Assessing Need and Interest
Assessing the need for and interest in a garden market is important for initial success and continued popularity. You can also think of this phase as market research for the project. Seeking employee input at key points in the planning process is recommended, especially in this phase.
Before asking employees for input, anticipate as many questions as you can and consider the decisions you will need to make. For example, think about the following questions:
- Will a garden market increase employee access to fresh produce?
- Are employees interested in the garden market and will they use it?
- Are there convenient places to buy fresh produce on the way to or from work, which may mean that a garden market may not be necessary?
- Is fresh produce available in vending machines or workplace cafeterias and do employees purchase it?
- Do most employees bring prepared foods from home for lunch?
- Are certain locations, days of the week, or times better than others?
- Which names and/or promotional graphics are appealing to employees?
There are many ways to gather employee input. Some examples are
- Use data from health risk appraisals, employee surveys, or similar tools to learn if employees are eating the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Conduct informal conversations and solicit comments via email to learn if employees are interested in a garden market.
- Use surveys and focus groups to further assess need and interest.
For more information on developing and conducting focus groups, see the following resources:
After you have collected enough information to make decisions about your garden market, get management approval to proceed with your project. Then continue with the planning phase. However, you may need to consider additional employee input as your garden market takes shape.