Happiness at work has long been the exclusive concern of the human resources department but it is a central element for any organization nowadays. Likewise, the Employee Pulse Survey seems to become something beyond the range of “normal” labor surveys and positioning as an indispensable management tool.
Truth is that as important as it is to adjust every detail of the organizational machinery to always keep it in motion, it is equally necessary to measure the impact of those adjustments; otherwise, we will be working blindly or guided by intuitions and assumptions.
What is an Employee Pulse Survey?
The name is quite illustrative. If you have the mental image of taking a person’s pulse, you will be quite clear what this type of survey is about: knowing “how things are going”, easily detecting if something is wrong and being able to quickly and appropriately respond.
These are the main characteristics of this type of job survey:
- They are short: around five to ten questions and no more than two or three minutes long.
- They are frequent: they can be done, for example, once a month, although there are those who prefer a weekly survey.
- They are versatile: questions might change sometimes to focus on a specific topic.
- They are flexible: there is the possibility (although it is not frequent) to include open answers in addition to multiple answers or weighted ones.
This is the crux of the matter. What are the objectives of the Employee Pulse Survey and the advantages over other types of job surveys?
In the first place, due to their versatility, they are a source of fresh and regular information on a multitude of topics: work environment, development expectations, job well-being, leadership, communication and a very long etcetera. Thus, they are an accurate way to be aware of the perceptions of the employees regarding the organization.
In addition, it allows you to focus on very specific aspects of the organization. Let’s say, for example, that we have implemented work-life balance measures, and we want to know the results or how they are perceived from the other side. Or we are planning to change the schedule or a reorganization of several departments: yes, you guessed it, the Employee Pulse Survey is the one.
Above all, it directly impacts the so-called feedback culture, which pursues strengthening active listening, showing that you really care about the opinion of the employees and contributing to motivate them as well. We like nothing more than our opinion being taken into account (or, at least, being asked about something).
Therefore, it is a fundamental tool to measure the effectiveness of our actions aimed at generating a good work environment and promoting our employees’ engagement.
… And how
As for how to do and apply those surveys, choosing the questions well and formulating them properly would be the first task. The first step is to know how to state well what we want to know. Does it sound like a tongue twister? Well, you’d better be crystal clear: with skewed, confusing or empty questions we won’t get anywhere.
To avoid this work going up in smoke, it is essential to get an honest answer to our question. Anonymity is essential to get it, avoiding demographic questions (age, marital status, etc.) especially if our organization is a small one.
The survey format should seek simplicity and an easy way to deploy it, providing an easy data analysis and results management. All of this can be easily accomplished with virtual tools. The era of paper and pencil is definitely behind us.
The best survey is the one tailored to your needs
Whether to enhance feedback through surveys like these, or to improve other aspects of team management, you can find more than useful resources among our free ebooks; we invite you to have a look at them, it is worth it!