Employee pulse survey can help you get real time insights into your team members. It enables HR leaders like you to gauge what employees feel about the workplace culture, engagement levels and address any issues immediately.
How to use custom pulse surveys
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Immediately after the employees complete the survey, make it a point to:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Based on the analysis of the employee pulse survey results, focus on creating a plan of action to facilitate change and impact.
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.
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.
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.
With the plan ready, your next step is to execute it and constantly make efforts to reach the desired impact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to use custom pulse surveys
How to choose the best pulse survey tools
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‘Onboarding: How to get your new employees up to speed in half the time’ - George Bradt, founder and Chairman PrimeGenesis
Did you know that a strong onboarding process improves new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%?
However, only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job at onboarding new employees.
This clearly states that while employee onboarding has a direct impact on the bottom line, most organizations miss out on how to get it right.
Don’t let that happen to you. To onboard new employees like a pro, keep reading.
By definition, an onboarding survey is a questionnaire that is administered on new hires to gauge their initial experience and level of satisfaction, in an attempt to understand their engagement and retention potential.
As an HR, you can get multiple insights from an onboarding survey, including:
It can help you estimate how long the employees are likely to stay and how you can further optimize your onboarding process to make it more aligned with employee expectations.
An effective onboarding survey can help you reflect on your performance through the onboarding process, which directly impacts KPIs for organizational success, including:
93% of employers believe a good onboarding experience is critical in influencing a new employee’s decision whether to stay with the company. At the same time, 25% of a company’s new hires would leave within a year if the onboarding experience was poor.
20% of new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member and an onboarding survey can help you identify the reasons for the same. However, new team members who were asked to provide feedback prior to their start date also had a 79% increase in willingness to refer others. Thus, illustrating how onboarding surveys and feedback can impact eNPS.
Employees with exceptional onboarding experiences are 2.6x more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace and 70% say they have ‘the best possible job’.
77% of employees who went through a formal onboarding process were able to meet their first performance goals. However, 49% of individuals who failed to reach their first performance milestone had no official onboarding instruction. An onboarding survey can help you determine the effectiveness of your onboarding process.
In addition, your new employees might also have an inclination towards providing feedback as a part of the onboarding survey, which you will lose out if you don’t conduct the same. Research shows that only 26% of new employees recall being asked for feedback on their candidate journey and the hiring process before their start date wherein 91% of new hires are willing to provide this feedback.
Now that you understand the importance of an employee onboarding survey, let’s quickly discuss how to effectively run an onboarding survey.
You must coincide your employee onboarding survey with important milestones for the new employee in the organization. Mostly, these milestones coincide with the end of the first few months. Thus, you should circulate your onboarding survey after 30, 60 and 90 days respectively, with different objectives for each. Furthermore, you can send interim surveys in case you feel the need, for instance, when the employee starts a project, or when the orientation process is over.
“Effective employee onboarding isn’t about swag, stickers, & company value pamphlets on their desk the 1st day. But, how you help them understand their goals & how co values are interwoven in operating are more important.”- Suhail Doshi, founder and chairman of Mixpanel, Inc.
Based on the milestones or cadence you have set up, it is important to identify areas you would want to cover with each milestone. For instance:
In the first 30 days, you should focus on themes like:
In 60 days, you can touch on themes like:
By the end of 90 days, focus should shift towards:
Once you have decided the themes, you can start building questions, a snapshot of which is covered in the next section or you can download the template now here. The themes can be fluid across milestones, depending on the context for your organization.
Once the milestone arrives, you should roll out the onboarding survey and drive participation. It is important to explain to your new employees why the onboarding survey is important and how they can fill it up. Give them the requisite time, deadlines and communicate what will be the next steps to encourage them to participate.
Simply rolling out the survey is not enough. You must reach out to your new employees to remind them to fill the onboarding survey as amidst numerous new things, they might lose track of it. Don’t push too hard, yet send subtle reminders to get genuine responses. For instance: employee survey tools such as SuperBeings integrate with chat tools like Slack, Teams, Gchat to send personalized nudges to fill out the survey in the flow of work at set intervals as well as allows them to participate directly without switching context.
Unlock a wide array of survey questions and employee analytics. See how SuperBeings can help
Once your onboarding survey responses are in, slice and dice them to get insights into what your employees feel and leverage the data points to further refine your onboarding process to facilitate engagement, retention and advocacy from the beginning.
Taking cue from the section above, here are 50+ onboarding survey questions that you can leverage to gauge the pulse of your new employees as they complete different milestones.
You can also download these questions as a template and use it whenever you need. Click here to download
By now, it would be very clear to you that an employee onboarding survey can help you in multiple ways to create a high performance culture. It can enable you to augment retention, engagement, satisfaction and advocacy among employees to ensure that there is minimal turnover and you are able to attract high quality talent. Ensure that you roll out an onboarding survey at 30/60/90 days frequency to check onboarding experience, knowledge transfer, manager support, role clarity, etc.
You should focus on other forms of employee feedback on culture, training and development opportunities, level of engagement, manager effectiveness, workplace collaboration, work-life balance, among others.
Finally, you should focus on leveraging technology and automation to add efficiency and effectiveness to your onboarding survey and process.
Research shows, automating onboarding tasks resulted in a 16% increase in retention rates for new hires.
Thus, consider partnering with a survey platform which enables you to:
When it comes to performance management for employees, you would agree that feedback plays an important role. However, only offering positive feedback and appreciating the performance of your employees is not enough. You need to give them an equal amount of constructive feedback which is specific to ensure high levels of performance. If you feel that your employees may not embrace constructive feedback, think again.
Research shows that 92% of people believe that constructive feedback is effective at improving performance.
In this article we will help you understand how you can give constructive feedback and examples you can leverage.
Constructive feedback is essentially a tool that most forward looking professionals leverage to help others in their team with specific and constructive inputs on areas where one’s performance can be improved. Put simply, if you have an employee who doesn’t pay attention to detail, constructive feedback involves helping them acknowledge that this is a problem area, and more than that, enabling them with the support to overcome the same. It involves not only identifying a performance problem, but also, providing action items and ways to address the same.
Now that you have an understanding of what constructive feedback means, let’s quickly look at some of the top reasons why constructive feedback is important. Constructive feedback:
When delivering feedback, you must understand the difference between positive and constructive feedback and ensure that you use both of them where they fit the best. Here a quick distinction between positive feedback vs constructive feedback:
In a nutshell, positive feedback is a reinforcement tool, whereas constructive feedback is a mechanism to facilitate development.
With an understanding of the fundamentals of constructive feedback, let’s quickly jump to the best practices which can help you deliver constructive feedback in a nuanced and effective manner.
The first thing you need to focus on is ensuring that the timing of the constructive feedback is ideal. For instance, a busy period when the employee is putting in a lot of effort may not be ideal for giving them feedback about their performance from three months ago. At the same time, ensure that you provide constructive feedback regularly and consistently, to avoid recency or primacy bias. However, don’t offer feedback when you are angry about their performance either.
Before you get down to giving the feedback, set the tone. Share with the employee the purpose of the meeting and make them comfortable prior to sharing your reflections. It is important that you build trust so your employees can share their perspective and don’t feel intimidated by what you have to say.
Once the context and tone is set, start sharing your reflections. Your focus should be on sharing what you have observed about their performance. However, ensure that you also share how the same is likely to impact their career growth as well as organizational success. For instance, if you are providing constructive feedback about missing deadlines, you can use the impact of losing clients for the organization and a casual attitude marker for the employee.
When sharing reflections, use specific examples of when you noticed a particular behavior. For instance, in the above example, you can share instances of when the employee missed his/her deadlines. Ensure that you use examples which illustrate a pattern, rather than a one off incident, which is very uncommon. Furthermore, always use concrete examples and not interpretation of what you hear or see.
With constructive feedback, your focus should be on helping the employee improve their performance and work on their areas of development.
However, simply pointing out their weaknesses or negatives in their performance will not help. You need to also talk about some of the positive aspects of their performance and how those qualities can help them absorb and implement their constructive feedback.
Emotional intelligence is extremely important when delivering constructive feedback. You cannot be apathetic towards your employee when delivering the same. Put yourself in their shoes to choose your phrases carefully. We will share some examples in the next section. Also, use your EQ to read the situation when you are delivering the feedback. If you see that the employee is getting uncomfortable, take a pause and comfort them first. Read their gestures and body language to ensure that the employee is not feeling attacked.
Like it or not, constructive feedback involves pointing out one’s weaknesses and areas of improvement. However, you should refrain from equating the performance of the employee with his/her personality or whole self. For instance, if someone misses deadlines, encourage them to be more organized or prioritize important work, than labeling them as a procrastinator.
While you are delivering the constructive feedback, you have to make sure it is a dialogue.
The idea is to give the other person enough room to share their side of the story.
Try to understand whether or not they agree with your feedback and how they perceive the same. They may share the lack of support or resources, which have resulted in a weak performance. Be open to some reverse feedback as well. Again, your EQ must be at play here. If your employee has an outburst, or reacts negatively, you need to stay composed and calm them down.
Once you and your employee are aligned on the areas of improvement, the most important part of constructive feedback is to provide adequate solutions to address the performance challenges. Don’t give abstract or vague solutions like be punctual if the employee misses deadlines. Rather, give very specific and action oriented solutions which are directed towards a particular outcome. The idea is to collectively understand the cause of the weak area of performance and use concrete solutions to remedy the same.
Now that you have shared some potential solutions, you must revise the top action items with your employee to avoid any confusion. At the same time, you should focus on creating a time bound plan with key milestones to ensure that development is taking place. Summarize what was discussed and how you will proceed from there. Best is to set up a date to review the progress to ensure constructive feedback is paid heed to.
Read our article on Start Stop Continue Feedback to give action oriented feedback
Here are top 20 constructive feedback examples that you can use during your next conversation. To make your constructive feedback more effective, we have also illustrated examples of what you should steer away from.
I would really like to know how you have progressed on the tasks assigned to you last month. It would be ideal if you could share a progress update on what has been achieved with a small summary of challenges/ support needed at the end of every week to ensure everyone is on the same page.
You have not kept your team updated about your work, this is highly unprofessional.
I was going through the work you submitted last week and I can see you have put in a lot of effort. However, I could see that there were some small errors and inaccuracies in the report across multiple sections. I believe that if you proofread your work thoroughly before turning it in, it will reduce the number of iterations and improve your quality of work.
You seem completely distracted as you have been submitting flawed and below average work, this will not be tolerated.
I understand that you are working on multiple projects, however, you need to ensure that the most important projects are not overlooked and their timelines are not missed. Therefore, I would suggest you create a list of tasks you are working on and check with the respective reporting managers on the priority and set clear expectations to ensure that no deadlines are missed.
You have missed your deadline again, it seems like you are not serious about you work.
I see that you have been able to achieve only a part of the goals that you set out for this year. Maybe you were trying to spread yourself too thin. I would suggest you reduce the number of projects you are working on and ensure that the goals you set you are able to achieve. Furthermore, you must be vocal about the support or resources you need to achieve your goals.
Are you even serious about your work, your level of goal achievement indicates otherwise.
I see that you have been taking some time off lately, without any prior intimation. Let’s try to understand if there is a particular reason for the same. We can work on your schedule to make it more flexible.
You have been missing all meetings lately, this tardiness is not appreciated.
I see that you are excellent at execution of ideas. However, I believe that you need to focus more on coming up with solutions on your own. I would suggest participating more in the brainstorming sessions and coming up with solutions. Try to think on your own, before you reach out to others with the problem.
You lack any problem solving capabilities, and will be stuck to execution for the rest of your career.
Constructive feedback is integral to organizational success. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
While performance management has been a key priority for organizations, for a long time, year end reviews were considered to be the most effective way to facilitate the same. However, recently organizations are observing a shift towards continuous performance management with an introduction of the performance management cycle. This article will focus on different aspects of the performance management cycle and how it enables unlocking the potential of high performance teams.
Before going into the diverse aspects, you should first understand what a performance management cycle essentially is. If you have an idea of what continuous performance management is, you’re already a step ahead in the understanding. Performance management cycle primarily is a way or a model in which you evaluate or focus on the performance of your employees throughout the year. The idea is to break down the different elements of employee performance into different stages and focus on them consistently. It starts with setting goals and ends with rewards for a job well done, which leads to setting of new goals and the performance management cycle resets.
While you may want to divide your performance management cycle into any number of stages, mostly there are four stages.
The first stage, at the very beginning of the performance management cycle, focuses on creating a plan for the performance ahead. The idea is to have a clear understanding on what your employee must achieve and how you will eventually review and evaluate them. During the planning stage, you and your team member, collectively should:
Thus, the planning stage of the performance management cycle sets the tone for the year ahead and ensures there is clarity at all levels.
Once the goals have been set in the planning stage, you enter the monitoring stage of the performance management cycle. This stage essentially focuses on ensuring that things are moving as planned. The idea is to ascertain that your team members are more or less on track for specific milestones outlined as a part of goal setting. Additionally, this stage will help you address any performance challenges that you may observe, sooner than later. Monitoring stage includes:
The monitoring stage essentially focuses on tracking the performance of your employees against the set goals to provide constructive feedback and help them perform better.
The third stage of the performance management cycle comes into existence towards the end. It involves reviewing the performance and providing ratings based on the established KPIs and metrics. While this is the formal review process, if you have been constantly monitoring the performance of your employees, this will essentially be a consolidation of all the reviews and feedback shared overtime. While delivering performance reviews, ensure that you:
Since you have been connecting regularly with your employees, the reviews will not come as a surprise to them, but will help you monitor the trends of their performance and guide the next stage for the employee’s professional growth.
Finally, the rewarding stage in the performance management cycle acts as a culmination to one cycle and sets stage for the commencement of the next. The objective is to take into account their performance over the performance management cycle and create a culture of rewards and recognition to celebrate and appreciate high performance. Some of the quick ways to reward your employees include, giving them:
This stage is important to make your employees feel valued and motivate them to keep the performance going. It will also push average performers to step up their efforts and enable you to create a high performance culture.
Now that you understand the various stages of a performance management cycle, let’s quickly look at why the performance management cycle is important for your organization. It will help you:
In addition to the above mentioned benefits, a performance management cycle can help you build a high performance culture in a number of ways. Some of the top aspects include:
What constitutes high performance can be abstract. For some, closing 5 deals can be high performance, for others, it might be closing 15. Planning stage in the performance management lifecycle will help your employees understand what constitutes high performance and thus, proceed towards it.
A key part of the performance management cycle is the rewards and recognition. When employees feel their performance is being valued and recognized, they tend to double up their efforts, leading to a high performance team.
Monitoring and tracking followed by 1-o-1 conversations can help you communicate with your employees regularly. Not only will you track their performance, but will also listen to their concerns or challenges and offer them feedback. Such conversations and feedback have a positive impact on performance, leading to a high performance culture.
One of the foundations of high performance is enabling your team members to undergo the right training. Performance management cycle can help you understand which training is important for your employees at which performance stage, realizing high quality results.
As a manager, there are several ways in which you can unlock the true potential of a performance management cycle. You are one of the key stakeholders who plays an important role in every stage of the cycle. Here are a few tips that can help you augment the effectiveness of the performance management cycle:
A performance management tool can significantly help you streamline your performance management cycle by offering the following benefits.
Get automated performance snapshots of your employee’s performance over the 9 box grid to track performance trends over time and provide reviews without recency bias.
Leverage guided templates with AI based suggestions for your 1:1 conversations with employees during the monitoring stage based on performance over time. Receive suggested talking points for goal-centered conversations.
Look at historic feedback to see improvement in performance and compare performance over time. You can also compare performance of peers over specific parameters.