If you have ever visited a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor, you will be familiar with pulse analysis. Pulse analysis is a major technique, and probably the most important technique, where a TCM doctor puts his/her fingers on the wrist(s) of the patient to perform a diagnosis of the patient's health. 

Similar to the concept of pulse analysis used in TCM, employee pulse surveys are gaining interest from organisations both big and small, across a wide range of industries and countries, to diagnose the health of organisations. 

WHAT IS A PULSE SURVEY?

An employee pulse survey is a quick and regular survey that is intentionally designed to have fewer questions and to be done on a regular basis. With the advancement of technology, pulse surveys can now be automated and done with great administrative ease. 

EngageRocket Employee Engagement module is designed to facilitate pulse surveys at organisation's desired frequency, done securely over the Internet.

BENEFITS OF A PULSE SURVEY

  1. Relevant Data: Receiving feedback so often and so quickly means that you are getting an insight into morale and employee satisfaction almost instantly, rather than reviewing data that is few weeks old from a traditional annual survey.
  2. Higher participation: Unlike an annual survey, pulse surveys are meant to be short and sweet. At EngageRocket, our typical pulse survey takes only 53 seconds* to complete. Because of the simplicity of completing team pulse surveys, and the habit creation factor mentioned below, many companies find that they have far higher response rates with pulse surveys compared to the traditional annual employee survey.
    *On weekly frequency, with 5 to 7 questions per week.
  3. High frequency feedback loops foster culture: A culture of asking for employee feedback regularly creates happier, more engaged employees, which in turn, impacts corporate culture positively. The thoughtful use of pulse surveys can create a true “listening environment” while allowing managers and leaders to obtain critical insights into strengths and opportunities within the organisation. This contributes to transparent exchanges between staff and management while establishing a safe space for the employees to share their views and opinions. Additionally, by asking for employee feedback frequently, you are illustrating through your companies actions that you care about employee feedback.
  4. Habit creation: Studies have proven that if someone was asked about a particular topic week after week, the habit-forming nature of this activity means that they will not only expect the question to come (this can help achieve steady participation) but they will also be more aware of this topic in the weeks to come.
  5. Powerful employee retention tool: Employee relations are improved knowing that employees' voice is being heard and for managers and HR, you are also catching early signs of flight risks and addressing problems before they become out of hand.
  6. Monitor trends over time and identify seasonal issues: With pulse surveys, you are now tracking continuously. No need for guessing, you can now monitor trends and understand seasonalities with the data you collect. 

Are employee pulse surveys designed to replace traditional annual surveys?

Not necessarily – It may also be used to complement each other. Annual surveys often have far more detailed responses, but on the flip side, they tend to also have less response rate, take longer and are typically more expensive. 

While organisations see value in having the annual survey, they also understand the growing importance to check in with employees more regularly. Hence, pulse survey can be introduced to complement annual surveys until the organisation is ready to do without them. 

WEEKLY, MONTHLY OR QUARTERLY?

It depends. At EngageRocket, we often recommend that organisations do them according to their Business As Usual (BAU) processes. If majority of your teams have weekly huddles, then choose a weekly frequency so that teams can talk about the results and participate in the survey as part of the huddles. 

Our recommendation is no less frequent than quarterly, and no more frequently than weekly. 

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