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Do you really know how your employees are feeling right now? Are they actively communicating and happy? If they work from home, are they engaged and responsive? Or do they have issues that are simply not being addressed?

Listening to your workforce is critical. Whether in times of crisis or under familiar, typical circumstances, monitoring employees’ feelings and attitudes should be a routine activity.

By doing so, you identify issues of concern which can then be addressed in a timely manner. Employees who are engaged and feel like they have a voice within an organisation have higher levels of productivity, higher morale and tend to stay in their jobs longer. 

How can I collect this information?

Employee pulse surveys – short, simple question and answer exercises – offer a timely and appropriate way of collating the information you need.

Unlike employee engagement surveys, which tend to be annual, lengthy and in-depth, pulse surveys are fast and contain easy-to-answer questions. They are carried out frequently – in many cases, at weekly or monthly intervals. 

They allow organisations to gather real-time information about a given topic and address the issues highlighted. This real-time intelligence gathering can be extremely useful. A pulse survey (the name comes from the fact that it is seen to provide a fast overview into the health of an organisation) measures employee sentiment at a particular moment, meaning there is no time lag.

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How can I organise a pulse survey?

Pulse surveys can be organised quickly and completed securely online using easy-to-access software such as Survey Monkey. As they generally only take a few minutes to complete, employees are more inclined to participate in them, especially as work-life balance has become a key concern for today’s workforce.

They also provide the opportunity for organisations to drill down into a particular topic or gain feedback following the introduction of a new intervention – a wellbeing initiative, for example. The survey shows how this has landed and can provide further information by asking follow-up questions to create trend data. 

It is vital that the information captured in pulse surveys is acted upon quickly and not filed away and forgotten. They are designed to give employees a voice and to make them feel that their opinions are wanted and valued.

They also ensure the employer provides regular feedback and notes their actions. Addressing the issues highlighted will ensure that future pulse surveys will be successful and engagement rates will continue to be high. 

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How can I get the most out of a pulse survey?

As these surveys take place frequently and at short intervals, they provide an effective way of monitoring changes in opinion as employee suggestions are taken up. Answers and replies are most effective when a scale – for example, 1 to 10 – is used. Free text answers are not as popular, and you will see fewer responses throughout the survey.

Should pulse surveys be used as a replacement for traditional, annual engagement surveys or as a substitute for them? The short answer is that it depends on the organisation involved.

It may be that the former are used to ask about a particular subject - a new product or moving office, for example – while the latter are used to obtain a broader, more holistic view of the organisation as a whole.

If you haven’t considered using pulse surveys, you should certainly give them a go. There is no time like the present. They are quick, efficient, and can add huge value. They raise staff morale, genuinely improve business innovation and performance, and boost corporate culture. Because everyone wins, they may be one of the best investments you can make.

How we can help you

While our DIY Toolkit gives you full guidance on how to undertake pulse surveys, we can also be on hand to support you and your employees, if you need us. We can run a pulse survey and a follow-up report for free. This survey mirrors our own BW Pulse survey, and the report would show question average scores. You can see the survey and you can click through and complete it as many times as you want...

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Your survey would be open for 24 hours for employees to participate. We’ll then produce a report showing your respondents’ average score to each question so you know which areas are of particular concern to them. 

Asking employees how they feel and then helping them can benefit everyone. Creating an open culture where employees can give you honest feedback will help improve communication, and acting on their feedback will help employees feel valued and foster a better working environment for everyone. Creating effective pulse surveys can be the first step to achieving that.

What's next?

As well as our free pulse survey and report, we can also run follow-up pulse surveys focusing on specific areas, such as job, work-life balance or mental health. We can create bespoke surveys based on the areas you want to explore.

We can provide more in-depth analysis, identifying trends in your results and any hot spots of concern. With follow-up surveys we also have the option to ask questions to help identify trends in particular business areas. 
 

Once you’ve run a survey, follow-up communications are vital. These will show you’ve listened and you can explain what action you’re taking to support employees. We can help with these; writing and creating bespoke emails and signposting helpful tools and resources. We can help communicate your message through newsletters that can be sent by email and provide support for CEO video content. We can also build a tailored website so you can provide reassurance to remote workers wherever they are.

DEAN HUGHES
Head of Risk Advisory and Analytics

Barnett Waddingham – with support from DrumRoll, our in-house creative agency – can undertake a free call to discuss your options and help create a fixed project cost based on a clear understanding of your needs.

Our support can include

Contact Dean Hughes or a member of our team to find out more.

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The pulse survey DIY toolkit

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