Focus Group Taking Steps to Improve Your Workplace Environment

You may have heard the quote, “Find a job that you like and you won’t work a day in your life.” Now, a group of Administration and Planning staff is gathering feedback in an effort to further enhance your workplace environment. 

Last month, 13 A&P employees took part in a focus group centered around the theme, “What’s a Healthy Workplace?” Participants gave their opinions, comments and suggestions on ways to improve their workplace. 

The session was moderated by Nina Brooks, staff training and development coordinator with the Office of Human Resources; Dmitri Gaston, A&P’s senior manager of diversity and inclusion education; and Aaron Moore, A&P program coordinator.

The focus group is the result of three years of the Employee Engagement Surveys (EES) generated and administrated by the A&P Diversity Council. While survey results delivered positive marks across the board, senior leadership identified educational and operational change opportunities within trending survey findings. 

“We added some questions that considered diversity and inclusion understanding and, as a result, identified areas needing diversity and inclusion education,” Gaston said. “The conclusion was, more than any factor, a healthy workplace leads to happy employees.”

Fortunately, survey results indicate most A&P employees believe they have a healthy workplace environment. Focus group participants gave additional recommendations like working on inclusion within the workplace and helping employees feel they are a part of something bigger than their units. 

“The focus groups allow employees to have a voice in building a better workplace environment,” Gaston said.

Participants also said it’s important to communicate both professionally and positively by addressing each other with a common greeting and acknowledging coworkers in the office or in the field. 

According to the A&P focus group, managers play an important role in overall happiness. 

“Strengthening the bond among peers and their management can go a long way in creating a healthy and inviting workplace,” Gaston said.   

Overall, organizers say feedback regarding the A&P workplace was favorable, with several units highly praising their supervisors and the overall workplace flexibility. This is consistent with the results of the annual A&P Employee Engagement Survey that gauges overall employee satisfaction.

Organizers will take the group’s findings to the Chief Diversity Officer for review. 

If you are interested in participating in the next focus group, contact Dmitri Gaston at 614-292-8019.