The 5 A’s Of A Successful Employee Pulse Survey 

What is an employee engagement pulse survey?

  • Employee engagement pulse surveys are short, succinct surveys that assess the levels of employee engagement within an organisation at a given time, including things like attitude towards the organisation and employee satisfaction. 
  • Unlike annual employee engagement surveys, providing only a ‘snapshot’ of engagement, these surveys are used more frequently throughout the year. 

“Do you check your bank account once a year? Of course not, that would be crazy. So then why do we only check on our employees once a year?” Jacob Shriar

Why use an employee engagement pulse survey? 

  • Increases employee engagement. Allowing employees to provide feedback feeds into our third ‘enabler’ of employee engagement: Employee voice. Giving employees a voice means they feel valued and appreciated and leads to increased levels of employee satisfaction, productivity and retention. For example, Qualtrics found that people are 12 times more likely to recommend their employer if they feel like their feedback is listened and actioned.


  • Employees want to give frequent feedback. Qualtrics found that 77% of employees want to provide feedback more than once a year. This highlights the changing needs of the workforce and the expectation to be heard and have a voice more regularly than once a year.


  • Increased response rate. Due to the nature of pulse surveys being quick, easy to understand and succinct, research has found that response rates are much higher than annual surveys. Forbes found that only 30-40% of employees complete annual surveys.


  • Real-time feedback. Pulse surveys can measure reactions to changes and action plans whilst it is happening. They can also be compared against other measures of business performance, such as, turnover and productivity. This provides a three-dimensional picture of your company culture and means you can fix problems as they happen rather than after. 

The 5 A’s of a successful employee pulse survey 

1) Anonyminity – ensuring anonymous responses mean employees are more likely to provide a true and honest evaluation of how they feel about their engagement and their organisation. Make it clear in your communications that employees responses will be confidential. 

2) Aim – provide a clear purpose and narrative as to why you are assessing employee engagement and what the aim is, focusing on what the employees will gain rather than the organisation. This will increase employee’s motivation to complete it and mean they will see it as less of a meaningless task.

3) Answers – if your employees are taking the time out to fill out surveys, you must make the effort to communicate the results clearly to them and allow employees the opportunity to ask questions.

4) Action – always make sure you make a plan and actually take action after analysing results and make this clear to your employees. If not, your employees will experience ‘lack of action’ fatigue and be less motivated to complete the survey in the future. Pulse surveys are only effective when data received is analysed and acted on. 

5)  Again – it is important not to overboard your employees with employee engagement pulse surveys. If employees are asked to take the survey too many times, they will end up putting less and less effort in and lead to survey fatigue. Be strategic and appropriate about the times and frequency employee engagement surveys are sent out.

Author Bio: Ellie Hamilton, Communications Hub, EFS

Photo Credit: Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

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