A simple guide to using pulse surveys

More and more companies are adopting pulse surveys within their organisations. Pulse surveys are designed to measure employee satisfaction and engagement levels. In fact, many companies are implementing employee engagement models because they understand the benefits and the value around higher employee engagement.

But, what exactly is a pulse survey? How does it work? What questions should you ask and why?

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Read on for a simple—yet complete—guide to pulse surveys, and why they are gaining interest from a wide range of industries all over the globe.

What are employee pulse surveys?

One of the primary reasons why employee pulse surveys are gaining popularity and traction today is because they are a quick and efficient way to gather insights about the “health” or the “pulse” of a company. Pulse surveys are also dispatched on frequent basis, such as on a weekly or biweekly basis.

Gone are the days when companies had to rely on paper to capture employee satisfaction insights and attitudes. Pulse surveys can also be dispatched securely over the Internet. Some of the benefits to using the cloud for pulse surveys are convenience, security, and flexibility.

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What are the benefits of employee pulse surveys?

So, does your company need employee pulse surveys? What are the benefits? The good news is employee pulse surveys can provide companies and organisations with an accurate feel of employee engagement, attitudes, and other valuable insights and details.

Here are some of the top benefits of employee pulse surveys:

  • Real-time measurement of employee attitudes, satisfaction, and engagement levels
  • Quick feedback on company performance
  • Measure positive employee engagement
  • Fast turnaround

Yes, employee engagement is a hot topic today—and for good reason. Research has shown that increased employee engagement provides huge organisational benefits as well as a positive impact on the organisation as a whole.

In fact, according to Gallup research, only 13 percent of employees are engaged in their jobs or are involved in or are committed to their work or the organisation. What’s worse is that the remaining 87 percent of employees are not engaged or totally disengaged.

Furthermore, according to American Business Magazine, research has shown that engaged employees are productive 80 percent of the time while at work. On the other hand, employees who are less engaged or who are totally disengaged are only productive 40 percent of the time. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a fancy MBA degree to understand that companies with low productivity levels result in low-quality output, low performance, and increased costs.

However, by investing in employee engagement, organisations can gain control of performance.

Here are some key benefits of engaged employees:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced “call outs” or time off
  • Increased performance levels
  • Increased innovation
  • Happier customers
  • Reduced employee turnover rates
  • Increased profitability

Even some of the biggest brands today use employee pulse surveys. For example, Amazon uses pulse surveys to gain an understanding of how employees feel every single day. Most of their questions surround job satisfaction as well as leadership opportunities.

How do employee pulse surveys work?

Now that you understand how and why employee pulse surveys are beneficial to any organisation, how exactly do they work? One of the most important things to keep in mind is that employee pulse surveys are only as effective as the time, effort, and action that employers put into them.

A pulse survey is relatively short, including approximately 5 to 15 questions. These questions are centered around one or two key topics, mostly those related to employee satisfaction and engagement. Employee pulse survey results allow companies to hone in on whether or not employees are happy in their roles and enjoy their work. Employees pulse surveys also allow companies to see changes and improvements in overall employee satisfaction and engagement throughout the year.

How to implement employee pulse surveys

How does your organisation adopt employee pulse surveys? Where do you start?

The first step should be to conduct an annual employee satisfaction survey. This survey should be somewhat lengthy (between 50 and 100 questions), and should ask questions surrounding an employee’s role, responsibilities, working relationships (with colleagues and managers), and leadership opportunities.

Once data and results are collected from the annual survey, dispatching shorter, more frequent pulse surveys will allow organisations to see how well they are making changes or improvements within the workplace, addressing employee engagement, and achieving company-wide goals.

It’s important for employers and managers to communicate the purpose of pulse surveys. This will help encourage employee participation and ensure high response rates. The more information employees have about when and why a survey is taking place, and how they should take it, the more likely they will participate and respond.

How to use employee pulse surveys

It’s also important to communicate how the results from employee pulse surveys will be used. This is important for two reasons: 1) This will increase employee participation and response, and 2) it will prevent “survey fatigue”.

If employees are expected to participate in pulse surveys, but they don’t see any improvements or actions from the company, then participation in future surveys will decrease. As a result, the overall purpose behind employee pulse surveys becomes moot.

Companies need to remember that their surveys—whether they are lengthy, in-depth annual surveys or short, quick pulse surveys—are only as effective as the time, effort, and action that goes into them.

What is a good pulse survey tool?

So, where do you find a good survey provider? Many employee engagement tools and software are designed with a wide array of features in order to help companies, HR departments, and managers capture the most data, details, and insights possible from employees in order to improve performance.

Netigate offers a number of accurate and highly effective employee engagement survey solutions, including pulse surveys. Visit our site to learn more about our services and solutions, and how we can help you collect the data you need to improve your organisation and reach your goals.

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