Pulse Survey at Workplaces

64% employees reveal their true feelings & complaints about work on a pulse survey. Check the survey guide to create a happy workplace. Save your 64% now.
  • Author: Siva
  • Last updated: August 2, 2022
  • 5 Minutes
employee pulse survey at workplaces to gather staff feedback and workers mood. A comprehensive guide to conduct pulse surveys for SMEs in the UK.

You’ve probably heard of the growing interest in employee pulse surveys. But what are they and why should you care?

With so much information about HR and how to run a business bombarding you from all angles, what’s so special about pulse surveys? What’s wrong with the tried and tested quarterly review?

In this guide we will give you the A to Z of pulse surveys. You’re going to find out exactly what pulse surveys are, the benefits of having them and how to create a successful one.

Let’s begin.

What are pulse surveys and why are they important?

Pulse surveys give a swift insight into the health of a company and its employees. They are designed to be sent out on regular basis and remove wordy or complex questions. This in turn allows employees to regularly let their bosses know how they are feeling without taking up a lot of their time.

While pulse surveys are new, you’ll probably have heard of employee surveys before. Pulse surveys are an adaption of ’employee attitude surveys’, intended to be more efficient and effective. 

What are the benefits of using pulse surveys?

There are many benefits to employee surveys, but pulse surveys are particularly effective for the following reasons: 

They provide real-time metrics

Pulse surveys give employers a constant stream of feedback from staff which enables them to keep a ‘pulse’ on how employees are feeling. Regular feedback can allow businesses to fix issues before they become problems. 

They are topical and to the point

Pulse surveys have a higher response rate than annual employee surveys, mainly due to the simplicity and ease of filling them in. 

They allow for analysis over time

Pulse surveys give continual insights letting businesses see how their company and staff have evolved over time. This can help them gauge what it is their employees truly value. 

They’re a great way to find new inspiration for improving employee engagement, by allowing businesses to collate feedback and views which may otherwise be left un-communicated.

They can be done cheaply

Pulse surveys are cheap to set up and require little effort to administer. As pulse surveys work with algorithms and data, a good software or insights program will allow businesses to reduce costs by removing the need to employ consultants or project managers to do the job.

They can improve the employee culture

Pulse surveys can help improve employee engagement and company culture. One of the main aims of using pulse surveys, is to provide powerful motivation insights of staff. Businesses can tap into what helps employees to stay engaged with their work and what doesn’t.

What questions should a pulse survey ask?

This isn’t an easy question to answer as the solution will be different for every business. But likewise, the quality of your pulse survey will depend heavily on the questions that you ask. There has to be a certain methodology when putting together questions and formulating their wording that suits your employees and the needs of the company.

Here are a few key things to consider when devising questions for all pulse surveys: 

Use purpose-led and to-the-point questions

Each and every question on a pulse survey must be purpose-led. Questions need to not be oblique or puzzlesome. You’re not testing your employees IQ after all. In order to obtain the most reliable results questions need to be easily turned into meaningful action. 

Don’t be too specific

Specific questions can be ‘leading’ in that they instigate a response from the survey-taker even if they initially had no strong feelings about the issue. This can give the impression that there is a problem when none actually exist.

Make questions accessible to the audience

Questions may only be relevant to a certain department or team in the business, and, as such, will not provide a reliable way to compare how all your departments feel. Make questions that are accessible to all staff or design different pulse surveys for each department.

Ask one question at a time

Avoid asking two questions at the same time. This can be confusing and unclear for the employee. If they don’t entirely understand the question, their feedback won’t be valuable or even truthful. 

Use the first-person perspective and talk about behaviours

This will help the employee to recall and reflect on real-life examples of their workplace experience when answering questions. 

Include questions about the key drivers

Your questions should cover the top 10 key drivers for your business and employees. The key drivers deal with the things that matter most to employees and have the biggest impact on their engagement.

In general, the 10 key drivers of employee engagement in most workplaces are: 

  1. The company’s long-term strategy
  2. The company’s culture and diversity
  3. Communication from management
  4. The employees work and their satisfaction with it
  5. The amount of guidance and support they receive
  6. Opportunities for employees to improve their position within the company
  7. Recognition for employee hard work
  8. Personal development of the employee – for example, learning new skills
  9. Quality of life within the workplace as well as with employee work/life balance
  10. Teamwork issues

How should questions be rated to get the best feedback?

There are lots of different ways a business can score or rate employee feedback. 

One good method is the Likert scale. A Likert scale asks people to rate something on scale of 1 to 5, with 1 normally being ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 being ‘strongly agree’. This will allow businesses to easily analyse data and see which questions received the strongest responses.

How often should pulse surveys be completed?

This will depend on the company’s business needs. For some a short, weekly survey may be important to check on staff engagement. For others, a monthly, quarterly, or even six-monthly solution may be fine. 

In conclusion

Pulse surveys are an important tool for many small and medium-sized businesses to gauge employee engagement and nip worker dissatisfaction in the bud.

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We hope you have enjoyed this guide. For more useful workplace information, check out the rest of our website. 



Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams :-)