Focus Groups are small, diverse group of people (usually representative of a larger group), who provide reactions to the discovery of a product or idea. Focus Groups can be subject matter experts where collectively, they would represent a larger opinion. It is a qualitative research technique often used to focus marketing efforts, but can be used by any business when implementing new processes and/or ideas.
Focus Groups will allow you to obtain detailed information about the feelings, perceptions, and opinions, of each group member. These findings can save you both time and money compared with individual interviews or relying on outdated data. You’ll end up with a broader range of information and be better able to prepare for potential changes in behaviours throughout the entire range of focus on your product or plan.
MCE uses focus groups whenever justifiable to ensure the quality of the information received is used to maximize the integrity of final outcomes. MCE focus groups use ‘silent brainstorming’, a method in which a question is asked of the group and they record their answers individually so as not to sway each other. This allows everyone the equal opportunity to contribute ideas to the facilitator which are then posted, shared, and prioritized.
“Workforce Planning Hamilton sees MCE as a solid partner in workforce development in Hamilton. We have worked with them in a variety of ways: as a consultant on salary survey, as a key informant on labour market issues, and as a partner on projects. No matter the relationship we have always found MCE and their team an innovative and most reliable collaborator.”
“Recently we worked with Audie McCarthy and the Hamilton Council on Aging on a community consultation on the mature worker. Together, we hosted a focus group for employment service provider representatives exploring their experience in meeting the needs of older workers. MCE co-facilitated the session and brought thoughtful questions and good processes to the session. The results have led to further work in this area.