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Conducting Employee Pulse Surveys


Senior leadership in my organization is looking for numbers on HR effectiveness in the organization.  We have done annual employee surveys in the past but they don’t seem to provide good, actionable information.  Is there something else that can be used?


Annual surveys of your employees are a great way to get input from your employees on key issues (i.e. engagement, benefits, leadership, etc.)  But, if you are looking for more specific timely results, yes, there are other options for employers to use.

Depending on why you are doing the employee survey, you may find annually just isn’t enough:

  • Annual employee surveys typically provide a snapshot at a one point in time leaving much room for interpretation.
  • The results of an annual survey many times are so dated that the actual action plans become irrelevant.
  • Long surveys have additional concerns such as: keeping the employee engaged (focusing all the way through question 40 is hard to do sometimes) and eliciting a complete and thoughtful response to all the areas being surveyed.

Today, many organizations have begun the use of employee pulse surveys.  These surveys are often just 1 or 2 questions that employees are asked to answer more frequently (i.e. monthly, weekly).  They are short and very specific, helping give you an immediate picture of what is happening in your workplace.  These surveys allow you to get deep into the issues at hand for quick and immediate response. One of our favorites is TinyPulse but you can also create your own on a tool like SurveyMethods.

Whether you are doing an annual survey or a more frequent pulse, one word of caution…do not conduct these surveys if you are not willing to take action and follow up quickly.  You will definitely lose participation if you do not respond quickly to the surveys, provide survey results, and communicate to those participating.

Bottomline, these surveys are excellent tools to keep employees engaged and get real time information from employees.

A key component of your HR Strategy includes understanding your employees. This means taking the pulse of your employees through employee surveys to identify what you are doing well and where you could improve.  strategic HR inc. can help you by creating a custom survey to meet your needs and facilitating the survey as a neutral third party. Visit our Employee Surveys page to learn more about how strategic HR inc. can help you.