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What are employee pulse surveys, and why you should use them?

When it comes to employee morale, it's essential to keep your finger on the pulse. That's where employee pulse surveys come in. These brief, regular surveys can give you valuable insights into how your employees are feeling and what might be causing any problems. This blog post will look at what employee pulse surveys are and why you should use them. We'll also dispel some of the common myths about pulse surveys so that you can feel confident using them in your organisation. So let's get started!

Pulse Survey being typed

The TLDR of Pulse Surveys

Pulse surveys are a simple and effective way to measure the engagement levels of your staff. Pulse surveys can be conducted regularly (once every month, for example) and take as little as five minutes to complete. Pulse surveys should not be used in isolation; they're best when combined with other methods like exit interviews, one to one meetings and employee focus groups. Pulse surveys can be an essential part of your organisation's feedback loop, helping you to identify any issues early and take steps to address them.

Why should you use pulse surveys?

It's nice to be heard. It's nice to know that you have an impact when you're being listened to. To employees, that's exactly what pulse surveys are trying to achieve; pulse surveys can be an extremely valuable tool for any organisation.

Identify issues early

Pulse surveys can help you to identify any issues early. For example, if there are problems with morale or engagement, you're more likely to find out about them through a pulse survey than through other methods like exit interviews.

Track changes in employee engagement

Pulse surveys can help you track changes in engagement and satisfaction levels over time. This can be useful for identifying trends and making changes where necessary.

Quick and painless

Pulse surveys are quick and easy to complete, so they're not burdening employees' time.

Useful for large organisations

Pulse surveys can help you to gauge the opinion of a large number of employees quickly and easily.

Track and measure interventions

Pulse surveys can track the effectiveness of your organisation's interventions. For example, if you make changes based on the feedback from a pulse survey, you can track whether or not those changes have had a positive effect on employee engagement levels.

What should be included in a pulse survey?

Pulse surveys are short and will generally contain 5-15 questions per survey.

Here are a few topics you should always ask about in your surveys:

Employee satisfaction

Employee Satisfaction - high five

This is one of the most important topics to cover in a pulse survey, as it can help you track employee engagement and satisfaction over time.

Job role

Pulse surveys can help you understand how your employees feel about their job roles and if they are satisfied with their work.


Communication is an important topic to cover to gauge how well your employees communicate with each other and with management.


It's important to understand the relationships between employees and whether or not they feel like they are a part of a

Creating an effective pulse survey is

Effective Pulse Survey

Be transparent about what you're trying to achieve

Pulse surveys are a quick and easy way to get feedback from your employees, but it's important to be transparent about why you're asking the questions and what you plan to do with the information. If employees feel like their responses will be used against them, they may not be as likely to participate in future surveys.

Also, make that known if you plan to engage and action any problems. If they can see that their answers may impact their job, they'll be more honest and engaged.

Questions should be clear and concise

It can be hard to phrase some questions so there's no misinterpretation. It's also tricky to phrase questions so the responses may be readily read, measured, and acted upon.

When writing your questions, it's crucial to remember that they are likely to be misinterpreted.

Limit the number of your questions to 15, preferably less than 10

Pulse surveys are designed to gather information regularly. If your surveys are long, they will become tedious to answer, and you'll likely get less honest responses.

We've found that around 10 question pulse surveys get the best engagement and information. So if you need to ask more questions, you can spread them out over different pulse surveys.

Prefer questions that can be measured and analysed

Especially in larger organisations, it can be hard to gauge the results of pulse surveys due to the large volume of data received.

It's straightforward to measure questions that request a numerical scale. Multiple-choice questions may also be easily measured.

But... mix in questions with long-form answers

If all the questions you ask are multiple-choice or "click spammy" to answer, you'll likely get incorrect data. Even though it's hard to measure, adding free-text and longer-form questions will increase engagement with the survey.

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