In a rapidly changing reality – remote work, changes in the way the company operates, and the need to adapt to the new market conditions – keeping an eye on the well-being and commitment of the employees are more critical than ever. The Pulse Survey is an excellent tool that allows the HR teams and business owners to easily and quickly control the level of satisfaction and maintain constant contact with employees.
Do you want to know more about this type of employee satisfaction track and how it’s different from the annual engagement surveys? If so, stay with us and read the complete guide to the pulse check survey. And remember that you need just a click to copy a ready-made Employee Pulse Survey template you see above will be to your user account on the Startquestion platform.
What are pulse surveys?
As we already mentioned, the pulse survey is a very simple and effective tool used by HR departments and all organizations to measure and keep track of employee experience and well-being in their company. You probably wonder, at this point, why is such a fuss about this new employee listening method and how it’s different from the annual engagement survey or employee satisfaction score you already conduct in your organization.
How are regular pulse surveys different from other employee surveys?
That’s a good question, and the answer is pretty simple – the key difference is frequency. Regular pulse surveys focus on the current employee engagement and employees’ happiness level, allowing us to measure it frequently (every week, two weeks, monthly, etc.) and, based on the employee feedback, immediately make positive organizational changes.
Why use pulse surveys?
Pulse surveys help organizations keep the well-being of the most important people in the company – employees – under constant control and observation. There are the biggest advantages of conducting employee pulse surveys in your company:
- The pulse survey is not a complicated type of employee listening method – you need a minimum amount of time and effort to create a survey, thanks to a ready-to-use template and automatic sending of pulse surveys to employees at a set time (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.);
- Pulse Check is short and easy to complete, so you avoid a common survey fatigue problem. It allows you to continuously gain employees views and regular feedback in an elegant and not annoying way.
- Research shows that the average response rate of regular pulse check surveys could be even 85%, while the annual employee engagement survey usually gets a maximum 40% response rate (Forbes). So using pulse check you can get much more survey results can identify issues connected to most employees much more effectively.
- Thanks to easy access to new results and the high frequency of this method, you can quickly respond to employee problems and avoid a big crisis (early warning system).
- Pulse surveys are perfect for easily monitoring results over time, allowing you to predict trends and react fast to disturbing fluctuations in employee satisfaction or engagement.
- Pulse check helps maintain constant contact with all employees – especially when working remotely.
How often should you use pulse surveys?
Pulse surveys should be a part of the employee experience program. Unlike annual employee engagement surveys, a pulse survey is sent to your team regularly – even up to 52 times a year.
How often should you ask for employee feedback through a pulse survey? It depends on your company’s size, the number of employees, or the specific work (for example, remote working). Remember that the more often you send the pulse survey, the fewer questions it has to contain. Employees have limited patience. It’s nice to be asked how you are but doesn’t make them complete a 10-page survey every week – they will probably have more important things to do now.
When you have this knowledge, you can decide on the survey frequency. We recommend sending it to employees:
- quarterly, which means four waves of pulse surveys a year
- monthly with 12 waves a year
- weekly, which means 52 waves a year
Remember: reminding employees to complete the pulse check (pulse survey) is very important. Simple follow-up can increase the number of survey results significantly.
The perfect length of the questionnaire and the number of pulse survey questions depends on the frequency:
- Pulse surveys which are sent the most often, so once a week, should have a relatively small number of questions – a maximum of 5, and preferably 1 or 2.
- If you decide to send an employee pulse survey every month, prepare from 5 to a maximum of 10 questions.
- If you collect employee feedback using a pulse check only once a quarter, you can afford a longer questionnaire – it can contain 15 to even 20 questions.
As you can see, the frequency of pulse surveys depends on a particular work environment, company culture, and many other organizational metrics. It has to be adjusted to HR’s ability to track engagement levels and work on meaningful changes and the survey respondents. Most employee pulse surveys are sent by organizations monthly, but it’s up to you to find the most convenient time. Remember about making sure that pulse survey questions cover all the employee experience in your organization, such as: professional development, workplace culture and relationships, company values, attitude toward business leaders etc.
To sum up, there are advantages of the Pulse Survey over the annual employee engagement surveys:
- Regularity – you don’t have to remember to send one big annual engagement survey;
- Frequent employee feedback – you don’t have to wait a whole year to be sure that nothing wrong is happening with the survey respondents and how your employees feel;
- Length and no complexity – you avoid survey fatigue and get as many pulse survey results as it’s possible;
- Repeatability – you prepare the set of pulse survey questions once and don’t have to worry about preparing the questionnaire again;
- Automatic sending to e-mail – you don’t have to look for contact to the employee or worry that messages with pulse surveys will be lost between other topics on Slack. If you choose the right pulse survey software, you can set the shipment once, and all employee pulse surveys are sent automatically.