employee pulse survey working from home

A Simple Guide to Employee Pulse Surveys

More and more employers are adopting pulse surveys to obtain employee feedback within their organisations.

But a great deal of uncertainty still exists about their use. What is a pulse survey? What are the benefits? How do they work? How should you use them? Read on for a simple guide to pulse surveys.

What is a Pulse Survey?

Pulse surveys are quick and efficient ways of gathering frequent feedback from employees. Unlike the more traditional annual employee survey, which is often long and covers a wide range of topics, a pulse survey is short, and normally focuses on a very specific issue or question. Using cloud technology, pulse surveys can be dispatched regularly throughout the year, with minimal fuss.

Should the Pulse Survey Replace the Annual Survey?

Whilst some organisations are choosing to switch to just using pulse surveys for obtaining employee feedback, others are using pulses alongside their annual survey. So, it is not necessary to choose one or the other, pulse surveys work hand in hand with any other surveys, to support continuous feedback and improvements of the workforce. When deciding how to get feedback from employees, organisations should use the approach that meets their own requirements.

What are the Benefits of Pulse Surveys?

There are plenty of reasons for sending out these quick, short questions to employees. These some of the most common reasons why business leaders use pulse surveys.

  • Fast turnaround. Because pulse surveys are short and simple, they are quick for employers to compile and employees to complete.
  • Good response rates. As pulse surveys are meant to be quick and easy to complete, organisations see higher response rates than more traditional surveys.
  • Gain meaningful insights. By sending out these surveys frequently, employers can get a better understanding of employee attitudes and satisfaction throughout the year.
  • Real-time feedback. With pulse surveys, employers can get real-time measurement of employee attitudes and satisfaction, rather than wait for the annual survey.
  • Increased employee engagement. By asking employees for regular feedback, employers are keeping communication alive and encouraging positive engagement.
  • Supports continuous improvement. Pulse surveys allow employers to measure progress on employee engagement goals throughout the year.

The good news is employee pulse surveys can provide organisations with an accurate feel of employee engagement, attitudes, and other valuable insights and details. But if they are sent out too often, they can quickly lead to survey fatigue. And if employers do nothing in response to feedback, employees will quickly become discouraged.

How do Pulse Surveys Work?

Pulse surveys are relatively short, typically including approximately 5 to 15 questions. Questions generally focus on one or two key topics, mostly those related to employee satisfaction and engagement. They are useful because the feedback your employees give can help you decide which areas need improvement, and form the basis of a regular measure of changes in engagement and satisfaction levels within your organisation.


Now that you understand how and why pulse surveys are beneficial to any organisation, you may be asking what is a good pulse survey tool? myHaswell offers a Pulse Survey that enables employers to carry out regular wellbeing surveys easily and quickly on large numbers of employees. For more information contact myHaswell on 0118 449 2829.

Dr Angela Ellam
Angela is a co-founder and Director of Haswell Analytics Limited. She has played key roles in the shaping and managing the myHaswell services.

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or call us on 0118 449 2829 during UK office hours.