How to Put Together an Effective Pulse Survey


No matter what kind of business you’re running, you want your employees to be happy and engaged with their work. Engaged, happy employees are more committed to their roles and to their companies – they work harder and they job-hop less. How can you tell if your employees are happy? If they’re not happy, what could you do to make them happy? Pulse surveys can give you the data you need to answer those questions and more.

Pulse surveys allow you to “take the pulse” of your company by helping you measure your employees’ levels of satisfaction and engagement with their work. They’re usually pretty short, and can be done fairly often, but should be done consistently. Pulse surveys can reap the kind of honest feedback you need to build a better business, and can give you all kinds of other data, besides. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of pulse surveys for your company.

What Is a Pulse Survey?

A pulse survey is a short survey containing five to 30 questions. The shorter, the better – pulse surveys should be short enough to fit into employees’ normal work flow. The questions should be targeted to help you gauge how your employees feel about the company and about their roles within it.

Pulse surveys should be sent on a regular basis. To get the most benefit, they should be sent out fairly often – monthly, biweekly, or weekly. They should contain questions about the work environment at your organization, employee satisfaction and wellbeing, communication, and so on.

How Pulse Surveys Can Help

Pulse surveys can do a lot for your company, both from your perspective and that of your employees. You’ll get insights into how engaged your employees are, how they feel about your company, what they would like to improve, and what they need to do their jobs better. Employees will get a safe place to share candid feedback, and a feeling of being valued and appreciated for their contributions and opinions. You’ll have a better understanding of how your team is currently operating, and what they need to do better and to make adjustments to workflow in real time. 

Some of the metrics pulse surveys can measure include: 

  • How work/life balance plays out in reality
  • What employees think of your company
  • How much employees trust one another and you
  • How satisfied employees are
  • What employees think of recent company initiatives
  • How employees feel about working in-office, remotely, or on a hybrid model
  • How engaged employees are
  • Employees’ levels of personal growth

Your company culture will prosper in an environment where feedback is welcomed, and conversations about engagement and employee satisfaction are taking place. 

Building Your Own Pulse Survey

It’s not hard to put together your own pulse survey. You can use one of the many survey tools available to construct and distribute your pulse survey. But getting the survey in front of the eyes of your employees isn’t the biggest hurdle.

No, the hardest part of constructing a pulse survey is figuring out what questions to ask. Perhaps you have recently implemented some new programs, or policies, or started selling new products, or have some other kind of new initiative you need employee feedback on. Maybe you want to keep track of how engaged your employees are, how satisfied they feel with the company, and how happy they are in their jobs. 

Take your time to come up with questions that are clear and easy to understand, with answers that will help you improve working conditions or grow the company. You could ask questions like:

  • Are you happy at work?
  • Rate your work/life balance on a scale of 1-10.
  • What’s one thing that you would change about your job if you could change anything?
  • Do you believe the organization will continue to be successful in the future?
  • Do your personal values line up with our corporate mission?
  • How have we managed [recent change] in our organization?
  • Do you feel you receive meaningful recognition for your work?
  • Do you feel comfortable sharing your opinions with managers?
  • Do you have access to everything you need to perform well in your job?

Make sure you tell your employees about the pulse surveys ahead of time, and stress the importance of participation. If employees know that their responses will result in tangible change, they’ll be more likely to participate. 

Pulse surveys are a great way to keep track of how your employees are feeling about what’s going on in your organization. The data you collect from them can help you steer your company in the best direction, so don’t wait any longer to make pulse surveys a regular occurrence for your staff.

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