Pulse surveys are a great tool for organisations to gain employee feedback, and they’re becoming increasingly popular as a result. Traditionally, it was a very common business practice to only issue employee surveys annually. However, a recent shift in the need for regular employee listening has meant that surveys need to be relayed more frequently.
It’s understood by most that pulse surveys are a quicker way of gathering insightful staff data and that they should be more frequent. But confusion remains over what exactly they are, and why they’re so beneficial.
What are pulse surveys?
A pulse survey is a type of survey that is sent out to staff by organisations on a regular basis. The aim of these more frequent surveys – as opposed to annual ones – is essentially to give employees the opportunity to provide regular feedback.
What you ask within these surveys can be specifically tailored to your organisation’s goals, priorities, and other elements that need to be tracked. For example, questions asked can be around topics like employee satisfaction, relationships in the workplace, the environment, or communication, to help better understand the wants and needs of staff.
A good pulse survey should be:
- A lot shorter than an employee engagement survey, so as to not be time consuming
- Easier to complete than an employee engagement survey
- Used frequently throughout the year (i.e. monthly or quarterly) to gain more relevant feedback
How should they be used?
Each of your pulse surveys should have a clear purpose. This will help to attain the specific information you want to gain and/or learn as an organisation. It’s important that you also only focus on asking questions that are relevant and important, so not waste the valuable time of staff.
When creating your pulse surveys, you should consider the following:
The design of your survey
Ensure that you craft your surveys in a way that reflects the nature of how pulse surveys should be run: short and quick. For example, utilise different answer methods like multiple choice or scale, instead of asking for a comment on each question. This will also help to produce more quantitative answers that are easier to analyse.
How you relay your survey
The way in which you deploy your survey will influence its effectiveness. If you’re sending pulse surveys out too often, you will start to see a drop off in respondents. It will also be difficult to action any issues that arise in a timely manner, which could cause further problems. We would advise to put out pulse surveys every 3 months.
Additionally, we recommend making the switch from traditional ways of launching surveys (paper) to a modern approach (online), if you haven’t done so already! This way, responses remain anonymous, you can cut down on printing costs, and you can get feedback faster.
Analyse the data and action the results
Collecting your pulse survey data is only half of the job. To bring forward change where it’s needed, the data then needs to be analysed and interpreted. At WorkBuzz, our employee engagement platform offers pulse surveys as a standard, which can complement your quarterly or annual surveys to support your wider employee listening strategy.
What are the advantages of issuing pulse surveys?
Good response rates
Due to fewer questions and the quick answer ability that pulse surveys hold compared to regular engagement surveys, it’s likely that your organisation will receive a high response rate. This will enable you address issues and resolve them efficiently.
Improved engagement from workforce
Pulse surveys will help you to understand where the problems lie in your organisation. Acting upon the insights will create a better work environment for them, encouraging staff to do better work.
Pulse surveys are a safe communication channel for employees to share their honest opinions in an anonymous way. This means you can get down to the root cause of any arising issues in the workplace.
Pulse surveys allow you to see how staff are feeling at that current moment, rather than how they’ve felt over a certain period.
How can pulse surveys help improve retention?
Pulse surveys will provide leading data from employees. This data can then be analysed to identify any issues that are occurring, as well any patterns within this. It should then be clearer to recognise why it is staff aren’t staying or the reasons why someone could potentially be looking to work elsewhere. By understanding this, relevant changes can be made, and employee turnover should begin to decrease.
By checking in regularly on your employees with a simple questionnaire, it’ll be easier to confirm what it is you’re doing well as an organisation to retain staff, as well as the areas where you can improve. Pulse surveys are a standard across all our WorkBuzz platform plans – whether you’re just at the start of your employee listening journey or you want to try out a different platform. Schedule a demo with us today to see how we can help you – just complete the form below.