According to Forbes, the annual employee engagement survey receives an average response rate of 30–40%, whereas pulse surveys surpass a whopping 50% on average.

It makes absolute sense, doesn't it?

An average employee would much rather fill up a short and interesting pulse survey than a 40-minute long, laborious feedback survey.

So why don't companies make the most of pulse surveys? It's most probably because

If that is the case, then this blog is for you. We'll explore a few best practices to conduct your organization's pulse surveys the right way, and get the maximum results out of it. 

What is a Pulse Survey?

A pulse survey is a shorter and much quicker version of the traditional employee feedback surveys and takes only a fraction of the time to complete as well. Because of the short nature of pulse surveys, they are a favorite among employees.

Pulse surveys are concise feedback tools or questionnaires that businesses employ to collect immediate insights from stakeholders, consumers, employees, or other relevant parties. These surveys typically contain only a few questions.

Unlike traditional employee feedback surveys which are conducted on an annual or quarterly basis, pulse surveys are conducted much more frequently. They are conducted weekly or even sometimes on a daily basis. It is a great tool to gauge the pulse of employees, especially when the company is going through a big change and wants to know how the employees feel towards the same. 

Pulse surveys are usually conducted on the following topics:

  • Employee Engagement 
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Work Culture
  • Leadership Effectiveness
  • Health & Well-being
  • Training and Development 
  • Diversity and Inclusion

If you want to collect the real-time feedback of employees rather than wait a while to collect it, then go for pulse surveys. The chances that employees complete the survey earnestly is also quite high for pulse surveys.

10 Best Practices to Conduct Employee Pulse Surveys

Before getting into the actual pulse survey questions and format, it is important to keep in mind that there are some things you can do to make the pulse survey even more effective. A few such best practices are as follows:

1. Have a Clear Objective in Mind

Every pulse survey has a core topic it discusses about. It could be about a recent software integration done at the company or the feedback on a recent training program. No matter what it is about, make sure to keep the objective in sight. Do not deviate from the topic, and make the questions as focused as possible.

2. Choose the Right Parameters to Track

No matter how effective your survey questions are, if it does not help you get a quantitative measurement at the end of the day, then everything will be in vain. So, always pick the right parameters to track, such as employee satisfaction or engagement levels

3. Focus on One Aspect at a Time

Rather than trying to fit multiple aspects into a single pulse survey, focus on a single topic at a time. It will help keep the survey concise and get a more realistic and accurate result. 

4. Maintain the Continuity of Data 

To see how things change and follow trends over time, make sure that the survey style and question formats stay the same from one version to the next.

This lets you compare and analyze continuous data in a useful way, so you can find patterns, areas for improvement, and growth over time.

5. Keep the Survey Anonymous

Encouraging employees to be honest and open in pulse surveys by letting them remain anonymous encourages them to give honest feedback without worrying about what might happen.

By keeping responses anonymous, companies can be sure that they truly reflect how employees really feel, which helps them deal with problems in the best way possible.

6. Mix Up Open-Ended and Close-Ended Questions

You can get a good mix of both numeric and personal data by using a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions.

When you ask a closed-ended question, you get a structured answer that is easy to measure. But when you ask an open-ended question, you can get more complex answers that can reveal problems or ideas you didn't expect.

7. Always Communicate the Results

Once you're done collecting and analyzing the survey data, be open with your employees about what you found.

Sharing the survey data shows that you care about what your employees have to say and will act on what they say. It also builds trust and involvement by keeping employees up to date on the company's efforts to solve their concerns and make the workplace better.

8. Accessibility is Key

Make sure that all employees can access the pulse survey, no matter where they work or what their job is in the company.

Use easy-to-use survey tools and think about how to accommodate people who prefer to communicate in a different language or who need help with accessibility to get as many people as possible to participate.

9. Try to Keep the Survey Short and Frequent

To keep answer rates high and avoid survey tiredness, keep pulse surveys short and to the point. It is easier for employees to fill out shorter surveys, and you are more likely to get correct and fast answers.

Also, sending out surveys on a regular basis makes feedback loops happen more often, which lets companies deal with new problems quickly and change their strategies to fit them.

10. Make Amendments Whenever Needed

Know that the employee's wants and needs may change over time, and be ready to change the style and questions of the survey to reflect this. Ask employees what they think about the survey process and be willing to make changes to make it work better.

To keep pulse surveys useful and effective for getting employee feedback and driving company improvement, they need to be able to adapt and respond to changes.

Essential Questions to Ask in an Employee Pulse Survey

Even though the core topic to be discussed under a pulse survey remains fluid and specific to the company, there are some essential questions that can be included in every pulse survey. A few such questions are as follows:

  1. To what extent are you content with your present function or position within the organization?
  2. How satisfied are you, on a scale of one to ten, with your total employment experience at this company?
  3. To what extent are you motivated to deliver your utmost effort?
  4. Do you sense that the organization recognizes and values your contributions?
  5. To what extent would you be inclined to endorse this company as an exceptional workplace to your acquaintances or coemployees?
  6. Do you consider yourself to be sufficiently informed regarding the goals, objectives, and modifications of the organization?
  7. To what extent do you feel at ease when delivering feedback to your manager or team leaders?
  8. Do you perceive that your feedback is esteemed and implemented?
  9. What characteristics define the organizational culture of our company?
  10. Are you included and experiencing a sense of affinity within your team and the organization?
  11. Do you find the work-life equilibrium that the company offers to be satisfactory?
  12. In what ways does your manager or supervisor assist in the advancement of your professional development and growth?
  13. Do you believe that your manager or supervisor is sincerely concerned with your welfare?
  14. Is the consistent provision of feedback and guidance extended by your manager or supervisor?
  15. In your opinion, to what extent does your team collaborate and communicate?
  16. Do you sense that your teammates are assisting you in reaching your objectives?
  17. Do you believe that any obstacles hinder effective collaboration within your team?
  18. Are opportunities for professional development and progression deemed adequate within the company?
  19. Do you find the training and development opportunities offered by the organization to be satisfactory?
  20. Do you consider the utilization of your skills and capabilities in your current position to be effective?
  21. How would you evaluate your mental health and overall well-being at work?
  22. Do you perceive sufficient assistance in managing tension and pressure associated with your work?
  23. Would you mind sharing any particular challenges or concerns that are currently affecting your well-being?
  24. To what extent are you in agreement with the mission and values of the company?
  25. In your opinion, does the organization exhibit a strong dedication to its declared values and mission?
  26. Do you have anything else to say regarding your employment experience at our company?
  27. Can you provide any recommendations or concepts for enhancing the organizational ethos or work environment?

See more employee pulse survey questions.

That's a Wrap

Now that you understand how to effectively conduct employee pulse surveys, consider using a pulse survey tool like ThriveSparrow. This platform can enhance your pulse survey efforts, allowing you to visualize trends across departments and delve into the factors influencing your employees' perceptions.