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How to Conduct Effective Pulse Surveys and Encourage Ongoing Employee Feedback

/ 5.21.18

PulseSurveysThe giant employee engagement survey you conduct at the beginning of the year provides a wonderful over-arching view of your organization, highlighting strengths and areas of opportunity. But this is where sourcing employee opinions ends at far too many organizations. Once that survey closes, so too does the opportunity to give feedback.


Pulse surveys give employees their voice once again. They allow organizations to keep their finger on the pulse of the organization, quickly rounding up employee opinions on literally any topic. They create ongoing communication, build trust, and ensure everyone is on the same page.


Follow this guide to conduct pulse surveys that result in actionable insights.



Get your free copy of the ebook: The All-Encompassing Guide to Pulse Surveys


1. Determine the purpose of your survey and what you want to measure.

      Pulse surveys can literally be about anything at any time. We recommend these pulse survey          considerations:

  • Assess engagement levels
  • Track progress on engagement initiatives
  • Evaluate leadership accountability
  • Create an ad hoc poll
  • Gather feedback before, during, or after change

2. Identify your participants.

Be very intentional about who to include. Bigger decisions might require company-wide feedback, while smaller ones may only affect a small group of employees. You can survey the entire population of your organization, specific departments or teams, or groups of unique individuals, such as new hires or remote workers.


3. Set a timeline.

Pulse surveys are fast and flexible, but that doesn’t mean you should constantly ping employees. Waves of surveys can become irritating and wear out employees. Take these guidelines into consideration when conducting a pulse:

  • Only survey as often as your organization can act on feedback.
  • Pulse when your organization needs quick results.
  • Base timing on the purpose and population.
  • Administer based on your organization's culture.
  • Complement the timing of your pulse survey to your annual engagement survey.

4. Construct impactful questions.

It's important to keep your survey lightweight and easy to complete. These surveys are generally 5-15 questions and shouldn't take more than five minutes to complete. Consider questions about:

  • Leadership accountability
  • Change management
  • Engagement levels
  • Engagement initiatives
  • Random company opinions (e.g. meal at company party, color or company t-shirt, etc.)

5. Act on the results.

If you don't act on employee opinions, the survey will have the opposite of the intended impact you intended and will actually disengage employees. To make them feel heard and improve their experience, you need to show them you're listening and care about what they have to say. Communicate the results of the survey, select areas to improve, and make changes moving forward.



We think you’ll benefit most by using a combination of an annual survey AND pulse surveys. If you’ve been surveying employees annually for a while, pulse surveys are a great tool to dig deeper for follow-up, collect information related to specific organizational change, or simply keep your finger on the pulse of your organization.


If you’re not using employee surveys at all, we recommend starting with an annual survey as a baseline. It can cover more topics, which will allow you to quickly gain a more holistic view of your organization and what drives your employees’ engagement. And with the right partner, you can launch your survey and analyze the data quickly.


Free ebook download!: Conducting an Employee Engagement Survey   

Get all you need to know about the importance of pulse surveys, how to best utilize them, and the must-haves for you pulse survey tech with our free ebook, The All-Encompassing Guide to Pulse Surveys.


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