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Using Employee Discussion Boards to measure engagement?


Posted by Mallows, Steven at Wednesday, 05/30/2012 1:04 am
 
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An employee research discussion board is the next generation of the old style forums and bulletin boards but includes many of the new features offered by online communities. They enable a HR moderator to post organisation specific discussion topics for employees either manually or automatically at a scheduled date and time. The employee logs-in to the discussion board website using a unique username and password. The employee may then post a comment about the current discussion topic. The moderator can reply to a comment and employees can respond to each other, rate topics, participate in private or open discussions, and complete polls and short surveys.

Over-time online employee focus groups using discussion boards usually take place over a 3 to 7 day period, and employees interact with each other while guided by at least one moderator. everyone can contribute at the same time in an open discussion or take part in an private interview with the moderator. A private discussion can take place with one moderator and many employees and is an effective way of conducting a many one-on-one interviews at the same time.

The discussion board can also be used as an online employee community to generate feedback about a particular topic, issue or to regularly measure the pulse of an organisation. These community boards can last for days, weeks and months and typically involves a large number of employee groups. The length of time and the use of the community discussion board is dependant on the type of questions that need to be answered.

The advantage of using community discussion boards is that employees can log in and respond to questions in their own time and from any location. All the employee needs is access to a computer or mobile phone. The moderator can access the board at the beginning of each new day and reply to comments with probing questions, or create a new discussion items based on the responses from the previous day. The moderator can add images, surveys, videos and text question to each of the discussion topics.

The moderator can attach observation notes to each of the employee comments to assist with later analysis of the text transcripts. Observers are able to log in and watch the conversation as it unfolds. They can to post a private comment for the moderator and other observers which is unseen by the employees. A discusison board can be anonymous, which means that every ones is assigned an alias.

The reports are delivered in a downloadable transcript complete with any participant votes, moderator notes, comments and replies organised by topic, date and time. The reports can be downloaded at any time during the board's lifetime.


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