Diving Into the Pulse Survey to Meet Business Demands

Diving Into the Pulse Survey to Meet Business Demands

Running a pulse survey is key to properly running a business — and running a business is not always a smooth operation. There is a wide breadth of considerations to carefully examine, yet even with continual check-ups, they are still susceptible to going awry.

When you measure the pulse of your business, the premise that the pulse survey hinges on, you are able to keep track of your business and how others engage with it — be they your customers, your partners and your employees.

This article delineates the pulse survey in-depth, so that you can build effective survey studies for your market research needs and be in tune with the pulse of your business.

Defining the Pulse Survey

The pulse survey gauges the pulse of your business, as its moniker indicates. “Pulse” refers to the “motions” the key individuals to your company go through in regards to your business. As such, this survey type must be administered frequently.

Like a biological pulse, the rhythmical throbbing of that which keeps you alive, i.e., blood — a business’s pulse involves understanding the lifeblood of its business. This includes customers’ opinions, employee engagement and sentiment and the thoughts of your vendors and partners. The latter is especially true for a B2B business.

As such, when those in the business world discuss “keeping a pulse” on their company, they are alluding to collecting the feedback surrounding this pulse.

Pulse surveys often refer to employee pulse surveys, which are a kind of employee feedback survey, however, they can collect the pulse from a variety of respondents and serve various purposes. These include:

  1. Evaluating customer satisfaction
  2. Measuring employee satisfaction
  3. Finding the opinions, needs and sentiments of partners, business clients and vendors via B2B surveys
  4. Understanding your content consumers via content marketing strategy 
  5. Getting insights into the operations of your business

The Key Characteristics of a Pulse Survey

What specifically makes up a pulse survey? 

Pulse surveys contain more specifics than merely the key trait of gathering feedback to understand the inner workings of your company. Instead, they include key aspects you need to adhere to when deliberating how you’ll use this survey type and how to create one.  

  1. Marked by frequent check-ins on the same audience.
    1. This can be weekly, monthly, bi-annually, quarterly or set in a custom frequency.
  2. They measure the impacts of small and large occurrences.
  3. The surveys tend to be 3-6 questions in length.
  4. The surveys are concentrated on either a campaign, topic, experience, etc.
  5. They’re used to track trends and hyper-segment your respondents (employees, customers, etc.) similar to market segmentation.
  6. These surveys are used to study changes among opinions, behaviors, attitudes and more within a particular group.
  7. They can be used to compare shifts in opinions among certain segments with consistency in that of others. 

The Importance of Using a Pulse Survey

Incorporating a pulse survey is key to ensuring various successes for your business. There are a number of ways in which the pulse survey benefits your business.

First off, it doesn’t merely tell, but it proves to your respondents that you value their insights. While not many people enjoy taking surveys, a short survey that explains in the intro or call-out that it is being conducted to improve the service/experience for customers lets them know that you pay attention to their needs.

This is beneficial when it comes to vendors and partners, as it gives them the reassurance that they are not merely contractually bound with your business, but that their input matters and that they have a say in the business relationship. 

The same notion applies to employees, the group chiefly used in pulse surveys. Workplace stress is common; in fact 40% of workers reported that their work was extremely stressful. Thus, a pulse survey is necessary to curb workplace stress. It is also crucial to keep employees engaged and satisfied with their work.

After all, a happy workplace won’t incite them to leave the job, whereas a toxic one inevitably will.

As such, relying on a pulse survey grants you the insights you need to keep issues at bay and cater to the needs of your business.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Pulse Survey

A pulse survey offers several advantages to a business. If the prior section on the importance of using a pulse survey wasn’t reason enough to start regularly implementing it, the following enumerates even more benefits that this survey provides. Like any business tool, however, there are some downsides to a pulse survey as well, as the following includes.

A pulse survey campaign can help raise revenue by improving customer/partner relationships.

The Advantages

  1. It is deployed periodically, giving you continuous key insights and updates on your target sampling pool.
  2. It identifies current (thus extremely relevant) insights on a wide array of issues and occurrences.
  3. The insights allow you to make much-needed upgrades, corrections and changes on a regular basis.
  4. Because it is employed periodically, you can identify trends and the ways in which your target sampling pool changes.
  5. It helps you understand the impact of events, whether they are large or minor.
  6. It shows you whether new employee policies, updated products or new vendor terms have had positive or negative effects.
  7. It is useful for assessing reactions to recent (or even ongoing) changes.
  8. It allows you to monitor virtually any activity or sentiment.
  9. These surveys tend to be short and thus are easy to create.
  10. Checking on the pulse allows you to zero in on current needs and objectives with a targeted set of questions.

The Disadvantages

  1. Requiring constant updates and feedback can be off-putting for customers, employees, vendors and all else.
  2. When no major event, change or attitude springs from the previous round of pulse surveys, it can be difficult to create new pulse survey targets without coming off as repetitive.
  3. These are not as anonymous or random as other business surveys, as such, some respondents will be reluctant to take them or refuse entirely. 
  4. Less anonymity incurs less honest answers, giving way to survey bias.   

How to Conduct a Pulse Survey 

Creating a pulse survey requires taking several key measures to ensure you carry it out properly and gain the key data that captures your pulse. Here is how to create a pulse survey for your various needs.

  1. Start from scratch by defining the purpose of your pulse survey campaign.
    1. First, lay out the high-level considerations, such as who the targets of the survey are and which area of business you would like to survey.
    2. Then, find something specific and current that you need to check up on.
  2. Decide on the most apt length of your survey.
    1. This should be an approximation since you haven’t created your questions yet.
  3. Create a welcoming call-out and/or intro to your survey so that the respondents will be more inclined to take it. 
    1. Include call-outs such as: “Your feedback means so much to us” and “Help us help serve you.”
    2. For employee pulse: “Let’s make work a better place,” and “Complete this survey so we can improve your work and responsibilities.” 
  4. Create your questionnaire, consisting of 3-6 questions and no more than 10 for longer surveys.
    1. Make sure the questions are relevant to the topic/issue you are checking in about.
    2. Consider your answers; some may prompt follow-up questions while others won’t be relevant to all respondents based on their answers. Thus, apply advanced skip logic.
  5. Determine a suitable survey cadence.
    1. Taking the following into consideration: how often the aspects you’re surveying are subject to change.
    2. How soon you’re going to make changes and if those changes warrant immediate pulse surveys.
  6. Put together a list of positive and negative responses in your survey analysis.
  7. Ideate how to address the negative attitudes, i.e., how to allay them and what to change in your business.
  8. Use advanced people analytics to your pulse data for market segmentation purposes, as well as a deeper read of the pulse.
  9. Share the results.
    1. Review the results with the appropriate team. Ex: partnerships, marketing, HR, the product team, etc.
    2. If you run an employee pulse survey, share the findings with the entire team for the sake of transparency.
  10.  Take action.
    1. After reviewing the results, take any necessary action to improve employee, customer and partner relations and satisfaction.
    2. Make necessary changes to the campaign itself, such as to the cadence, etc.

Pulse Survey Question Tips and Examples

Create questions that are broad (at least the early ones) so that they are pertinent to all the targeted respondents. The idea is to avoid survey bias along with question skipping.

Make sure to include at least one open-ended and one closed-ended question. This is especially useful if a multiple-choice question warrants an explanation, one that cannot always be answered via a follow-up multiple-choice question, but rather one with an open field.

This gives their original responses much more depth and a qualitative component to the survey.

Make sure your questions are specific and use skip logic if need be. Your questions should yield measurable data that creates actionable insights.

Here are a few pulse question examples: 

Pulse Survey Question Examples

  1. Do you feel that the company has done a good job of informing employees about [initiative]? [Yes or no]
    1. If no, use skip logic to route them to an open-question for an explanation.
    2. Target audience: Employees
  2. On a scale of 1-7, how strongly do you agree with the following?: We have effectively managed the recent change in our organization.
    1. Uses a Likert scale
    2. Target audience: Employees
  3. What do you think of our new product feature?
    1. Use nominal answers (varied and not scaled)
    2. Target audience: Customers
  4. How can we better make your holiday shopping experience?
    1. Use nominal answers (varied and not scaled)
    2. Target audience: Customers
  5. How comfortable are you in supplying us [various goods, needs, etc]?
    1. Use a Likert scale and skip logic to an open-question for an explanation of a low rating.
    2. Target audience: Vendors and partners
  6. What are some of the changes you would like to see to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership?
    1. Use an open-ended question.
    2. Target audience: Vendors and partners

Continually Improving Your Business

Regardless if you are a B2C or B2B company, in order to sustain a successful business, you need to monitor the pulse of various issues in your business. Whether it is ensuring a lengthy partnership — one with renewal, achieving a higher CLV (customer lifetime value) among customers or maintaining employee satisfaction, you need to implement a pulse survey campaign.

Such a campaign will enable you to keep a constant check-in on the aspects of your business that matter the most, along with those in need of alterations the most. Either way, deploying a periodic pulse survey to various targets will help you understand the key players of your business.

This will allow you to serve them better and forge business relationships with longevity. 

A successful pulse survey relies on a robust online survey platform. This tool should be able to facilitate a vast amount of survey types and styles and deploy them to the correct audience with ease and little to no effort from the researcher. 

If you have such a tool in hand, you are setting up your business for various successes.

Diving into the Employee Feedback Survey

Diving into the Employee Feedback Survey

Whether you have five employees or 5,000, the employee feedback survey is an excellent source of collecting employee sentiment that allows you to improve business operations and employee retention in turn. 

Feedback surveys provide employees with an anonymous way to share their concerns without fear of reprisal. In this format, a business can expect much more honest feedback that can drive meaningful change in the company.

Unfortunately, many employee feedback surveys fail because they do not ask the right questions or suffer from a low response rate. This guide will help you understand why these surveys matter and how you can make the most out of your next survey. 

Employee Feedback Survey Overview

An employee feedback survey entails capturing feedback from existing employees in a survey format. This type of survey is also referred to as an employee engagement or employee opinion survey. 

In general, employee feedback surveys seek to understand the level of job satisfaction, fulfillment and overall happiness that employees feel. Employee feedback surveys are conducted to understand employees’ holistic feelings toward a company or those pertaining to their team or department. 

The results of an employee feedback survey are then used to help drive company action by improving companywide aspects such as management styles, HR methodologies, employee relations and interactions with clients.

There are many reasons why a company may choose to conduct an employee feedback survey. Some of the main motivations include: 

  • Understanding current pain points
  • Measuring overall job satisfaction
  • Gaining insight into successful management styles 
  • Learning which HR incentives are most appreciated by employees
  • Improving processes for hiring and onboarding new employees
  • Demonstrating to employees that the company is interested and invested in improving their experience 
  • Giving employees the opportunity to reflect and volunteer ways to improve their role or the company
  • Improving the general satisfaction employees feel with their work and work environment

Benefits of Employee Feedback Surveys

Companies of all sizes can benefit from conducting an employee feedback survey and acting on the insights uncovered during the analysis process. Benefits companies may experience include:

  • Better performance: your team may feel more motivated to perform when they are given the opportunity to provide employee feedback
  • Eliminating any discomfort employees feel about raising their concerns on employment particulars.
  • Detecting problems before they occur.
  • An improved and streamlined communication between management and employees.
  • Helping employees feel they belong and have a sense of purpose within the business.
  • Boosting employee retention rates.
  • Attracting prospective employees who want to be part of a culture where their voice is heard.

Additionally, there are added benefits of administering surveys on a more regular basis. The benefits of more frequent employee feedback surveys include:

  • Having a system of benchmarks to understand how employee satisfaction changes over time.
  • Identifying changes in HR or operation procedures that have positively or negatively impacted employees.
  • Giving employees more frequent opportunities to voice their concerns.

How to Conduct an Employee Feedback Survey

Employee feedback surveys are relatively easy to conduct and follow a similar process to other survey types. 

  • Understand the purpose of your survey and write down your goals. Before you begin  to pen your questions, explore your motivations for conducting an employee feedback survey. Then write down what you hope to accomplish or learn by the end of your survey.
  • Identify your target audience. Determine if you will distribute your survey to the entire company or to smaller segments. Your target audience will influence the questions in your survey. 
  • Organize and plan your survey(s). Depending on the purpose of your survey and the target audience(s) you identify, you may need to create more than one survey. For example, if you are creating a survey for a large company with several offices, you may want to create individual surveys for each office or for each team within the offices. The questions that you ask managers are also likely to differ from those that you will ask team members.
  • Create your questions and design your survey. With the purpose and audience of your survey in mind, create questions that will provide the data you need to drive change. The design of your survey matters too;  consider using a professional survey platform to make the process easier for the employees and, thereby, improve your survey response rate. 
  • Distribute your survey. Before sending the survey out, it is a good idea to explain to your employees why you are conducting the survey. This should encourage employees to take the time to complete the survey and provide thoughtful answers.
  • Perform survey data analysis. Once the responses are in, you will need to collate, organize, and analyze the responses in order to draw conclusions for your business. We encourage you to read our in-depth article about survey data analysis to learn more about this process. 
  • Put the insights into action. With the analysis complete, you should be able to draw some conclusions and put them into action. Circle back with your employees and share the results of the survey and explain how you will use these insights to improve the company. 

Questions to Include in Employee Feedback Surveys

By asking the right questions, you are more likely to get insightful responses that can help drive positive and impactful change in your organization. 

The wording of your questions is important. In order to get helpful responses, be sure to ask questions that require specific responses. Don’t try to kill two birds with one stone; keep questions focused on one topic at a time. 

To help get you started, we have compiled a list of questions covering some of the topics you may wish to include in your next employee feedback survey. 

Overall Job Satisfaction

  1. Have you considered looking for another job within the past three months? If yes, please explain why.
  2. What’s the one thing you would change about your job?
  3. On a scale of 1 - 10, how happy are you with your job?
  4. Are you happy with your work-life balance?
  5. Would you refer a friend or colleague to work at this company? If no, please explain why not.

Relationship with Management

  1. On a scale of 1 - 10, how would you rate your manager’s performance?
  2. Are you happy with the level of communication between senior management and the team?
  3. Do you know where to turn for help when you have a problem or challenge?
  4. Do you feel recognized for the work you do?

Performance and Motivation

  1. On a scale of 1 - 10, how challenging do you find your job?
  2. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
  3. Do you feel inspired to do your best work?

Boost Your Business with the Employee Feedback Surveys

Employee turnover is expensive. Not only is it expensive and time-consuming to hire and train new employees, but companies with a higher turnover rate will experience lower overall profits

An employee feedback survey is an incredibly valuable tool that can help keep your employees engaged with your business. By investing in your people and understanding their true feelings about their role in your company, you can ensure the success of your business for years to come.

The simple act of conducting the employee feedback survey alone can help boost morale within your team. Add the free insights you’ll get from your employees, and it makes conducting an employee feedback survey a no-brainer. 

A professional survey platform can make it even easier to distribute your survey to a vast network of online users and assure that your survey collects the exact number of responses that you need. There is nothing holding you back from getting started today!

Frequently asked questions

What is an employee feedback survey?

An employee feedback survey is a survey that collects feedback from existing employees in order to understand their overall level of job satisfaction.

What are some of the reasons for conducting an employee feedback survey?

Some of the reasons a company may conduct an employee feedback survey are to measure job satisfaction, understand frustrations, improve processes, and show employees that the company cares about their concerns.

What are other names used to describe an employee feedback survey?

Employee feedback surveys are also referred to as employee engagement surveys or employee opinion surveys.

What are some of the topics that an employee feedback survey should cover?

Employee feedback surveys typically ask questions about overall job satisfaction, relationship with management, and employee performance and motivation.

Who participates in an employee feedback survey?

An employee feedback survey can be distributed to all employees of a company, or it can be distributed to smaller groups of employees, such as certain departments or office locations.