Understanding what our people think and how they feel has always been essential to us.
Until recently, we ran quarterly satisfaction barometers and while they gave us lots of priceless insights, we realized that their cadence and format simply weren’t hitting the mark.
They were too frequent to reflect any bigger changes in the company, yet not frequent enough to keep us up-to-date on the current atmosphere in the company.
That’s why we started running monthly employee pulse checks.
These are basically short surveys where we ask our people for their honest feedback on what went well and what not so well last month.
They help us monitor the overall health of our company and spot things we need to improve.
So far, it’s clear to us that running them pays off.
Each month, our pulse checks get a 70% response rate (which, as far as employee surveys go, is a very good number). Plus we get some nice feedback from our departmental leads, who say that pulse checks help them collect amazing insights and implement positive changes in their teams.
For your inspiration, here’s a rundown of how we’re doing them.
How we are running pulse check surveys
We’ve put together a list of 8 survey questions (see below) that are a regular part of our monthly pulse checks. This way, we can easily track the trends. We upload these questions to a Slido survey.
Extra tip: To keep the data in one place, use one Slido event for all your pulse checks.
At the end of each month, we share a link to the survey with all our employees in a Slack channel. It only takes 5 minutes to fill in, but we typically send a few reminders to get as many responses as possible.
Extra tip: Use different channels for these reminders. Slack and weekly newsletters are great. However, a direct prompt from a team lead is the most impactful. That’s why we ask our departmental leads to encourage their teams to fill out the survey.
Once we collect the responses, we analyze them and share the key takeaways in a brief presentation with the whole company. We also create presentations for each of our 9 main functional teams and point out key observations to their leaders. The leaders discuss the results with their teams and agree on future improvements.
Extra tip: Don’t spread yourself too thin by focusing on too many improvements at the same time. Select just one thing to improve and get this one right by the next pulse check.
To create our employee pulse surveys, we combine multiple types of live polls. Below, you’ll find the questions we ask. Feel free to copy+paste them.
Example employee pulse survey
Single choice poll:
- Which functional team are you part of?
Rating polls (Scale of 1-6, where 1 = the least, 6 = the most):
- Feeling at Work: How did you feel at work this month?
- Personal Impact: My work has a positive impact on the company goals
- L&D: I have opportunities to learn and develop my skills
- Remote Experience: How satisfied are you with your remote experience?
- eNPS: How likely are you to recommend Slido as a great place to work?
Open text poll:
- What would make your next month better?
- Any other comments?
5 tips to make the most of monthly pulse surveys
#1: Use the same questions every month, but be open to seasonal questions
Staying consistent in your pulse check questions helps you compare results month by month. However, in case you need to shed more light on a specific topic, do not hesitate to do so.
For example, as the COVID crisis began, we went fully remote. Hence, we added a new question on what were our people’s biggest struggles while working from home. Based on the results, we did everything we could to eliminate these challenges.
#2: Keep it anonymous but ask about the functional team or location
If you want honest feedback from your employees, make your pulse surveys anonymous. However, we do recommend adding a question specifying the functional team or location. That will give you more context into where that specific piece of feedback comes from.
#3: Don’t exclude your leadership team
Encourage the leadership team to give their feedback as well. In the past, our executives often didn’t fill out the pulse surveys because they were the ones analyzing the team results. But their opinions and struggles bring another perspective into the picture which turns out to be most beneficial.
#4: Open text comments are gold
To keep our pulse checks quick and simple, we mostly use classic star rating questions. But, having at least one open-ended question for further comments is invaluable for understanding the context behind the rating.
By asking our people what would make their next month better, we encourage them to come up with tangible next steps and suggestions for improvements.
#5: Discuss the results during your 1:1s
For a better understanding of the results, initiate a discussion with your team. Of course, people might not be comfortable with opening up in front of the whole team, especially if they gave lower ratings.
Encourage them to come to you or try to reach out to them proactively by scheduling regular 1:1s with your team members where you can discuss their thoughts and challenges.
Over to you
To wrap this up, remember that running pulse checks is not enough. Your people need to see that you truly care and are able to turn their insights into actions. This will help you build trust, increase employee engagement, and team morale.
We hope that you got inspired by our pulse check survey. You can create a similar one (or even an identical one!) using a Slido survey.