Focus groups can shape new HR initiatives

For proper results, prioritize quality of participants, questions and rules
By Michael Nolan
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/17/2012

Focus groups are widely accepted as a data-gathering method that produce important results at a reasonable cost. The approach is particularly important when the goal is to gather perceptions, opinions, suggestions, attitudes or feelings about a specific topic. Focus groups are also used to gain insights into why these beliefs or feelings are held.

For HR practitioners, focus groups can help improve the planning and design of new HR initiatives, as well as provide a means of evaluating existing ones.

Focus groups have two benefits. First, they gather information about attitudes and perceptions as they relate to HR products, services or programs Second, as participants interact with each other, HR may also find out how their attitudes and perceptions were developed, which can be extremely helpful if it wants to change them.