Focus Groups & Action Planning
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
- Assist in identifying the appropriate participants within your
- Scope, define and deliver the project within a reasonable time
- 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
- 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 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
More information: Employee
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.