Many People Sharing Thoughts

Thought Sharing Sessions: Insights from Amanda Kell, SVP of HR Consulting

With the plethora of change occurring in the workplace and world, there has never been a more important time to request honest and open feedback from your employees. An ideal format to receive valuable insights is through conversations that promote trust, often engaging the services of a neutral third party. Our HR Consulting team designed an interactive process to help gather insightful employee feedback through customized Thought Sharing Sessions. Amanda Kell, the HRC Practice Leader, explains the process and outcomes of these sessions below.

KATIE STONE: What is a Thought Sharing Session?

AMANDA KELL: A Thought Sharing Session, or TSS, is essentially a focus group and can be conducted 1:1 or in small groups. Using a different name, such as Thought Sharing Sessions, is a way for an employer to brand the focus group to be aligned with their culture. This is especially effective when the term ‘focus group’ has a negative or less than positive connotation within the organization.

STONE: What is the goal of the Thought Sharing Session process? How does it differ from traditional focus groups?

KELL: The goal is ultimately defined by the client but typically the TSS is intended to gather feedback and input from a group of employees in a confidential manner. Aggregate results and trends are then reported back to leadership.

STONE: What should a company consider when determining if Thought Sharing Sessions would be helpful to them?

KELL: If your organization is experiencing survey fatigue or if you want to drill down with more specific feedback and input, a TSS approach can be very effective. TSSs are easily conducted virtually using video conferencing. Because the nuances of body language are an important part of the communication process, phone interviews (without video) are often considered a last resort.

STONE: Do you recommend that these be conducted 1:1 or as groups? Why?

KELL: As with most of FBG’s services, this is not a one size fits all process. We take into consideration the size of the group, the number of employees participating, the culture of the organization, as well as the topic(s) being addressed to determine which approach is best.

STONE: In your experience, should an employee survey precede a Thought Sharing Session?

KELL: It is often helpful but not critical.

STONE: How do you suggest a company follow-up with employees after conducting Thought Sharing Sessions?

KELL: The method of follow-up depends on the organization but follow-up in some way is critical so participating employees know their input was heard. The FBG HR Consultant partners with the client to discuss the best way to share trends and action items following TSSs.

You are encouraged to reach out to Amanda directly,, for more information on Thought Sharing Sessions and the potential benefits they can bring to your employees and organization.

About Amanda:

Amanda leads the Human Resources & Compensation Consulting Practice for FBG. Her expertise includes human resources compliance, recruitment strategies, leadership and employee development, policy and procedure implementation, mergers & acquisitions, and compensation. Amanda earned her BBA from Georgia Southern University and has worked in the HR field for over 20 years. Amanda is SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and CCP certified. She is certified to administer and train on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) and the DiSC® profile.

Enjoyed this post and want more?  See our previous post with Margaret Godwin on HR Technology.