While 45 % of companies reported using annual engagement surveys for the last three years, pulse surveys are steadily becoming the preferred method for collecting real-time feedback and driving data-informed decision-making.

Major tech giants such as Apple, Etsy, Airbnb, Microsoft, and Amazon have integrated pulse survey apps and platforms into their feedback mechanisms to gauge their employees' perspectives.

What is a Pulse Survey?

A pulse survey is like a quick check-in to see how your teams are 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.

Unlike the conventional engagement surveys that arrive in your email occasionally, pulse surveys are succinct, containing a handful of straightforward questions. Modern pulse surveys facilitate communication seamlessly; for instance, they can be quickly made and distributed in platforms like Slack.

The real advantage of pulse surveys lies in their frequency. Being conducted perhaps weekly, they enable managers to tap into feedback promptly and detect patterns or trends.

3 Key Benefits of Pulse Surveys in 2023

Streamlining Your Processes and Bolstering Collaboration

Regular pulse surveys grant invaluable insights that can drive specific communication and collaboration plans. This can range from launching team-bonding exercises and initiating consistent team gatherings to introducing tools that simplify project cooperation.  

Monitoring Your Team's Wellbeing

Taking care of your employees' mental health and wellbeing is no longer an option - it's a necessity! Burnout is a serious issue too, and with the rise of remote work, it's more important than ever to monitor your team and see how they're doing.

Employee Retention

With competition for top talent at an all-time high, keeping your best employees 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 teammates and what factors contribute to their job satisfaction, allowing you to take proactive steps to retain your top talent.

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What Is the Difference Between a Pulse Survey and an Employee Engagement Survey?

A pulse survey and an employee engagement survey are both assessment tools used by organizations to gather feedback from their employees.

However, there are some key differences between the two:

Frequency: As mentioned, a pulse survey is typically shorter in length and conducted more frequently, often on a weekly or monthly basis. It aims to provide a quick snapshot of employee sentiment and track changes over time.

On the other hand, an employee engagement survey is usually conducted annually or biennially to comprehensively assess overall employee engagement levels. While employee engagement surveys typically receive a response rate of 30-40%, pulse surveys consistently achieve a significantly higher average response rate of 85%.

Scope: Pulse surveys generally focus on specific topics or themes, such as employee wellbeing, satisfaction with recent changes, or feedback on a specific initiative.

Employee engagement surveys cover a broader range of topics and assess overall engagement levels, including factors like job satisfaction, organizational culture, leadership effectiveness, and career development.

Depth of Analysis: Given their frequency and shorter format, pulse surveys provide more immediate insights and enable organizations to identify trends and take quick action. Pulse surveys offer a narrower scope for analysis but can provide real-time feedback for agile decision-making.

Employee engagement surveys, being more comprehensive and conducted less frequently, allow for in-depth analysis and a broader understanding of overall employee engagement levels and drivers.

Why Use HAY’s Pulse Survey?

We've extensively researched the efficacy of pulse surveys in overseeing wellbeing and satisfaction. Our data suggests that insights collected by managers serve as pivotal action points to tackle challenges their teams encounter.

Also, we discovered that administering and following up on pulse surveys can also help decrease turnover, improve culture, and find out if employees need to upskill. You can also use pulse survey data to 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 happiness or see if your employees 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 direct reports.

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 Employees

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 individuals feeling bad will be shown in the wellbeing alert.

Here are some sample questions:

  • How satisfied are you with your project?
  • How strongly do you agree that the team is working efficiently together?
  • How well do you feel supported by your 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 your project?
  • How well do you feel your ideas and suggestions are heard and considered by your teammates?
  • 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 your work-life balance?
  • 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 manager and teammates?
  • 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 also encourage your direct reports to complete the survey.

Start adding the questions to your survey.

Under ‘Settings,’ choose the individuals 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 Monthly.

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 direct reports 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 what 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. Your answers will depend 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 teams the results in a one-on-one meeting.

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

Using a pulse survey to measure wellbeing at the 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 😊

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