Focus Groups & Action Planning

Focus groups

What is a focus group?

A focus group is a qualitative research technique in which a group discussion is organised to explore a specific issue or set of issues.  Participants are asked about their opinions, attitudes, perceptions and beliefs. The discussion is conducted by a trained facilitator with a small (up to 15) number of participants.  The discussion is natural and participants are free to give their views from any perspective.

Why conduct a focus group?

  • To understand issues further and in more detail
  • Listening to others verbalise experiences stimulates memories and ideas in other participants
  • Enables employees to be a part of a change process
  • Enables employees to develop a common language
  • Gives employees the opportunity to disclose views in a "safe" setting that makes their views valid
  • Cost effective! Focus groups provide great value to both the participant and the organisation

Why engage a third party to facilitate a focus group?

Working with a third party to facilitate a focus group has many advantages. They can:

  • Work with you to define the purpose and objectives of focus groups
  • Assist in identifying the appropriate participants within your organisation
  • Scope, define and deliver the project within a reasonable time frame
  • Provide a confidential and safe environment to encourage candid and honest feedback
  • Enable open discussion and probes to uncover the key issues and more importantly what can be done to change the situation (what should we start/what should we stop/what should we continue)
  • Provide an objective summary of root causes and employee recommendations to address and action the identified issues

What are the different types of focus groups?

Exploratory, usually conducted pre survey. Pre-survey focus groups help organisations:

  • understand what the issues are so you can build a customised survey tool and/or select appropriate survey framework;
  • test wording of items;
  • allay any concerns about survey confidentiality

Explanatory, usually conducted post survey. Post survey focus groups help organisations:

  • understand further the issues presenting in survey results, be they areas for concern or areas of best practice to be celebrated and leveraged
  • by providing recommendations for change, providing employees the opportunity to be a part of the powerful change process
  • encourage buy-in to the subsequent change initiatives which in itself can lead to higher employee engagement

Our approach

Our point of difference is the quality of our facilitators. Our registered psychologists and research experts moderate all sessions, to allow and encourage insightful discussions.

Insync has a tried, tested and valid methodology for conducting focus groups. We work closely with our clients to explore the root cause of issues and concerns. We uncover what an organisation should stop, start and continue doing to facilitate positive change.

More information: Employee focus groups

Action planning

Action planning workshops are used once deep insights are gained into why employees have rated certain items and the root cause of such is understood.  Action planning often follows focus group sessions and is conducted with the leadership team to identify and gain buy-in to a  small number of initiatives that will have the largest impact on the relevant item and on the performance of the business.
Action planning workshops normally run for up to 3, but sometimes up to 4, hours or longer. They are usually held with up to 12 people but we have conducted workshops in the past with 70 senior leaders by using break-out groups. As with focus groups, action planning workshops are normally restricted to 3 or 4 and ocassionally to 5 items.
We regularly facilitate focus group sessions and action planning workshops in Australia and overseas. We also arrange for them to be conducted by trusted partners in other countries.