We’re crazy about craft beer, cat videos, and of course — pulse surveys!

Pulse surveys have become really popular in recent years. Companies such as Apple, Etsy, Airbnb, Microsoft and Amazon have all got on board to gauge their employees’ thoughts and feelings on various topics.

In the software development industry, pulse surveys are slowly becoming a staple tool for three key reasons.

3 Reasons Why Pulse Surveys Are Important In Software Development

Pulse Surveys Help You Streamline Processes and Increase Collaboration

Software development is a highly collaborative and creative process that requires a sustained effort from your developers. By regularly conducting pulse surveys among your developers, you can gather valuable insights that can inform targeted communication and collaboration initiatives. This could include organizing team-building activities, scheduling more frequent team meetings, or implementing tools that streamline project collaboration.  

Pulse Surveys Help You Check Up on Your Developers’ Wellbeing, Especially Those Working Remotely

Taking care of your employees' mental health and wellbeing is no longer an option - it's a necessity! Burnout is a serious issue in the tech industry, and with the rise of remote work, it's more important than ever to monitor your dev team's wellbeing. Pulse surveys can help you collect data on developer satisfaction and wellbeing, providing valuable insights that can inform strategies to address any issues.

Pulse Surveys Help You Retain Your Software Developers

Third, with competition for top engineering talent at an all-time high, keeping your best coders engaged and happy is crucial. Conducting pulse surveys can help you spot problem areas where you need to make changes. It will also help you understand what motivates your developers and what factors contribute to their job satisfaction, allowing you to take proactive steps to retain your top talent.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss how to use hay’s pulse survey. But first, some background information on pulse surveys.

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What Is a Pulse Survey?

A pulse survey is like a quick check-in with your developers to see how they're feeling about things. It's kind of like taking a "pulse" to get a sense of what's going well and what could use some improvement.

Pulse surveys are usually short and sweet, with just a few questions that are easy to answer. They're not meant to be a big, traditional survey like those you dread getting in your email inbox once or twice a year. These days pulse surveys shouldn’t require you to change contexts; you should already be able to make and distribute them like in Slack for example.

The cool thing about pulse surveys is that they can be done pretty frequently, like every week. This means that engineering managers can get feedback in real-time and quickly identify trends.

Why Use hay’s Pulse Survey?

We’ve done a lot of research on how the use of pulse surveys can help manage the wellbeing and satisfaction of software developers. Our findings show that data gathered can be great agenda points on which you can take action to address any issues your dev team may be facing.

Overall, we discovered that administering and following up on pulse surveys can help companies decrease turnover, improve culture, find out if engineers need to upskill, and see who’s at risk of burnout and loss of productivity.

How To Use hay’s Pulse Survey?

Step 1: Determine the Purpose of the Survey

Before creating a survey, it's important to know the survey’s purpose. For example, are you looking to measure overall developer happiness or see if your developers are happy using their tools? Perhaps you’d like to gather feedback about how they feel working on their projects? By determining the purpose of the survey, you can then tailor the questions to meet your specific needs.

Step 2: Create Your Survey Questions

Make sure that the survey questions align with the purpose of the survey. It's also important to keep the questions simple and easy to understand to get an accurate and honest response from your developers.

You may want to consider asking questions about physical health, mental health, stress levels, work-life balance, and workplace culture.

Step 3: Input Your Survey Questions + 15 Sample Questions To Ask Your Software Developers

When you know precisely the questions you want to ask, start creating your survey by clicking on the hay icon in ‘Apps’. This opens up the hay dashboard. If you’ve created a survey before, you’ll be able to see all your wellbeing alerts. Note: only developers feeling bad will be shown in the wellbeing alert.

Here are some sample questions:

  • How satisfied are you with the current code quality of your project?
  • How strongly do you agree that the dev team is working efficiently together?
  • How well do you feel supported by your engineering manager when it comes to achieving your goals?
  • How much do you enjoy working on the technologies used in the project?
  • How satisfied are you with the current level of documentation for the project?
  • How well do you feel your ideas and suggestions are heard and considered by your dev team?
  • How strongly do you agree that there is enough collaboration and communication within the team?
  • How satisfied are you with the level of autonomy you have in your role?
  • How strongly do you agree that you have the necessary resources (tools, training, etc.) to do your job effectively?
  • How satisfied are you with the work-life balance in your role?
  • How well do you feel the project requirements and timelines are communicated to you?
  • How strongly do you agree that you feel valued and appreciated by your engineering manager and team?
  • How satisfied are you with the current project management and planning processes?
  • How strongly do you agree that there is enough recognition and reward for good work within the team?
  • How well do you feel you are able to contribute to the project's overall success?

Click on ‘Create a survey’.

Here, you can write your survey title and a message to your team. You might want to include a clear deadline for responses and encourage your developers to complete the survey.

Then start adding the questions to your survey.

Under ‘Settings,’ choose the developers you want to receive the survey and the date you want to send the survey out. You can also choose to have the survey sent out Once, Weekly, Biweekly, Triweekly, or Every four weeks.

Step 4: See Your Survey Results

When the survey is finished, you could check the results as they’re dynamically generated in a bar graph. If some of your developers haven’t filled out the survey yet, you could send a quick reminder. There’s also the option of pausing the survey or archiving it.

Here are how the survey results will look like.

The data will allow you to identify trends and areas of concern, such as high levels of stress or dissatisfaction with workplace culture, all depending on the questions you asked.  

Step 5: Develop an Action Plan

This is the most important part of the survey. With the survey complete and fresh data at your fingertips, you’ll now be able to discuss with your developers the results in a one-on-one meeting.

If you think you might have trouble addressing problem areas, you can check out our engineering manager training course, which helps with exactly that.

Your action plan may include implementing new wellbeing initiatives, enhancing existing programs, or providing resources and support to your developers. Be sure to establish goals for your action plan and track progress in order to measure and improve factors that increase happiness, engagement, and engagement.

Using a pulse survey to measure wellbeing at your workplace can provide valuable insights. With hay for Slack, you can create and administer a pulse survey that meets your specific needs and helps promote a culture of honesty and openness at your company 😊

Looking for a tool that will help you run effective 1-on-1s with your developers?
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