Employee Pulse Surveys: Definition, Benefits, and Process

Customers typically get all the love and attention when it comes to market research, but there is another group of people that have valuable feedback, too.

They exchange emails with you every day, greet you by the coffee maker, and are just as important to the success of your business. Sound familiar?

Conducting formal research with your employees is something to seriously consider practicing if your organization is not already.

An assumption that everything is going well with your employees will undoubtedly jeopardize your business’ growth. Without surveying your employees, how can you expect to develop a full understanding of your business? 

In this blog post, Drive Research will dive into:

  • What are employee pulse surveys?
  • What are the benefits of employee pulse survey?
  • What is the process of conducting an employee pulse survey?

Employee Pulse Surveys: Definition, Benefits, and Process


What are Employee Pulse Surveys?

Employee pulse surveys are a type of employee engagement research that has picked up in popularity over the last decade.

They most often take the form of a brief survey distributed to all the employees at an organization.

Traditionally, organizations that capture feedback from their employees do so through annual or semiannual employee engagement surveys. These are usually long surveys that collect detailed information on the experience of working at your company.

Where a full-size employee engagement survey might take 20 minutes to complete, a pulse survey should require no more than 5 minutes of an employee’s time.

What is the difference between a regular employee survey and a pulse survey?

The content of an employee pulse survey may overlap with an annual employee survey to some degree.

The differentiator is the frequency of the research. Employee pulse surveys are designed to be conducted regularly including quarterly, monthly, or even weekly.

The goal of these surveys is to track metrics and attitudes concerning the employee experience, especially in response to business actions.

Organizations can analyze what may have caused a spike or drop-off in the data between the intervals of the survey.

Findings from the research may include:

  • An understanding of what is important to your employees
  • How satisfied they are with those factors
  • What improvements are necessary to drive loyalty higher
  • How your organization stacks up against its peers through benchmarks

What are the benefits of employee pulse surveys?

One of the main advantages of an employee pulse survey is the ability to monitor changes over time.

For example, your organization can directly measure the impact of an internal change like work-from-home flexibility on employee satisfaction.

If the survey is conducted monthly and the shift was made in May, observe how the data changes in June and each month going forward. This additional layer of the data is largely missing from a yearly employee engagement study.

You can also expect to see excellent response rates by market research standards.

Anywhere from 80% to 100% of employees can realistically complete the survey each cycle.

While perfect would be nice, it does not get any better than this for research response rates.

The act of conducting employee pulse surveys itself also has benefits for your organization.

Regular check-ins with employees send a message that the organization cares about its workers and what they think. When done genuinely, pulse surveys can act as a virtual comment box for suggestions or complaints.

Reminders of organizational priorities like customer service or innovation in the survey will also have positive effects.

By answering questions about these topics repeatedly, employees will have these goals top-of-mind more often as they work.

This may be a more natural way to increase employee motivation than micromanaging.

Additionally. because of the reduced time and cost involved with this type of research, many organizations are exploring the concept of employee pulse surveys as an alternative to an annual engagement survey.


What is the process of conducting an employee pulse survey?

The most efficient way to administer an employee pulse survey is as an online survey. Data collected via online surveys is immediate, cost-effective, and reliable.

The survey may be sent individually to every employee’s email or posted on an organization portal as an open link. 

Before diving in, be sure to spend time thinking about what you would like to ask your employees.

Topics covered usually include:

  • Loyalty drivers
  • Organization culture
  • Leadership decision-making
  • Improvement areas
  • Company strengths

To ensure honest responses from your employees, it is key to use a third-party market research partner.

Attempting to conduct the research internally greatly increases the risk of employees withholding opinions or overstating positive feedback. If that happens, the research ultimately has very little value for your organization.

Using a market research partner also saves you the headache of designing, fielding, and analyzing the entire project.

Not sold on using a third-party market research firm? Read more about the benefits here.


Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is national market research company based in Upstate New York. Our experts can execute an employee pulse survey for organizations anywhere in the country - no matter the size or industry.

Interested in receiving pricing for an employee survey? Contact us below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

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