The Definitive Guide to the Employee Engagement Pulse Survey - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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employee pulse survey

The Definitive Guide to the Employee Engagement Pulse Survey

There’s a global trend of organisations embracing the employee pulse survey. So the obvious questions which come up include, what are these surveys exactly, and what benefits can organisations expect out of them after the employees undertake these surveys? Also, as an employer, you need to know what questions to ask your employees before you start rolling out the survey and also you need to know what steps you take to make your survey a successful one.

What is an Employee Engagement Pulse Survey?

An employee pulse survey is a rapid and recurrent engagement survey system that rules out complex questions and it is designed in such a manner that it can be carried out weekly or after every couple of weeks. These engagement surveys help organisations gain an insight regarding the overall health of the company across a number of engagement pillars. With the advent of technology, an employee pulse survey can be facilitated securely via the internet, instead of resorting to paper or depending on custom in-house HR software. With the growing trend of cloud HR software these days, one of the benefits is that it constantly keeps improving and you can expect new and updated features every couple of months.

Benefits of an Employee Pulse Survey

There are numerous benefits of adopting employee pulse surveys. Let’s take a look in detail at some of these benefits:

1. Near real-time measurement of employee engagement and satisfaction When you get the scope of receiving feedback promptly and often at regular intervals, it indicates that you are getting a direct and timely insight into the satisfaction levels and the morale of your employees, and not reviewing the results of an outdated survey.

2. Improved employee engagement. When you reach out to your team for regular feedback, it certainly encourages them and creates an environment of positive employee engagement. This is one of the latest and a very important topic these days, since research has proved that it carries huge organisation benefits with it.

Research has proved that the employee engagement entails the following benefits:

  • Employees who are engaged well are more productive at work and they take less time off.
  • Engaged employee are successful in making your customers happier.
  • Employee engagement helps in creating an increased level of productivity.
  • The level of performance, passion, and the interest towards the job is very high amongst engaged employees. This paves the way for innovation in business.
  • There is a significantly low risk of turnover for the company if the employees are engaged well.
  • Companies which have a large number of engaged employees are seen to have a high profitability rate.

3. Pulse surveys increase positive company culture. If your organisation harbours a culture of soliciting employee feedback goes a long way to create a happier and more engaged employees, which thereby, increases a huge positive impact in corporate culture.

4. Encourages employees to focus on topical subjects. Research has proved that if you ask your employees at regular intervals regarding a particular topic, employees formulate the habit which makes them relatively more aware about that topic during the forthcoming weeks. For instance, if you framed a survey questionnaire every time pertaining to customer service, it eventually makes the employees to start thinking of ways and means to improve customer service every time you ask them this question. Hence it helps in formulating habit amongst the employees. When you ask your employees repetitive questions for a longer duration of time, it has been proved to be very effective as a method of formulating positive habits amongst employees.

5. Employee pulse surveys provide powerful motivation insights. If you ask the right questions to your employees, it ensures that you can gain an in-depth insight of the motivation trigger level of your employees.

6. They allow for analysis of improvements over time Most of these employee pulse surveys generate reposts which come up with some form of statistical analysis and trend graphs. Using these statistical data, you can gauge how the responses of your employees were affected especially after any major or minor internal events in your organization. It also gives you a picture of how it impacted the motivation level of your employees during times of change.

For instance, if you asked a question in one of your surveys regarding the physical working conditions and then you remodelled the office pantry. Using a pulse survey you will be able to see the effect that this change evoked amongst your employees during and after the remodelling of pantry.

7. Recurrent reminder that employee feedback is valued by management. If you solicit employee feedback at regular intervals, you are demonstrating via your actions your care and consideration of employee feedback. Research has proved that employees of an organization value the leaders who solicit feedback frequently from the workforce. It also boosts the morale of the employees and makes them happier.

8. Pulse surveys can be a powerful employee relations tool. By soliciting employee feedback, you pave the way for an improved employee relationship amongst the employees and the management of an organization. You can harbour an improved employee relationship as your employees are ascertained that their voice is being heard and they have the right to voice their opinions.

9. Reduced time in completion. Quite unlike the customary annual employee surveys that are carried out across organizations, these pulse surveys are relatively very fast to complete, and they are certainly cost and time effective for organizations to survey their employees.

10.Higher response rates than annual employee surveys. Owing to the simplicity of finishing these pulse surveys and the time effectiveness, more and more organizations have realized that they have higher response rates of majority of employees taking the surveys as compared to the traditional annual employee surveys which were conducted previously.

11. Encourages open communication. By resorting to employee pulse surveys, you create an environment of open communication amongst your employees which makes them feel motivated to come forward and share their suggestions for the betterment of the organisation at large. It also helps in clarifying the expectations of employees, encourages and increases knowledge sharing, and also helps in promoting innovation in the organisation.

12. Helps direct future employee engagement activities. These pulse surveys help you measure your employee engagement and provide you with a comprehensive feedback so that you may carry out an in-depth analysis. Additionally, using the results of these surveys you can effectively implement your plan of action which thereby helps in improving the overall employee engagement of an organisation.

13. Encourages employee happiness. These pulse surveys help in nurturing a happier workforce in your organization. Employees feel happy when they know that they have the mechanism and a forum to voice their opinions. Research has proved that if the employees of an organisation are happy they display increased productivity, and they have a better morale as well.

14. Improves employee health. Research has also proved that the psychological health of employees is directly connected to their overall physical health. If the employees of your organization are happy, they are less likely to fall ill frequently.

As with productivity, scientific studies have shown that happiness is directly proportional to employee health. Hence it is obvious to assume that improving employee happiness will promote physically healthier employees.

15. Provides detailed information collection. If you survey your employees often using these pulse surveys at regular intervals, it will provide you a detailed and accurate insight pertaining to the attitude of your employees and their engagement. It will also help you to assess them better, and understand their weaknesses and strengths.

Hence adopting an employee pulse survey for your organization will warrant you with some of these amazing benefits which we have just discussed above.

Roadmap to a Successful Employee Pulse Survey

To ensure a successful employee pulse survey, follow these seven steps:

  1. Choose the questions you will ask. Select around 4-10 questions that cover the 7 pillars of engagement, such as trust, workplace, feelings about management and workload, motivation, or work/life balance. Ensure that the questions are neither vague nor easily leading.
  1. Announce the survey to the organisation. It is advisable to share an organisation-wide email from the CEO to the employees, or arrange for a discussion forum at your next town hall meeting.
  1. Start the survey. Before starting the first survey, you may wish to consider the frequency that you are going to dish out the survey to your employees. For instance, sharing a survey at the start of the work week may not be ideal, nor would it be ideal to share on a weekend.
  1. Analyze the responses. Once the pulse survey is complete, ensure that you review the responses in depth and look for common areas of concern to take action upon.
  1. Share the results Ensure that you share the survey results with the team. It is equally important to share both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ responses.
  1. Take action! It is extremely important for you to take action based on the results of the surveys conducted. It is highly disappointing for employees if they realize that nothing happens as a result of taking these surveys. It makes them feel ignored and not valued.
  1. Review and repeat. You must send the survey again to make a note of any impact as an outcome of any of your actions which you may have taken.


Employee Pulse Survey FAQ

It is quite obvious that usually manager have an entire list of questions which they wish to be a part of the employee pulse surveys. Here in this article, we have attempted to share a couple of common questions which are usually asked in these surveys.

  1. Are pulse surveys designed to replace traditional annual surveys? No, not necessarily. While the traditionally conducted annual surveys solicit far more detailed responses from employees, they however also evoke a very less response rate owing to the time required to take the survey. Also these annual surveys are much more expensive compared to the pulse surveys.
  2. How should I use the survey results?  It is recommended that you should review the results of these pulse surveys and formulate your action plan accordingly. You may also raise any concerns that you may have from your end with your team and have a discussion around it to address the concern. These pulse surveys are most effective when you take appropriate action based on the feedback that you have received from your employees.
  3. How frequently shall I send a pulse survey? Weekly Ideally. However, since this may sound too frequent, you may keep it monthly, but not later than that.
  4. What response rates should I expect? In a typical scenario, pulse surveys mostly solicit a high response rate of almost 80+ However, this is entirely governed by the situation. Hence, you need to educate your employees first and explain to them the importance of these surveys and how it will benefit them at large.


Byron Conway

Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect