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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.