How do I know which questions to include in my pulse survey?

Every six months we do a much smaller version of the engagement survey to get a general overall feeling of the company. Do we choose one question from each factor? Do we only pulse on the factor we are actioning? What are you recommendations? Who else even pulses in their companies?!

Hi there!

We are currently running our first Pulse on our company wide engagement survey. We actually mapped out a subset of questions from our previous engagement survey that targets the declared focus areas for each of our businesses. This way we gain an understanding of how our efforts since the last engagement survey have impacted our employees experiences. Hope this helps!

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Great questions, Holli!

I think that the selection of questions is very closely tied to what you are planning to do with the feedback. If you are taking the feedback to evaluate or fine tune the actions you took based on the engagement survey, including items from the factor you actioned on is a great idea. I’ve seen customers also add questions gauging 1) employees’ knowledge about the action (before receiving the pulse) and 2) whether employees took/are taking/planning to take advantage of the intervention/change/action. By introducing items from factors that you didn’t take action on and are also not really planning to do before the next round of asking for feedback, you are basically suggesting to employees that you DO intend to take action on them and disappoint them if you don’t.

In addition to the questions specific to your focus area, it might be worth including some of the engagement questions to keep a check on engagement (I like to include the intend to stay and the willingness to recommended items) as well as some questions from the action factor. By including action questions in your pulse survey, you have not only the ability to ask employees how you are at actioning (independent of what exactly you did) but also make sure that employees (including managers) understand that taking action doesn’t only happen once a year. For that reason, I like to include items such as “I have seen positive changes taking place based on recent employee survey results” and “I believe action will take place as a result of this survey”.

One thing that I find super important to mention whenever we talk about pulse surveying is the communication. And that really starts even before you even take the action that you later want to pulse on. One of the most important aspects of successfully actioning on survey results is for employees to actually know that you are doing something. Therefore, (over)communicate to employees 1) that you are taking action because of the survey 2) what the action is, and 3) that you will ask for feedback about the action. And you want to send that at least before, during, and after you took action, but really as often as you must before the last employee got the memo.

Karla’s approach above works really well when taking a decentralized approach in actioning. If you are taking organization-wide actions however, one survey for all your employees is your way to go.

By the way, if you are a customer, check out our masterclasses. There will one on pulsing on June 4th!

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Hi Holly, Pulses can be very valuable for predicting or identifying issues that are getting in the way of team performance and well-being. Concerning questions, it depends on the purpose.

If you want to measure engagement then a subset of a valid survey questions is fine. If you want to impact team performance and well-being directly, then you need to get more granular. Identifying, measuring and closing gaps between what people expect of their teammates versus what they experience as they pursue their objectives is the key to team effectiveness.

Also, If you want to impact performance and well-being I would suggest that the rhythm of the pulse needs to be closer to every six weeks not six months.

I hope that is helpful.

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