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The Employee Pulse Survey Guide

12 min read

Consider the following scenario. You work at an MNC as a Senior Project Manager, Software Engineer, or Cloud Solution Architect. 

Your HR department sends you a survey when you walk through the door at 9 a.m. or log in remotely from home using your corporate laptop. There are a few questions in the poll about your time at the company. 

Isn’t that what you’d expect from a Fortune 500 company? 

It does until you discover that the company delivers these surveys to some of their employees on a daily basis. 

If you work for a tech firm, a consulting firm, or any other high-performing company, you know how important employee engagement is to your business’s success. 

But what is a pulse survey, exactly? Isn’t conducting annual engagement surveys the best practice and, presumably, sufficient? 

Fasten your seatbelts. We’re about to dive into the fascinating world of pulse surveys. 

What are Pulse Surveys? 

Pulse surveys are purposely created to be very brief, simple, plain, and simply understandable. Because of the broad, open-ended responses, engagement surveys are typically longer and take more time. 

Employee pulse surveys are often sent out numerous times a year to take a temperature check for a variety of reasons. It could be to get a picture of your engagement metrics at a certain point in time, to gather feedback on organizational changes, to delve deeper into specific themes—like diversity and inclusion or wellbeing—or anything else that demands specialized feedback! 

What should be the criteria to determine which questions to be included in employee surveys? 

It’s best to figure out why you’re collecting data before deciding what questions to ask in surveys. Do you want to boost your productivity? Is employee engagement a top priority for your company? 

Once you have a general notion of the goals you want to achieve with the survey, you can start thinking about the best questions to ask. Just remember to keep the survey anonymous so that the results are more honest and useful. 

Best practices to create an effective pulse survey 

One of the most important aspects of creating an efficient pulse survey is the word itself — pulse. Keep your surveys short and sweet, with no more than 10 questions for each poll. 

Usually, it is recommended to do pulse surveys on a weekly basis, only do so if your business is capable of assessing the results and making changes in a timely manner. Conducting surveys but not acting on the results can give the impression that you’re just going through the motions and don’t care about the opinions of your employees. 

Pulse polls, like engagement surveys, should include both open-ended and closed-ended questions, with the scale used to provide a range of viable answers – often between five and seven – rather than a static, limiting yes/no style. A larger number of viable responses allows for more complex and individualized responses. 

Open-ended inquiries, although important, take longer to evaluate and analyze, especially in larger organizations. Make sure your company can effectively analyze the data utilizing a machine learning platform that can perform qualitative analysis. 

Steps to create a dynamic pulse survey for your workforce 

Before you begin your pulse survey, you must first create a strategy that meets your organization’s goals. We’ll break down the five major steps for building your pulse survey design in this section:  

Define your purpose. 

Set goals 

Select the appropriate audience. 

Decide on a frequency. 

Formulate a strategy for follow-up. 

Define your purpose 

It’s critical to clarify your purpose before moving on to question selection and survey design. You can choose the correct breadth of topics, questions, audience, and timetable if you have a clear image of what you want to achieve. Find out what the survey’s objective is by being very clear. 

What data do I require or desire? 

Is it possible to get this data without conducting a survey? 

These questions will help you get very specific about the results of your survey and will guide your design strategy. 

Set goals 

It’s simple to generate and send out pulse surveys, which means it’s also simple to create surveys that aren’t strategic in nature. If you start a pulse without a clear goal in mind, you’ll end up with results that don’t really answer your query. 

Before you start constructing your pulse survey, no matter how big or tiny it is, think about what you want to get out of it: 

What exactly are you looking to quantify? 

What will be done with the results? 

What questions do you need to ask in order to take action? 

Create your goal with essential outcomes in mind. These outcomes will drive your survey initiatives and will also aid in the evaluation of the results once the survey is completed. 

Select the appropriate audience 

After you’ve set your goal, you’ll need to figure out who you’ll poll. You may choose to survey the entire firm depending on the issue, while more specific or informal topics may only affect a small set of employees.  

When choosing your audience, consider the following questions: 

Is it better to keep the survey anonymous or give it an identity? 

Some issues in pulse surveys necessitate anonymity, while others necessitate greater transparency. Putting a name to critical feedback may create anxiety and compromise the collected data’s authenticity. Employees will be increasingly willing to provide genuine feedback with their names attached when the company’s culture improves. 

Is it necessary to conduct a survey of the entire workforce? 

Pulse surveys are fantastic for getting quick input from small groups of individuals, and you should only survey your whole company if the topic is relevant to everyone. Before rolling it out to the entire organization, start with a focus group to obtain insight into the questions you want to ask. 

Is this survey pertinent to a particular department or team? 

Feedback from a specific group, such as a department, location, or team, is frequently required. These polls are designed to help people gain a better understanding of an issue that is more localized or relevant to them. 

Decide on a frequency 

When conducting a pulse survey, the golden rule is to only collect input as often as you can act on it. Employee response rate improves when action is taken in regards to the survey data, and they diminish when no action is taken against them. While pulse surveys are quick and simple to implement, it doesn’t suggest you should do them as often as you’d like. 

Your pulse survey frequency should be determined taking into account all of your organization’s additional touchpoints. Make a rule for your team that makes sense and stick to it. Employees can become distracted and fatigued if there are too many questionnaires. 

Formulate a strategy for follow-up 

When you take action, your employees will see that you considered their feedback and valued their inputs. Following your pulse survey, make sure to follow these six steps: 

Make the purpose of the survey clear. 

Work with top leadership to develop a strategy for notifying your workforce about the survey’s objective. Giving employees advance notice of the survey lets them know what to expect and what you hope to learn from the results. 

Take action based on the results of the pulse survey. 

Your survey may fall flat if you don’t act on employee feedback, leaving employees disengaged. Every survey should contain a plan for communicating results, conclusions, and next steps to employees. 

Choose areas where you want to improve and areas where you want to celebrate. 

Determine where you need to improve and solicit feedback from your employees. Involving your employees in the decision-making process gives them a voice and allows them to contribute to your success. 

Make decisions and put them into action. 

It’s time to take action once your team has agreed on specific areas for development. As you begin to execute new changes, break down larger initiatives into little steps, divide ownership of tasks, and conduct modest trials. 

Continue to evaluate and move forward. 

Make sure your team has a plan in place for checking in and assessing progress. Adjust or explore alternatives if the adjustment isn’t working; if things are going well, go on to another area and begin making fresh changes. 

Bottom line 

An awesome workplace is where employees should feel acknowledged and cared for. Employee engagement is influenced by organizational attributes. Identifying company challenges aids in the creation of a positive employee experience. 

Pulse surveys have shown to be effective, prompting a number of businesses to use them at their workplaces. Employee pulse surveys may help with a variety of tasks and can help to transform corporate culture, making it the most effective way to gauge employee engagement. So, don’t hesitate to use an employee pulse survey the next time you need some meaningful feedback from your employees! 


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    Meet the author


    Content Writer

    Bhagyashree Shreenath is a full-time Content Writer at Keka Technologies. She is very passionate about writing and loves to write about the gaps in organization & human resource management strategies to handle the related concerns. When she isn’t writing, you will find her reading a book, or exploring new places.


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