holding the session has been determined to include dates and time, the questions to be explored have been developed, participants have been identified, and a facilitator has been appointed.

Employee Engagement Survey Questions—Example

TABLE 4.2

1.

My management listens attentively to my suggestions.

2.

I am willing to participate in a team to implement a new program or process.

3.

My manager values my opinion.

4.

My manager often seeks out my opinion.

5.

I am proud to tell people where I work.

6.

I have the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect me and the organization.

7.

I am willing to provide feedback to my management on issues.

8.

I feel valued by my managers and teammates.

9.

My management inspires me to be engaged in organizational activities.

10.

I enjoy coming to work.

11.

I feel valued for the work I perform.

12.

My supervisor provides guidance when I need it.

13.

Management provides the tool I need to do my job.

14.

I know how the work I perform fits into the strategy of the organization.

15.

Employees are motivated to perform their work.

16.

Management holds himself or herself and everyone in the organization accountable.

17.

Employees in my organization take responsibility for their decisions.

18.

My workgroup works together as well as a team.

19.

I am supportive of changes that help me do my job more efficiently.

20.

I enjoy working with my team.

21.

I have the skills I need to perform my job effectively.

22.

I speak highly of my supervisor.

23.

I am satisfied with my job.

24.

I am committed to doing a quality job.

25.

I am constantly seeking ways to do my job better.

26.

My supervisor expects me to work safely and look out for my coworkers' safety.

27.

I would recommend my organization to others as a great place to work.

28.

I am willing to put in extra effort to get my job done when needed.

29.

My management is concerned with my safety.

30.

I willingly offer my assistance to others who have heavy work load.

31.

I am concerned with the safety of myself and my coworkers.

32.

My talents are utilized by my organization.

33.

I trust the accuracy of the information I receive.

34.

I know what my supervisor expects of me while at work.

35.

The days I look forward to going to work outnumber the days I do not look forward to going to work.

When developing the questions for a focus group, ensure that the questions are designed to yield the desired results. Use well-designed and open- ended questions and avoid using yes or no type questions. Examples of good focus group questions are shown in Table 4.3.

Employee Engagement Focus Group Questions—Example

TABLE 4.3

1.

What five words would you use to describe your leadership team?

2.

How does your supervisor encourage you to be engaged in helping the organization to solve problems?

3.

How important is trust to the members of your workgroup?

4.

How does management communicate with employees in your organization?

5.

What do you like the most about working in your organization?

6.

How are organizational changes communicated and implemented by the leadership team?

7.

What type of equipment and training has been provided to you to perform your job successfully?

8.

How engaged are you in making decisions that impact you and your coworkers?

9.

What actions have your supervisors performed to inspire you?

10.

How engaged is the management team in ensuring that the voice of the worker is heard?

11.

How does management communicate changes in process, technology, or procedures?

12.

How receptive are employees when management communicates changes in process, technology, or procedure?

13.

How do you feel about coming to work each day?

14.

How are employees encouraged and willing to get involved in solving problems?

15.

Describe the flow of communication in your organization.

16.

What are the most common complaints that workers have expressed concerning the organization and the leadership team?

17.

How comfortable are you in communicating issues to management (supervisor, middle management, and senior management)?

 
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