45 High-Impact Pulse Survey Questions You Should Be Asking Employees

In this article, discover 45 high impact questions to use in your next pulse survey to deeply understand what's happening within your teams. Want tips on how to evolve your employee listening strategy?

45 High-Impact Pulse Survey Questions You Should Be Asking Employees

Whether your business is growing or going through change, it’s important to capture feedback from employees in the moment. But asking for feedback on a one-on-one basis is overwhelming and inefficient.

Pulse surveys are quick and targeted opportunities to gather feedback from employees as needed. They have the ability to surface real-time issues or opportunities to improve your employee experience.


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But there are a lot of factors that contribute to the success of your employees. From diversity and inclusion to safety, these surveys can help you surface issues and find areas to make an immediate impact. And including the right questions is key to collect honest responses that can help you improve your business.

In this blog we’ve included some best practice pulse survey questions to ask employees when addressing:

  • Employee engagement survey follow-up
  • Change management
  • A new initiative
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Candidate experience
  • Onboarding
  • New hire
  • Employee benefits
  • Pre and post-training
  • Job alignment and retention
  • Exits
  • Leadership accountability and manager effectiveness
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Safety culture


How long should my pulse survey be?

Pulse surveys are usually much shorter than the annual, company-wide engagement surveys that most companies have become accustomed to. They are designed to obtain quick feedback based on recent happenings at work.

Here are a few types of surveys we see most frequently and the number of questions we recommend for each:

Survey Type

Number of Questions

Annual engagement survey


New hire and exit surveys


Engagement check-in surveys


Topical pulse surveys



Topical pulse surveys—like pulses on compensation, benefits, diversity and inclusion, and more—may vary in length. Keep pulse and lifecycle surveys short—it shouldn’t take an employee more than five minutes to complete.


What questions should I ask in my pulse survey?

Pulse surveys were never intended to replace annual engagement surveys, yet a lot of organizations have made this mistake. Employee pulse survey questions should tackle smaller, more immediate issues or concerns.

Pulse survey questions are intended to collect quick and actionable responses. They should be timely and address a specific need. They can be used to follow up on team, department, and company-wide issues to continue making improvements.

Asking a variety of questions is great for understanding what’s working, what isn’t, and how to adjust to make the most of employees’ time. Here are a few examples of pulse survey questions.


Employee engagement survey follow-up questions


Your annual engagement survey is a good way to get a baseline of employee engagement levels. Organizations often use the data from these surveys to make changes within the organization. But it can be hard to see the impact of those changes if you wait until the next year’s survey. Consider a follow-up pulse survey to gain further insights.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. My manager shared the results of the last survey with our team.
  2. I noticed positive change as a result of the last survey.
  3. What additional feedback do you have regarding our engagement survey follow-up?


Change management questions


These questions are good to ask any time your organization needs clarity or direction on an immediate issue or concern. Hearing from employees soon after an event or change helps you evaluate how your employees’ views and perceptions were impacted.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. I believe this organization will be successful in the future.
  2. I understand the organization’s plans for future success.
  3. I trust our senior leaders to lead the organization to future success.


New initiative questions


Similar to change management, rolling out a new initiative can be just as taxing on employee engagement. Adopting a new idea or process can be disruptive to an employee’s day. Find out how they are coping and what you can do to better communicate next time.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. Our organization has done a good job of informing employees about [initiative].
  2. I have been informed on the new [initiative].
  3. We have effectively managed the recent change in our organization.


Diversity and inclusion questions


The topics of diversity and inclusion are sensitive subjects for employees to speak about openly. Asking questions using a pulse survey about D&I can help you understand how employees view the topics of inclusion, fairness, equity, respect, and diversity in a way that ensures you are engaging all employees.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. Our organization values diverse opinions and ideas.
  2. My opinions seem to count at work.
  3. People of all different backgrounds, characteristics, and beliefs are welcome here.


Candidate experience questions


Whether a candidate is hired or not, first impressions are everything. Asking candidates questions about their experience can help you improve your recruitment process. Gather feedback from candidates soon after they complete the process to ensure you are engaging prospective employees in the best possible way.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. The recruitment experience provided clear information about the position.
  2. The recruitment experience provided clear information about the organization.
  3. Communication was effective throughout the recruitment process.


Onboarding questions


New employees experience a lot of emotions when starting a job or at a new company. They also can provide a fresh perspective on workplace processes, systems, and culture. Asking these questions within the first week or month is a great way to capture specific feedback to optimize their experience and create a foundation for engagement.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. I feel accepted by my immediate coworkers.
  2. I know I can depend on the other members of my team.
  3. My immediate manager cares about my development.


New hire questions


Beyond the first 30 days, new employees still need a lot of support. Gain an understanding of their experience over the course of employee onboarding by asking these questions at the 1-week, 30-day, 90-day, and 180-day marks.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. My job responsibilities are what I expected them to be.
  2. I understand what is expected of me.
  3. I am able to do what is expected of me with my current skills and abilities.


Employee benefits questions


Employee benefits is a tricky topic to collect honest feedback from employees. Pulse surveys allow employees to anonymously share their opinions about their view, understanding, and satisfaction of benefit plan offerings.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. I have a clear understanding of the benefits available to me.
  2. I know where to direct questions regarding our benefits.
  3. The benefits offered here meet my and my family's needs.


Pre and post-training questions


Training is an important part of developing and engaging employees. So, finding out how they prefer to learn or how they felt about a presenter is great for improving their educational experience. Ask for feedback about specific trainings, including effectiveness of materials, facilitator feedback, and overall relevance.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. What did you find most effective about this training session?
  2. How can we make this training session more beneficial for future attendees?
  3. I can start implementing the training and lessons learned immediately in my work.


Job alignment and retention questions


It’s not always easy to get an honest opinion from employees about how they feel in their role and about their future at an organization. And asking directly doesn’t always reap meaningful results. Asking these questions in a pulse survey can help you understand where employees stand and how you might make adjustments to keep them around.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. This job is in alignment with my career goals.
  2. My work gives me a sense of accomplishment.
  3. My job gives me a chance to learn and grow.


Exit questions


Losing an employee is not only costly to the organization, but hard on employee morale. By asking employees about the factors that might’ve influenced their decision to leave, you can help improve their experience prior to departing and uncover ways to make adjustments for current and future employees.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. What do we need to improve in order to retain our top talent?
  2. I saw professional growth and career development opportunities for myself in this organization.
  3. This job was in alignment with my career goals.


Leadership accountability and manager effectiveness questions


Leadership plays a huge role in implementation and success of organizational strategies. Pulse surveys can help keep leaders honest about day-to-day actions when addressed post-meeting or post-engagement survey.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. Company leadership has communicated a vision of the future that motivates me.
  2. Our senior leaders are visible and reasonably accessible to employees.
  3. My manager took time to effectively onboard me.


Corporate social responsibility questions


Your corporate social responsibility practices can be a driver of purpose for your employees. But sometimes these initiatives go unnoticed. Ask these questions to find out how aware your employees are of your CSR initiatives and to find opportunities to create more meaningful work.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. I am aware of the CSR programs available.
  2. I understand the goals of our CSR initiatives.
  3. I see the impact of our CSR initiatives in the community.


Safety culture questions


Each employee has their own experience when it comes to work environment and safety. Collecting information about how safe your employees view their environment and how they think it could be improved will give you a clear picture of what you could do to improve your culture of safety.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. This organization strives to maintain a safe work environment.
  2. I know where and how to report safety issues.
  3. What is one improvement we could make to immediately improve your safety on the job?


Bonus! Ad hoc questions


Pulse surveys don’t have to be limited to work-related topics. They can also be used to ask more culture specific topics like favorite food, happy hours, or designing a new logo. Consider these questions before your next company event or policy rollout.

Pulse Survey Questions:
  1. What meal would you like served at the upcoming holiday party?
  2. What color should our company T-shirt be this year?
  3. If you were to write a new core value for the organization what would it be?


These employee pulse survey questions cover just a few of the many topics you could use them for. But the reality is, pulse surveys give you the flexibility and freedom to ask your employees questions, anytime, about any topic that makes sense for your organization.



Know what questions to ask in your employee pulse surveys is only one piece of the puzzle. To rollout a successful pulse in your organization download our best practice Pulse Survey Templates.



Published March 10, 2020 | Written By Jocelyn Stange