Though the importance of employee listening has been amplified, finding successful ways to collect critical employee feedback and input has become exponentially more challenging. Digital influences just about everything today, and employee listening is no exception. Here’s how organizations are leveraging the powerful flexibility of digital or virtual focus groups.
What are digital focus groups?
A digital focus group (or virtual focus group) is an online conversation between a moderator (a Mercer consultant) and a group of employee participants. A set of statements or questions is loaded into the platform and presented to participants at a scheduled time to read and answer. After the session has ended, the data is aggregated to ensure respondents' confidentiality and then presented to the organization in a variety of ways for assessment.
Utilizing digital focus groups can complement traditional, more in-depth annual employee surveys. Based on findings from the annual employee survey, an organization may choose to use a digital focus group to collect additional qualitative data to research particular findings.
Digital focus groups are well suited to establishing a dialogue around employee experiences and ideas, gathering input to inform priorities for action, identifying crowdsourcing solutions, and informing strategy.
They are quick to set up, easy to administer, and participants can join remotely from anywhere in the world. One of the biggest perks - the results of digital focus groups are available almost immediately.
At Mercer, we utilize a robust online platform to collect insights in real time, even with a virtual, distributed workforce. Powerful artificial intelligence with machine learning and natural language processing quickly analyzes qualitative feedback. The virtual focus group can have a personal feel and yet provide a sense of anonymity not inherent in face-to-face sessions.
What to ask in a digital focus group
Digital focus groups can address a wide variety of topics. Sometimes crafting the questions or knowing how to dissect a topic is quite an arduous task. We’ve created a number of ready-to-use focus group questions that cover many essential areas — employers simply need to choose the bundle that meets their needs. Examples of some of the ready-to-use question bundles include:
For a more customized approach, we offer comprehensive consultative support. Through several interviews with leaders and key stakeholders, our consultants identify main categories of evaluative and open-ended questions. After that, our organizational psychologists carefully draft the questions to ensure valid responses. Decades of organizational research experience have allowed consultants to recommend certain wording of questions that have worked well for our clients, especially those operating in a particular industry or facing specific challenges.
A true partnership with employees helps to ensure a bright future for an organization and successful implementation of organizational initiatives. With constant change being an integral part of our reality, an agile employee-listening approach, like a platform to conduct digital focus groups and ready-made survey questions, is critical is ensuring organizations have an engaged workforce.
Ready to learn how Mercer's employee listening experts can help you determine whether a digital focus group is right for you? We're here to help. Give us a call at 855-224-0483.