Employee CommsCulture

3 Steps to better understand employees using pulse surveys


 — June 25th, 2021

3 Steps to better understand employees using pulse surveys

Dispersed workforces, working from home, mental health issues … they’re all adding weight to the need for a greater, closer understanding of our workforce and how our people are thinking and feeling. 

With changes happening regularly and unexpectedly, organizations are having to respond and adapt quickly to support and engage their employees.

So it’s no wonder that pulse surveys, like Poppulo’s own solution, are becoming a favored tool in the Internal Comms practitioners’ toolkit.

Building a Communications Plan for Returning to Hybrid Workplaces

We’re seeing the employee voice, or rather the expectation of such, being amplified in today’s workplaces.  Employees want to share their feedback, they want their say, they want to shape and inform the future of their workplaces - now more than ever.

While we’re adept at rolling out the giant annual employee survey, to gain insight on employee engagement and sentiment, it is like turning a tanker ship. 

It’s not responsive, cost- or time-effective or current enough in the ever-shifting tides of the Covid-climate. 

So hurrah to its little cousin - the pulse survey; renowned for its simplicity, relevance, its timeliness, low cost, and agility, no matter what the size of the organization.

Many organizations have opted out of annual surveys for these very reasons and most of them have instead chosen pulse surveys. 

With tech advances, the insights, privacy, engagement, simplicity, and ease of use all make for a great survey tool.  And whether they’re delivered by chatbot, email, text, or messenger to reach employees where they’re at, engagement doesn’t come at the cost of productivity.

However, creating and conducting a pulse survey isn’t all plain sailing so here are three key ways to maximize this powerful tool:

1: Stay consistent with your pulse survey provider, your format, and frequency

As the name suggests, pulsing your employee’s opinions means delivering your survey consistently and regularly which builds both trust and expectation in your employees' minds.

Finding a format that works and sticking with it ensures familiarity and will also help keep participation rates high

You’ll also be able to benchmark against your own progress and notice any trends by consistently using the same engagement measure (a regular, recurring set of questions).

2: Find a rhythm that allows for action

‘How frequently should you ‘pulse’?’ is a question asked by most venturing into the world of pulse surveys. 

For any survey participation rate to grow and stay high, there are two ingredients.  One, consistency (hence the first point) and two, taking action.

Employees need to see the value in speaking up.  They want to see meaningful action taken from the input given.

So, understand how often you can implement changes, survey at that frequency, and your employees will not tire of the experience.

With pulse surveys, you can effectively measure engagement at any frequency you like, every six months, every quarter, or even every week if you choose, so long as you have a framework in place for reviewing those results and implementing change based on their feedback.

Of course, it’s equally important to communicate the changes made in response to the feedback to maintain participation levels and encourage more employees to join in and have their say too. 

Remember to always explain when decisions have been made not to act on feedback. 

Employees feel included and more understanding when they know why something can’t happen and this helps maintain survey engagement rates furthermore.

Building a Communications Plan for Returning to Hybrid Workplaces

3: Remain open and objective to the feedback

You might not like what you hear from your staff, but honest feedback can be the catalyst for the most impactful kinds of change and truly create a more inclusive, trusting, and transparent culture … if you act on it. 

I always see feedback as a gift and treat it as such - with the respect it deserves.  Knowing your employees' thoughts and feelings especially in times like this gives us incredible power to be able to support them and engage them in ways that truly make them feel supported and heard.

The power of the employee voice will then turn into the power of a collective positive culture … and you don’t need me to remind you of the power that has too!

If you’re considering taking the plunge with pulse surveys, or wish to know more best practices, Poppulo has another useful resource created by Angela Sinickas, 6 Steps To Get The Most Out f Pulse Surveys

In this webinar, you’ll learn best-practice techniques for developing actionable survey questions, conducting surveys, and reporting findings in ways that are meaningful.

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