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employee pulse survey

Contributor(s): Sarah Lewis

An employee pulse survey is a review model used by employers to receive company feedback from employees in an efficient, routine way. Instead of circulating cumbersome, yearly reviews, a pulse survey is designed to have short, pointed questions that can be completed in a few minutes and circulated frequently. Due to this format, employee pulse surveys can easily be sent via email or employee engagement software and result in high participation rates.

Named after the idea of checking the “pulse” of something, these surveys give a brief insight of the employee experience, including how satisfaction and company health are doing at that exact moment. This allows organizations to measure and compare feedback continually and analyze the effect of certain initiatives. Results from these surveys can be turned into graphical or statistical representations that will depict trends week to week rather than year to year.

Benefits of Implementing Employee Pulse Surveys

Adopting the employee pulse survey model has been proven to benefit organizations, human resource departments and executives in the following ways:

  • Current insights - Compared to quarterly or yearly surveys that give a snapshot of results from that moment in time, taking surveys more frequently gives a real time measurement of engagement levels, trends and employee satisfaction.
  • Higher response rates - Limiting the length and complexity of the survey and questions leads to a higher volume of results.
  • Greater employee satisfaction - Regularly asking for employee feedback creates an open, honest, and appreciated culture. When employees feel more engaged, they are happier in the workplace, take less time off, and increase productivity, innovation and employee retention.
  • Deeper focus on specific topics - By tailoring questions around an area of improvement, employees will become more aware of the need to focus on those topics and generate new ideas.
  • Creates an outlined action plan - Feedback received around a specific initiative or idea can provide information necessary to formulating an action plan that tailors to the needs and concerns of all employees.
  • Better company values - Fueled by the ideal of continuous improvement, adopting this model creates overall company values of positivity, employee engagement and communication.

Example Survey Questions

Most employee pulse surveys are 5-10 questions long and revolve around a specific need for improvement or feedback. Questions are typically open-ended, allow room for feedback and can demonstrate change over time. Survey questions should be tailored to the company’s specific needs and should be adapted as situations alter or arise.

A few common employee pulse survey questions include:

  • How likely are you to recommend working for this company to a friend?
  • What are the challenges you are facing?
  • Is there anything preventing you from performing your best?
  • How happy are you at work?
  • How well aligned is the company to your career goals?
  • What part of the business would you like to see improve?
  • Are the company values clearly communicated?
This was last updated in July 2018

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