All about pulse survey best practices

 We recently covered on our blog how your company can benefit from pulse check surveys. We mentioned their ability to produce quick and actionable insights, and how they help companies track quality data. This week we’re taking a look at pulse survey best practices. 

Pulse survey best practices include the types of questions you ask, the cadence you set, and what you’re aiming to accomplish through surveying. Once you’re able to implement best practices, you’ll see results from your pulse surveys and find other ways to use them within your organization. 

Why do you want to use pulse surveys?

The first pulse survey best practices question to ask yourself is—why are you launching your survey campaign in the first place? What are you trying to solve for and what questions does your organization need answered? 

Goals will vary by organization and needs, likely being very specific to your circumstances. We know that some organizations like to use pulse surveys after major changes, like when they’ve added a new department lead or implemented a new tool. Pulse surveys give these companies a window of time to deploy these period check-ins to see how things are going. 

Whatever the goals of your company, a pulse survey best practice is to understand the results you want from the outset. Don’t enter pulse surveying assuming it’s good to get information without identifying a focus. These surveys are most valuable when they’re asking specific questions based on specific circumstances at a company. 

Be intentional about the questions that you ask 

In our last blog post we gave some guidance about pulse survey questions. These surveys usually range between 5–15 questions and can include scaled questions with some that are fill-in-the-blank. What’s important is that you don’t want to overwhelm your workers with too much to answer, but you also don’t want to ask too little and be left without good information. 

Workers are usually eager to give feedback, especially if it relates to recent changes or pain points in the business. The reassurance they do need is that their answers will be anonymous. Employees want the confidence that they can share freely without any backlash or repercussions. 

Pro tip: It’s good to include at least a few open ended questions on your surveys. Scaled questions help workers respond faster—which is important for high participation—but a few open ended questions lets you gather info you wouldn’t get otherwise. 

Give workers the right expectation about how fast you’ll act

Since many pulse surveys are used after a major change in workflow or leadership, it’s important to remind workers that the reason you’re asking their feedback is so that you can improve their working lives. 

Despite the goal of improvement though, workers need to know that actions aren’t always immediate. Even if the problems identified are clear, actions may take a longer time due to budgeting constraints, headcount, or even disagreement between departments in the organization. 

A pulse survey best practice—and one generally for companies—is to be transparent and open with your workers. Always remember that relationships involve two parties, and workers will be eager to help once they’ve earned your trust. Sometimes that help even means employees participating at high levels during pulse survey campaigns.

Ready to start your pulse surveys today?

Do you have buy-in from your organization about the need for an employee engagement program? Have you realized the importance of pulse surveys after learning about HR trends in 2021?

Wherever you’re at in your engagement journey, Workiy is here to help. Our survey methodology is backed by organizational psychologists, and has shown proven results for companies just like yours.