Have you ever wondered how your employees might be feeling about a task? About the office? Or more importantly, about the company’s culture?
If you’re in HR or Management, I’m sure these thoughts have crossed your mind more than once. This data is too difficult to collect just by observation or asking around. It also doesn’t make sense to ask infrequently by questionnaires, where you run the risk of limited replies. It needs to be a continuous process and you have to ask the right questions.
I know what you’re thinking, Why should I invest so much time and money into something like this?
When you devote so many hours, days and months into growing your business, wouldn’t you want to spend the same amount of time understanding the sentiments of the people that keep your business running and help you to generate revenue?
Apart from that, here are few other reasons why you’d want to continuously capture your employee’s pulse:
- A recent Gallup survey found only 13% of employees are engaged at work. By one recent measure, this costs US companies roughly $450–$550 billion annually.
- 64% of all employees do not feel they have a strong work culture.
- Low engagement results in a 33% decrease in operating income and an 11% decrease in earnings growth.
Shocking right ?
So, what about your employees? Are they happy?
If you don’t want your company becoming part of this statistic, the simplest solution is a regular employee pulse check, maybe in the form of a survey.
But before we get further into benefits and tips, let me first explain what a pulse check survey is.
Lets start with the basics – Definition of Employee Pulse Check
A pulse check survey is a short, simple and very specific survey to capture employee feelings towards anything related to work and the workplace. It speaks volumes about the company’s culture in general.
These surveys are usually sent out every week unlike an employee engagement survey, which might only be sent out once in 3-4 months.
Generally, the questions would be changed every week or the same questions asked a bit differently. This ensures you get the most honest response and capture maximum data. For example, a question like “How happy are you this week ?” can be asked one week and can be changed to “What is your overall mood today? ” for the next week.
The participation rates for such surveys are much higher than others because they are short and specific by nature.
Now, since we are clear, let me get into a little more detail and tell you why a pulse check is so effective.
The reason you’re here – The Benefits
Real- Time Data
As compared to a detailed employee engagement survey, capturing an employee’s pulse is really quick. It also continuously gives you updated data about how your talent feels about the company’s culture. This, in turn, can help you address the areas of concern, on the go and improve your cultural practices. When an employee is unhappy or dissatisfied with something, it’s best to hear about it instantly rather than waiting for 3-4 months for a muted response on an engagement survey.
Higher Response Rate
As I mentioned above, employee pulse check surveys are short and have very specific questions. Why is beneficial? Well, data states that 20% of surveys are ignored because they are over 7 minutes long. A short survey can grab the interest of the respondent without them feeling the boredom of a questionnaire.
Continuous Learning & Development
The current scenario of increasing millennials in the job market demands companies to continuously offer employees opportunity to grow in the organization. A frequent data capture method like pulse check can act as a catalyst in this process, guiding your L&D road map.
Improved Employee Morale
Employees love to be heard. It instills a sense of importance and value within them. In the long term, this can boost chances of your top talent being retained within the company. Unfortunately, only 21% of the employees feel valued at work. An employee pulse check survey can help boost this percentage.
Creates an Environment for Open Communication
When your employees feel heard, they speak up more, creating a culture of free and open internal communication. This is not just a peer-to-peer connection but also your employee’s communication with managers. It sets up a platform for continuous feedback and performance review. The McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with well connected employees.
With the help of the data captured, you can implement engagement activities targeting your areas of concern. In addition to this, employees are more likely provide feedback for any task and event in the company, keeping them focused and engaged with everything that goes on in the organization. And as most of us have heard, engaged employees boost a company’s revenue by 2.5x .
Almost at the End, But First – Implementing A Pulse Check
Okay, so you’ve understood the benefits of a pulse check, but that might not be enough. The execution of such a survey needs some planning and an effective execution.
Here are some things to keep in mind while creating and conducting an employee pulse check survey :
Choose Your Questions Wisely
I might have mentioned this a couple of times but the best attribute of an employee pulse check survey is the fact that its quite short and specific. So, its better if you try not to go beyond 10 questions but still cover a wide spectrum of emotions or areas. You shouldn’t put in too many generic questions as that wouldn’t limit the impact of your data.
Keep Your Employees Informed
It wouldn’t do any good to just surprise employees with a spontaneous survey. They might not take it seriously. Rather, send a company-wide email about an upcoming survey giving them some idea about what an employee pulse check is. Don’t give them too much information though, you want them to give honest and forthright answers.
Decide the Time & Frequency
You don’t want too much gap between 2 surveys like an employee engagement survey. I would suggest a frequency once in two weeks giving you enough time to implement changes based on the results of the survey. You might also want to have a fixed time to roll out the survey. I would recommend that you send it out either at the start of the day or later in the evening to avoid busy work times .
Make sure you Study the Responses
One of the biggest concerns with such a frequent survey is the fact that the managers tend to ignore the responses or take a very laid-back approach to analyzing the data. In fact, 27% of the managers never review the survey responses at all. This speaks poorly about how much the company cares about its employees and their opinions.
Use The Right Tool
64% of employees say their mobile devices make them more productive in the office. And productivity equals profitability. This applies to the response rate as well. Your employees are on their phones often during the day. Choose a tool which allows you to send out the survey on smartphones apps and it would drive more a higher reply rate. Here are some great tools:
Act On The Responses
About 52% of the mangers review their surveys but never act on it. This is the most important task and pretty much the entire point of taking an employee pulse check survey. There is nothing worse than an employee happy to see a company continuously collecting feedback but not making any relevant changes. So, make sure you plan to use the data to improve the culture of the company and be transparent when you do. Let your employees know that these changes were the result of employee feedback!
And We’re Done.
- An Employee Pulse Check creates a base to improve employee happiness, engagement and overall culture in the company.
- Keep the survey short and specific and ask at least once every two weeks.
- Review the responses and collate the data.
- Most Importantly – TAKE ACTION.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.
Feel free to share with us your experience in conducting an employee pulse check survey.