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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If you are trying to design a continuous and comprehensive performance management system, you would know the importance of conducting a 360 degree feedback. However, to make this exercise most effective, you need to go beyond simply involving everyone in the process to getting the process right — most importantly asking the right feedback questions to each stakeholder. This article will focus on how to write 360 feedback questions that create maximum organizational impact.
Let us quickly start by understanding what you must include in your 360 feedback questions to make it more effective.
Without wasting any time, let’s dive into the 10 tips that can help you in writing excellent and effective 360 feedback questions.
Keep the language easy to understand and avoid using technical jargon. Make sure everyone is able to gauge the same meaning of the question and the focus is not lost in translation.
Keep adding the questions list for your next 360 degree feedback to your records throughout the year.
Since 360 feedback should focus on all aspects of an employee, if you add questions at different times, they will be more relevant
Ensure that the questions don’t have an inherent bias or don’t push or influence the respondent to answer in a specific manner. Make sure that the questions can have varied options as answers and not a singular focus because that’s what you want as a result. Furthermore, the questions should not create a bias in the mind of the reader of any kind.
Focus on one specific attribute or competency for each question. Don’t try to include everything in a single question to keep the number of 360 feedback questions low. You will end up receiving responses for only a part of the question and it will confuse the respondent too. For instance, if you want to talk about collaboration, do not couple it with factors like leadership skills or problem solving.
Before you start framing the questions, identify the key competencies that are most important for your organization as well as the role. Competencies could include communication, innovation, strategic thinking, etc.
Make sure that as a whole, all the questions cover all aspects you want to gauge the employee on from an organizational and functional role perspective. However, don’t overstuff too many competencies, keep them relevant to the employee in question. For instance, a person in sales may not need a question on technology knowledge as a part of 360 feedback questions.
In addition to being specific, be clear on what you wish to gauge or understand with every question you ask. For instance, a question on whether or not the employee pays heed to the opinion of others can help understand the level of active listening and a spirit of inclusion.
You need to have a fair balance between open ended and close ended questions.
A very long or complicated process is likely to reduce participation and defeat the purpose. Therefore, keep the count of 360 feedback questions to a maximum of 30-40 and make it very easy to participate and complete the same. Preferably, disseminate it through your existing communication/ collaboration tools.
Finally, make sure that the questions are framed in a way that is simple to evaluate. Too complex evaluations might take too much time and delay the action and execution, leading to reduced faith and impact on 360 degree feedback.
To ensure that your questions are relevant and specific, you can start with writing 360 feedback questions for different situations and contexts. Put simply, in this section, we will focus on what you should be asking and when. It will also help you in picking the right questions for the right employees, instead of bombarding everyone with the same questions.
These questions will help you understand what your team members think about the overall management at your organization and the effectiveness of specific team leadership.
These questions can help you understand the level of communication efficiency in your organization to ensure there is no gap between intention and execution.
Use these questions to identify and nurture employees that show leadership potential to build an effective succession pipeline.
These questions can help you understand how committed your employees are towards the organization, which will impact their level of engagement and quality of work.
You can leverage these questions when you wish to understand which employees are quick to think on their feet and will be able to address problems/ challenges that might come their way.
These questions can help you gauge the level of alignment between what your organization stands for and the core values/ beliefs of your employees.
Focus on these questions when you want to understand how well your employees are able to connect with their peers and other stakeholders.
These final set of questions can help you gauge how efficiently the employees are able to get work done. This points to the presence of the right skills to utilize resources in the best way possible.
To keep the entire survey with 360 degree feedback questions interesting and engaging, you can experiment with different question formats and templates. While some of your questions can have simple Yes/No answers, some can have multiple choices along with room for providing open ended answers as well. Here is an easy to follow template you can leverage.
Key competency: Strategic decision making
Top line: The employee/ subject name is able to
Open ended questions
Once you roll out the survey with your 360 feedback questions and receive the answers, you need to analyze the responses to come up with a final report and plan of action. However, any response analysis is subject to biases and other factors which might put the validity and reliability of the report into question. Fortunately, you can leverage these following practices to eliminate such instances:
Before concluding this article, we would like to discuss the top 8 questions that most managers have when it comes to 360 degree feedback, highlighting concerns they may be having.
Highlight how the performance and feedback on the performance of others is likely to have an impact on their performance too. Make them believe they can be an integral part of the growth journey for their team members.
Make the feedback anonymous to prevent sugar coating. At the same time, do not rely upon a single review as the ultimate feedback for any employee. Analyze at least 2-3 feedback responses for each employee to get the real picture.
3. How to make the process time effective?
Leverage technology platforms to roll out the surveys and collect responses. Furthermore, you can rely on the NLP sentiment analysis to gauge insights from open ended questions in addition to trend generation based on quantitative questions.
Check out how SuperBeings can help you conduct seamless 360 degree feedback. Book a free demo today
Highlight the positive impact of participation as a whole. Make it an interesting part of the employee lifecycle. Provide employees designated time within their work schedule to provide feedback. Do not make it an added burden. Additionally, keep the process simple with not a lot of questions at once.
Depending on the nature of the organization you can decide on the level of anonymity. Facilitate anonymity will help you fetch greater and more authentic responses. However, sometimes, you might struggle with context in this case. Therefore, you should adopt an approach of flexible/ partial anonymity.
Create a business case for 360 degree feedback. Illustrate how it can lead to a better employee experience, strategic learning and development, greater employee retention and other aspects which can lead to better performance and productivity.
Ensure that your questions are neutral and don’t lead to a specific sentiment or response. For instance, if you want to gauge punctuality for an employee, don’t use statements like do you think the employee is always late to work, rather focus on how would you rate the punctuality and sense of time for the employee?
Try to conduct 360 feedback on a regular basis and not wait for the end of the year to ask all the questions. Maintain a cadence to gauge responses.
As we end this discussion, it is clear that if you want to write 360 feedback questions in an effective way — you need to adopt an all encompassing approach, taking into account the different aspects of employee attributes, performance, personality and behavior.
It is, therefore, ideal to leverage platforms like SuperBeings to help you roll out, gather and analyze the responses using NLP and automation for best results. You can leverage our best practices to not only get the questions right but to also enable your managers to facilitate employee development at the end of the process.
If interested, feel free to book a demo today. No initial commitment required.
In the recent years, there has been a lot of attention that is being given to employee feedback, performance reviews and evaluation as a part of the whole performance management system.
While a major focus has been to prepare managers to give feedback in a constructive and effective manner, paying attention to employee self evaluation is equally important. Knowing what self appraisal comments to use can play a major role in helping employees to effectively reflect and evaluate their performance and convey it effectively to the rest of the team.
The purposes of employee evaluation and performance review in general have been talked about time and again. However, self appraisal takes the process of evaluation at a very personal and individual level, leading to a more pronounced understanding of an employee’s performance. Some of the top benefits of employee self assessment include:
In the section above, we have talked about the purpose or the need of self evaluation mostly from the perspective of the employee. However, self appraisal, when done correctly, has equally compelling benefits for the team as well as managers. A quick snapshot is captured below:
With self appraisal, employees become active participants in their review and appraisal process, rather than simply being passive recipients. Consequently, they feel valued, motivated and the level of engagement increases. Furthermore, with greater engagement, levels of commitment, retention and productivity go up.
When employees take a step back to reflect on their performance with self appraisal, they become more receptive to diverse ideas. Put simply, in the absence of self reflection, they will have a hard time gauging where they need to improve. Consequently, they will be defensive when a manager or the team gives them feedback on the same. However, self evaluation will help them accept the gaps and be open to learning and growing.
When employees reflect on their performance and identify the development areas, they will don a problem solving hat on to accelerate their professional journey. Through the course of time, this problem solving attribute will become a part of their skill set which will benefit the team and the manager greatly.
As a result of greater alignment due to self reflection on the strengths and areas of development, teams will see a greater sense of accountability to bridge the gaps identified. Under conventional circumstances, performance improvement might be seen as just a tick in the box by employees. However, after self appraisal, employees truly acknowledge and accept the need to bridge those gaps and take greater ownership and accountability.
Now that you have an understanding of why self appraisal matters, let’s quickly look at how to make it most effective. If you are experimenting with self evaluation for the first time, it can be an overwhelming activity for your employees. It is human nature to feel uneasy when you’re expected to evaluate your own performance. However, if you provide your employees with some comments they can use for self evaluation as a starting point, you can make the journey easier for them.
Put simply, self appraisal comments are common statements that can be customized by your employees during the self evaluation process, especially, if they find themselves at a loss of words to describe their performance
These phrases are available for both strengths and areas of development to help employees paint a realistic picture of their performance. Here are the top 100 self appraisal phrases that you can use for different performance parameters.
Use these self phrases to reflect on your clarity of communication, willingness to listen to others, etc.
These self evaluation phrases reflect how reliable or dependable you are for your team members, especially under special circumstances.
Using these self appraisal phrases can help indicate how invested or engaged you are in taking ownership of work without being asked to at times.
Similar Read: 150+ performance review phrases for managers
The following self appraisal comments are important to help review your performance on the basis of how punctual and attentive you are.
Use these self evaluation phrases when you want to highlight your strengths/ areas of improvement of working with the team, your collaboration skills, etc.
Creativity self appraisal comments can help you in reflecting on how effectively you are able to come up with novel and innovative solutions to challenges and new ideas to augment the impact and value created.
The following phrase can create a picture of your quality of work and how much attention you pay while undertaking a particular task during your self reflection process.
You can use these self appraisal comments to illustrate how well you understand what is expected out of you and how well you are able to deliver on the same.
Customer satisfaction self evaluation performance phrases help gauge how effectively you are able to address customer requests or complaints that leads to a higher Net Promoter Score, brand credibility, etc.
Finally, these self-appraisal comments can help you highlight your growth plans towards your professional development and impact on the organization.
With a broad understanding of the more than 100+ self appraisal comments that you can use as a part of your self evaluation process, let’s move to this concluding section. Here, we will focus on sharing a few templates that employees can use to articulate their performance in an effective manner.
The self evaluation phrases mentioned above can be added at the right places in these templates to give a holistic picture of one’s performance. A few things to focus on include:
In the last <performance period>, I have successfully <activity/ initiative undertaken> which led to <tangible impact (metrics)> for the organization.
My focus was on <a detailed view of everything that was done> which resulted in <accomplishments>.
Overall, I believe that I have been able to create an impact by achieving <top 3 achievements> and seek to amplify the same in the future.
I believe that the last <performance period> has been full of learning and development for me.
While I was able to <quick snapshot of achievements>, I acknowledge that I need to pay attention to <areas of improvement>.
I believe that this focus will help me <intended outcome for improvement>.
Towards this, I will ensure that I consistently work towards <improvement plan (courses, behavioral changes)> to achieve <SMART goal>.
That said, self appraisal is an extremely crucial step of performance review. As a manager you must encourage your team members to provide honest reflection on their performance without being afraid of any negative consequences. Apart from providing the self appraisal comments mentioned above, you can also use assessment tools to make self appraisal a common practice within the organization.
Holistic performance reviews are integral for any organization that seeks to create a high performance culture. However, the nature of performance appraisals has undergone significant transformation with a focus on 360 feedback and review.
One of the key pillars for the same is employee self assessment and self appraisal. Through the course of this article, we will share with you why self assessment is important and how you, as a manager, can help your employees get it right to facilitate maximum impact.
As the name suggests, employee self assessment or self reflection is the practice or process where employees reflect on and assess their performance over a period of time to identify accomplishments, development areas and other performance aspects
The aim of self assessment is to get the employees’ view of their performance and add the information and data to manager and peer feedback. This can enable organizations to get a holistic understanding of the employee performance and gauge the overall contribution, some of which might be invisible from a macro view. Here are a few reasons why employee self assessment as a tool for performance review makes sense for growing organization:
With the rise of continuous performance management and regular review and appraisal, your self assessment process should follow a similar approach.
Instead of pushing employees to assess and reflect on their performance at the end of the year, you should encourage them to conduct regular self assessment
On one hand, regular and continuous performance linked self appraisal by employees will ensure that no part of their performance goes unnoticed. On the other hand, it will constantly give them a chance to reflect on their performance and improve on the development areas on the go, instead of waiting for the year end. Invariably, they will embark on the path of development and improvement at an accelerated pace.
Here, if you leverage employee pulse surveys which are short and frequent in nature, you can ensure consistent and continuous self reflection from employees. With as frequent as one question a day, you can encourage your employees to build a culture of performance-oriented self assessment.
With self assessment and reflection being a fairly new practice to performance management, many organizations and employees struggle with getting it right.
While some believe that employees might see it as a chance to explain their bad performance, others believe that it might end up biasing the manager’s perspective.
However, when done right, employee self assessment can be an extremely powerful tool to facilitate a high performance culture. Here are a few tips to get your employees conduct performance self assessment the right way:
Encourage your employees to be open and honest. Employees must not see self assessment as a place for self aggrandizing in the hope of a better rating, rather an honest assessment of one’s performance.
For self evaluation to be effective, your employees need to reflect on their performance without the worry of being penalized for identifying areas of development and improvement
It is important to not see self assessment as the sole foundation for promotions and appraisals, but rather as a journey towards growth.
Next, persuade your employees to reflect on their OKR performance. The idea is not only to assess what has been achieved with OKR grading. It should also include reflections from OKRs about the possible enablers and blockers to further refine them for the next performance period. The employee must be guided to reflect on what helped achieve the OKRs and what other support is required as well as what he or she would personally like to work towards.
Download: Free OKR grading template
Third, when self assessing for performance review, employees must incorporate feedback from their conversations with managers and peers. If your organization has a culture of regular 1:1s, this will be very easy for your workforce. The idea here is to motivate your employees to reflect on what feedback they have been able to gauge and whether or not according to them their performance is a reflection of the same. 360 degree feedback can also be a helpful tool for employees to understand all aspects of their performance.
Factors like what did the manager praise about their performance or what did a coworker thank them for are very important for self assessment.
Finally, as a part of performance review self assessment, employees need to reflect on the challenges and opportunities, both internal and external. Internally, they need to assess their attributes, skill sets and aspirations and align them with the expectations to gauge their level of performance. Similarly, external factors like resources, team support and their impact on performance needs to be documented.
When you share these above mentioned tips with your team members, they are bound to ask questions about the best practices for writing or filling up self assessment surveys in the most effective way. We have you covered for that as well. Here are a few quick tips to help your employees write effective self assessment:
If you look at these best practices closely, you will realize that the key to writing effective self assessment also lies in the questions that you ask.
Simply asking an open ended question like reflecting on your performance will seldom yield any substantial responses, mainly because your team members will struggle with starting their answers
Therefore, we have compiled a list of questions and potential answer prompts/ templates to help you make self assessment a part of your performance review process effectively.
Ensuring impact with self assessment is not only dependent on your team members. There are several ways in which managers of an organization can help build a culture of effective self evaluation.
Create an open culture where employee self reflection does not become the sole tool to penalize or promote employees, see it as an extended glimpse of performance
As we come to an end, it is clear that employee self assessments are an integral part of performance reviews and if conducted in the right manner have the potential to drive a high performing culture. However, we understand that administering and facilitating participation for self assessment can be daunting, especially for a growing organization.
Fortunately, custom pulse surveys by SuperBeings with automated sending and reminders, along with NLP based sentiment analysis can take care of the same for you. If interested, book a free demo today to learn more.