Pulse Surveys: A Tool For Building Positive Corporate Culture

April 24, 2023
7 mins
If you take care take of your employees, they will take care of your business.
~Richard Branson

The success of an organization depends on its ability to provide best-in-class employee experiences, from attracting top talent to boosting engagement across the entire lifecycle. And providing a positive corporate culture that makes employees feel at home. To build such a work environment, it is critical that HR professionals and leaders first collect employee feedback on aspects of their culture.

How employees behave, communicate, and engage in a workplace shapes a corporate culture over time. If your employees are not happy or satisfied with the experience that they are having with the company, it impacts their productivity and engagement. It can later result in low team performance, higher absenteeism, low employee morale, and low retention.

So how do you measure your employee happiness and engagement? How do you know what your employee think of the company culture and what steps to take to create the best employee experience for all? Our culture and the needs of the employees are constantly evolving at alarming rates, so running annual employee engagement surveys is just not enough today.

Organizations must have an authentic approach to collecting employee feedback and not just through traditional annual surveys. Employees can contribute more effectively to workplace culture when they have a channel/tool that gives them a voice for their thoughts and opinions.

And one of the best ways to do this effectively is by running company-wide pulse surveys. Before diving into that, let us understand pulse surveys.

What are Pulse Surveys?

Pulse surveys are a short, relevant, and regular set of questions sent out to employees to understand the company's pulse (or heart). As the term, Pulse suggests, the survey is carried out continuously with anonymity to understand employee behavior and their perspectives to understand them better and help create a work environment where everyone feels happy and comfortable working.

Pulse surveys are intended to identify specific concerns within a company without making respondents feel exhausted.

How should pulse surveys be conducted?

A pulse survey is an instrument for measuring employee feedback through shorter, more frequent check-ins, which is not limited to measuring specific topics or content. It means you can design and keep changing your pulse surveys depending on the current need of your organization. There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to collecting employee feedback with pulse surveys.

You can strategize your pulse surveys according to your:
  • Employee engagement program
  • Employee listening program
  • Company culture and organizational change initiatives
Pulse surveys maintain-
  • Uniformity: Monitor the progress of the same item over time.
  • Brevity: Shorter and easier to complete than engagement surveys
  • Frequency: More frequent than traditional surveys (more than once a year)
  • Consistency: Organized periodically (most organizations do this quarterly or monthly)
Note: When pulse surveys are administered more often, they should be shorter, for example:
  • Monthly pulse: 1-10 questions
  • Quarterly pulse: 10-20 questions
  • Bi-annual pulse: 20-30 questions

Shaping Corporate Culture with Pulse Surveys

A feedback culture is quite a buzzword in the HR industry. Collecting regular employee feedback can give an organization a clear picture of employee engagement and productivity and what issues need to be addressed to provide them with a better employee experience. And it all starts with asking the right questions to your employees and then creating a benchmark by segmenting the collected data. Let's understand more about the importance of employee feedback in building a positive corporate culture.

Note: To understand the overall company culture and better aid it, employees are sent surveys on every key category such as employee engagement, employee recognition, work environment, manager-employee relationships, employee development, communications, and more.

1. Expectations of your employees

Our work environment is changing constantly and so are the needs of our employees. Your top talents may now be more comfortable working in flexible timings for more work-life balance. Or your marketing team might need the tools and support to better perform at their jobs. And some might feel that their work is not recognized the way they like it. In workplaces, these diverse needs are inevitable since we come from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

And if leaders do not try to understand their employees and support them to keep more aligned to company goals and values, sooner or later they will find a company that does. Understanding these expectations and then benchmarking them for creating a happier work environment for all starts with employee feedback. And one of the efficient ways to do that is by conducting regular employee pulse surveys

2. Career Growth and Employee Development
When asked what was most helpful in their career, fully 72% said they thought their performance would improve if their managers would provide corrective feedback.
~Harvard Business Review

Feedback helps employees develop their skills. How else do an employee know if they are doing good at their job or not? Constructive feedback always helps employees gaze on their performance and skills. When you are a small organization, it is easier for managers to have one-on-one feedback with the employees to guide them and understand how their work is valuable or what is expected of them. This brings transparency and boosts employee morale since they get a better hold on where their career is moving or on the upskilling that they need or lack.

But for a larger enterprise, conducting one-on-one feedback is tedious and nearly impossible. Even worse when your team is dispersed in different geographical locations. In such a case, it is more sensible to conduct continuous feedback channels with the right digital tools for all.

3. Better Workplace Relationships

Starting a conversation or a dialogue is always critical in forming good relationships with your employees. It is an inherent human need to feel connected to our community, to share and openly express our concerns. In a workplace too when there is a seamless communication structure from top to bottom and management participates in knowing its employees through feedback, they build a better work relationships among themselves.

4. Employee Well-being

How do you support employees who are not physically or psychologically well? The more important question is are you even aware of their wellbeing? A toxic work environment, bad work-life balance, lack of appreciation, etc can impact employee wellbeing and result in low productivity and a high employee turnover rate. Before it's too late, organizations must support their employees by understanding their well-being through feedback and then segmenting the data to create a better experience for them.

Over to you!

Have you checked your company pulse? If not, it is never too late. Implement the right pulse survey tool that can help you optimize and automate your employee feedback surveys and monitor the engagements and insights.

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Braja Deepon Roy

This article is written by Braja Deepon Roy, who is a part of the marketing team at Bigfish Benefits. He actively spends time studying new ideas and trends that can have an impact on workplace cultures as well as binge-listening to psychology and neuroplasticity podcasts. If you have any questions, reach out to editor@bigfishbenefits.com

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