Back when I worked with employee surveys for some years, an increasing amount of clients started asking after so-called Pulse Surveys. A Pulse Survey refers to an employee survey that’s conducted on a quicker cycle than your traditional annual employee survey. I’ve put much thought into why companies are looking for these Pulse Surveys and what their role is in leadership.
The role of traditional employee surveys is clear
In my opinion, the role of a traditional, annual or biannual employee survey is very clear. The survey is a moment to “listen” to the organization: what has gone well and where could we improve? Usually these surveys give you a few key figures that tell you how things have evolved since last time. The greatest value of an employee survey is in giving employees a chance to give anonymous feedback on issues important to them. I, personally, was involved in building Siqni, one of Finland’s most popular staff survey products. I highly recommend the service in question and the team behind it to everyone.
What are Pulse Surveys good for?
Because traditional employee surveys are conducted annually or biannually, they don’t give enough real-time data on what happens in between the surveys. Yet from an HR perspective, these events are interesting, because in the continuously changing working life, employee experiences can also shift quickly, affected by daily encounters and occurrences. It’s also important that HR have the ability to be agile and focus on the teams and leaders who need the most support at any given time. That’s why a Pulse Survey is so sought after.
The best Pulse Surveys are conducted in person
According to research, guided and regular one-on-one discussions can, for example, reduce the risk of burnout by up to 84%. When interaction is guided and regular, we can stay on the pulse of our teams. This is the best way to prevent working life problems. In addition, unlike with other surveys, we can take action as soon as a problem is detected.
Although regular and guided one-on-one discussions are the best tool to improve employee experience, they are an untapped resource for all too many organizations. When I talk to organizations about utilizing 1-on-1 discussions, the answers I get tend to be mixed.
- Some leaders use them, some don’t.
- Some have one-on-one discussions monthly, some have them occasionally.
- Some leaders document the discussions, some don’t.
By way of comparison, let’s say a company’s sales process looked like this – there would likely be swift intervention. In addition, the 1-on-1 processes are highly decentralized, making it hard for HR to form an overall picture of the situation and prioritize their own work. Pulse Surveys give information on what to look for, but the data they provide lacks information on how to solve whatever problems are found.
How about combining the best of both worlds?
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? What if we combined one-on-one discussions and Pulse Surveys? Let’s get two birds with one stone and enjoy the benefits of both solutions! Let’s create something brand new. Yes!
Humbol helps leaders have better regular one-on-one discussions. We believe regular discussions are the best way to prevent and solve problems in working life. At the same time, we can collect data on communication situations and create an overview to help HR better understand their organization’s situation and prioritize their work.
So what do I think is the best Pulse Survey in the world? Request a remote demo on Humbol to discuss further. I’d love to hear what you think about the topic.