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How to use employee pulse survey results the right way: 5 Best Practices

If you are an HR professional responsible for nurturing a high performance and empowering culture in your organization, you would understand the importance of giving employees a chance to share their experiences and pain points. Invariably, gauging employee pulse plays an instrumental role in building a healthy and positive workplace. 

However,  do you agree that annual surveys are more of a tick in the box and have limited impact when it comes to moving the needle? If your answer is a big firm YES, it’s time to move to employee pulse surveys. 

In this article, we will help you understand all you need to know about employee pulse surveys, their importance and how to make the most out of the results you derive. 

What are employee pulse surveys?

You must have been implementing several surveys across the organization to capture different sentiments and experiences about the employees. However, have you seen a drop in participation or an unwillingness to complete the survey due to its length? 

Well, that’s where employee pulse surveys come in. 

From a macro lens, employee pulse surveys are short surveys that are floated on a recurrent basis, An employee pulse survey can help you get real time insights into your team members. It seeks to enable HR professionals like you to gauge what employees feel about the workplace culture, engagement levels, etc. and address any issues as and when they arise. 

As opposed to traditional annual surveys, employee pulse surveys don’t wait till the end of the year to understand employee concerns and challenges and adopt an agile approach to fostering employee experience.

Pulse surveys perfectly complement the continuous performance management approach that most organizations are moving towards by helping managers understand and resolve performance blockers on an ongoing basis.

Why should you adopt employee pulse surveys?

If you are apprehensive that recurring surveys will be an added burden to your key responsibility areas, it is important that you explore the various advantages they bring along. A quick look will make it evident that in the long run, employee pulse surveys can help you achieve the level of employee engagement, satisfaction, and wellbeing your organization desires. You should consider adopting pulse surveys to:

1. Increase participation

Employee pulse surveys can help you drive greater participation as the number of questions are limited and employees have to devote a shorter duration of time to complete the same. 

SuperBeings helps increase the participation as the survey dissemination can be integrated with your existing communication tools like MS Teams and Slack. This will prevent additional effort or friction for employees to move to another platform which may result in drop outs. Also, SuperBeings follows a one-question-a-day feedback system for pulse surveys. Thus, making it more likely that employees will not see this as another tedious task and participate more.

2. Facilitate a greater completion rate

If you closely track survey completion, you will realize that many employees start the survey but only a few complete it. You can easily circumvent this challenge with employee pulse surveys. Since the questions are limited, the survey doesn’t appear daunting or overwhelming. Additionally, daily pulse surveys covers minimimum question on a given day and collects results over time ensuring that employees don’t feel lost answering questions on all aspects of their experience at once.  

3. Augment continuity and engagement

Since they are shorter, employee pulse surveys are conducted more frequently and, thus, have a sense of continuity. In fact, daily pulse surveys augment engagement as employees get a sense of continuous improvement, which further adds to greater participation. 

4. Promote relevant business objectives

Conducted on a regular basis, you can ensure that your employee pulse surveys are relevant to the short term business objectives and challenges. They can help you gauge employee pulse on what matters most at that time, instead of collecting information on topics of low priority which may dilute the quality and quantity of responses. 

5. Predict and eliminate attrition risks

Have you ever thought that had you known about the challenges or concerns about an employee in real time, you would have been able to address them and prevent a skilled employee from leaving? 

That’s exactly what employee pulse surveys can help you achieve. You can seamlessly gauge the overall employee sentiment about their work, work-life balance, culture, wellbeing, satisfaction, etc. This can help predict any chances of voluntary attrition and address the concerns in real time to ensure a win-win situation for all. 

How to use employee pulse survey results effectively

If you are convinced about the merits and advantages of employee pulse surveys, you should immediately roll out the first one and maintain a cadence to make it a regular process. We suggest doing it daily (with just one-question-a-day) or weekly, rather than conducting it monthly. Because a lot can happen in a month! 

Once you have the results of the survey in the form of employee responses in your hands, the next important phase begins. To use results effectively to drive change and impact, you should: 

1. Thank and communicate

Immediately after the employees complete the survey, make it a point to:

Appreciate participation

Send out a small thank you note or email of gratitude to all employees who participated to add a feeling of being valued. You must make an effort to communicate that their responses matter and are not simply a needle in the haystack. Appreciate their engagement to encourage them to participate again.

Share next steps

You should also provide clarity on what's next. Always ensure that employee pulse surveys should never be out of sight and out of mind. Share a course of action with some projected timelines. 

Cover action areas such as when the results and insights will be shared, what will be the next steps and when the next survey is likely to be conducted (if you are conducting a periodical pulse survey). This will help answer any questions employees may have in the aftermath of the survey and prevent multiple follow ups. 

2. Review and analyze

Once you thank your team members for their participation, jump straight to reviewing and analyzing what they have shared. Focus on a fair balance of qualitative and quantitative responses to get the big picture. 

Gauge sentiment

Your employee pulse survey can be based on a particular theme or trend you wish to address. Start your analysis with getting insights about the same. Gauge the larger sentiment of how your team members have reacted. This is when you check if your hypothesis is correct or not.

The idea is to evaluate favorability or gauge how strongly employees agree or disagree with the theme at hand. For instance, one of your results could be 80% employees believe that the organization supports a positive work-life balance. 

Group results to identify trends

Next, you must dig deeper into the responses to understand trends and responses for different segments. Identify key diverse groups in the organization and evaluate their responses. For instance, the overall trend may be 70% workplace satisfaction, however, for a particular group like the LGBTQ community, it could be 40% which is problematic. 

Therefore, get a comprehensive picture using the employee pulse survey results. Furthermore, rely on quantitative responses to add more color and context to your analysis.

Compare and measure

Finally, you should measure your current employee survey results with the one from past surveys. The idea is to gauge whether or not the needle has moved and in what direction.

While some numbers may not look impressive on their own, a comparison can help tell the whole story. For instance, while an employee satisfaction level of 40% may not be impressive in itself, but, if it has shown an increase since the last time when it was at 20%, it is definitely worth celebrating. 

3. Share and plan

Based on the analysis of the employee pulse survey results, focus on creating a plan of action to facilitate change and impact.

Communicate key findings

While you may derive a large number of insights, share few key findings with your team members at large. Communicate some of the most promising insights and areas where considerable progress has been made. 

Furthermore, share a few identified areas of concern or challenges which need to be worked on. This will help you create a sense of confidence and credibility as employees will feel their feedback is being heard and paid attention to.

Invite ideas 

Once you communicate the key areas of improvement, foster a culture of collective ideation and brainstorming. Invite ideas from diverse employee segments and create small working groups to address different issues. Encourage participation and delve deeper into the results in working group discussions. 

Create a plan

Based on the ideas, create a plan of action. Ensure that the plan of action is modeled on SMART goals with clarity in timelines, roles and responsibilities. Clarify expectations and share the plan with everyone in the organization. As the people manager, the final responsibility to create an effective plan lies with you, based on democratic decision making. 

4. Execute and review

With the plan ready, your next step is to execute it and constantly make efforts to reach the desired impact. 

Implement the plan

Act upon the decided plan and provide the right resources to all those responsible for execution. Constantly communicate with managers and team members to follow up on the progress. Identify any challenges to smooth implementation and address them with the help of organizational leadership. 

Review results and progress

Based on focused group discussions, interactions and conversations, gauge how well the implementation is progressing. Compare progress with a few metrics identified during the creation of the plan and comprehend whether or not the intended results are being achieved.

Communicate changes and impact

Once you have a fair understanding of what changes have been achieved, take a moment to formally communicate to everyone of the impact created so far. Create a structured template to share the intended impact, the steps and practices taken to achieve the same and the final outcomes. Also, translate the outcomes to how it will ultimately contribute to individual and organizational success

5. Survey again

Finally, it is time for you to roll out the survey again to see if it has moved the needle and changed the pulse of your team members. The responses you gather now can be an effective point to be compared to the earlier ones to understand where progress has been made and where there is still scope. Now, take the responses of this employee pulse survey as the base and start your process again. 

Using tools like SuperBeings can help accelerate your journey as a one stop solution. It can help you prepare robust survey questions, roll them out using existing tools for maximum participation, help analyze results, identify action items, and facilitate progress tracking and monitoring. By using a pulse survey tool, you can seamlessly adopt employee pulse surveys to leverage all the advantages, without adding any extra work or burden to your schedule. 

In conclusion, if you plan, execute, evaluate, and align your employee pulse survey effectively, you can bring about a change in the organizational culture, making it empowering and people-centric.

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