5 Tips for Using Employee Pulse Surveys to Strengthen Company Culture

Angela Kambouris

Every company is in the people business. The past decade has transformed the world of business as employees can express their opinions at any given moment. Business leaders and CEOs everywhere are now evaluated by their ability to make their employees and workplaces happier.

Companies want to build a leadership culture that allows people to feel safe and comfortable sharing what is on their mind. This is harder than it sounds. Companies are encouraging people to offer constructive feedback, seek development advice and share unbiased information that supports the leaders to make a workplace better.

Netflix has been known to thrive on honesty as they adopt an approach of ‘don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say face to face’. They build a culture that everyone supports it is ok to say what needs to be said. Amazon adopted an “always-on” feedback system which created an environment where issues are brought to the surface readily.

When employees feel valued, connected to the company and are proud of their work, then employee engagement is noticeable. When companies implement employee pulse surveys, they capture the company’s overall mission, where the company is heading, how happy employees are and opportunities for improvement. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams are 21 percent more productive. The more productive your employees, the more successful you will be as a business. 

Why Every Company Needs Employee Pulse Surveys

Pulse surveys support a company to steer and improve the course of your business. An employee pulse survey is a fast and frequent system that delivers quick insight into the health of the company. Today, they are provided securely through the software, and their benefits are permeating throughout companies. By investing in real-time feedback, companies can benefit by:

  • Offering more instant, accurate and frequent feedback to employees allowing people to act sooner if they need to. 
  • Providing more visibility on how the organization perceives their efforts
  • Investing in employees through training and education will increase retention rate as no need to hire new staff
  • Tracking what makes employees happy and feel heard. When employees are asked what they think about the workplace, provide the leadership team with data to address real-time issues. Efforts can be measured over time if they are making a difference.
  • Reminding people to align with company goals and how they can contribute to making the company better
  • Understanding the health of the culture and the degree to which employees feel connected with the company. 
  • Encouraging open communication and sharing recommendations for improvements; helps clarify expectations, increases knowledge sharing and supports an environment of innovation
  • Generating a wide range of reports to turn insights into action

Pulse surveys are intentional, fast to complete, reduce financial and time costs for companies to survey their staff and likely to have far higher response rates 

How to Create a Successful Employee Pulse Survey

A mindset shift is inevitable. Office managers must move from thoughts of collecting data to see what is happening within the workplace to drive results. Obtaining the feedback data is the first point of call supported by a dashboard and meetings that demand managers share what people shared. Office managers require tools to determine what steps they need to take, what accountability looks like and through discussing action plans, how the feedback cycle works with a review function. 

Here are 5 tips to help you successfully roll out an employee pulse survey:

1. What to Consider Measuring

When it comes to employee engagement pulse surveys, companies should consider what they measure. Deloitte outlined 20 engagement factors companies must consider keeping employees engaged. Here are a few key elements:

  • Office managers can make or break employee engagement. When managers invest in getting to know their employees, they can boost productivity and revenue. 
  • Harvard Business Review has shown that 9 out of 10 employees are willing to earn less if they can do more meaningful work. Within the survey, ask employees if they find their work challenging or useful.
  • Employees will be far more productive and self-motivated if they are clear about their career goals and are supported to excel in their role. 
  • When employees are proud of where they work, it shows. Employees want the company to be successful and will work twice as hard to ensure that happens. Another great question to ask is whether the employee will recommend your company as a great place to work with a friend or stranger. If people feel connected and live the mission, they will be more likely to offer recommendations. 
  • Relationships with co-workers impacts culture and morale. How people interact and how they view each other’s capabilities will influence how the company meets its goals. 
  • The healthier work-life balance, the more productive and engaged people are within the company. Unbalance can lead to burnout.

2. Identify the Questions to Include in the Survey

Companies can identify questions that address a broad spectrum of areas in the survey. Ten questions seem to be the average within a pulse survey, preventing the employee from survey fatigue and clicking next or leave the default response in a way to hurry up and complete review. Gallup’s Q12 survey has 12 questions that measure the critical elements of employee engagement that tied directly to productivity, profitability and employee retention. 

Other alternatives involved providing statements which are designed to be answered on a five-point Likert scale such as strongly disagree to strongly agree. For instance, a statement such as “I receive meaningful recognition for doing good work” will inform whether employees feel valued and that their achievements are appreciated. 

3. Be Transparent and Inform Your People

Rather than staff receiving an unsolicited email with a link to some pulse survey they have never heard about, leaders must prepare and announce their review ahead of time to ensure reasonable response rates. A combination of an executive message and discussions at the team meeting to understand the purpose and process of the survey is critical. Also, be clear as to the frequency of the survey.

4. Review Responses, Share Results and Act

Office managers must identify common areas of concern and wins to reflect on. An unresourceful manager will ignore the results and pretend if they don’t exist. Companies must share all responses despite whether they are deemed good or bad with their entire team. The most crucial step if you are collecting employee feedback is to act. If you want to kill any cooperative spirit within your company culture, do nothing. One of the great things about pulse surveys is that you continue to implement them to measure progress over time.

5. Choose the Right Survey Software

When selecting an employee pulse survey software, consider the following questions:

  • Is the survey mobile friendly? 
  • Does the survey ask for anonymous and individual responses or both? 
  • Does the survey allow for custom questions? 
  • Are the reports comprehensive and easy to understand?
  • Is the survey easy to navigate?
  • Is the survey secure, and is the employee information and responses protected?
  • If the system should malfunction, what is the disaster recovery process?
  • Are there any additional features that would add value to building a stronger company culture?
  • What are the entire implementation costs, from start to end?

Here are several free employee feedback tools and employee engagement software that can assist in making improvements within your company culture:


An employee engagement survey platform where employees take 15 minutes to answer a survey from their managers and the managers require five minutes to review. Within the platform, the manager can customize survey questions, compile company-wide and team-specific feedback plus within the app. There is a section for employees to highlight goals, accomplishments and priority tasks.


Created employee pulse surveys to determine how engaged and happy their team members are. The platform issues one question per week, analyses staff responses and managers can generate reports by the team. Through their app, employees can acknowledge and send messages of appreciation through “cheers” and send through suggestions for company and policy improvements.

Google Forms

Google Forms features unlimited surveys, unlimited respondents and compiles the answers and data automatically in google spreadsheets. A survey can be created via desktop or phone, and all responses are collected in the form. Google provides an opportunity for companies to use their logo, add images, videos and embed a survey into emails or website. The bonus is that Google form provides skip logic, and it is 100 percent free. 


One of the most popular survey tools across the business world. They provide about 15 different types of questions ranging from multiple choices, Likert scales, and open comments. The free version you have access to 10 items, 100 respondents, ability to embed surveys, customized templates however the limitation is there is no exporting data. 


This platform provides a full suite of functionalities including end-to-end survey design, distribution and analysis and its free. This product, under the free plan, delivers unlimited surveys, unlimited questions can embed surveys into emails, and web pages allow up to 200 respondents per year and allow the data to be exported. The most significant benefit is that as a free access client, provides skip logic and you are entitled to 24/7 email customer service.


Glint is a “people success” platform designed to reflect how people behave and communicate at work. The platform helps businesses to improve the success of managers and their teams. It supports their clients to solve problems related to employee engagement, manager and team effectiveness, and understanding the employee journey. 

Use The Insights from Employee Pulse Surveys to Create Action

Today it is more accepted to use pulse surveys to listen to employees regularly through tools that allow the data to be delivered to the manager immediately. There is no shortage of tools to buy; however, what is not often considered is how the data tells a meaningful holistic story and how it makes a difference. Data and correlations play a critical function. However, what matters more is engaging your people to speak up, tell you what matters about all these areas and create culture shifts on how to improve teams and performance over time. Collectively people make the workplace better.

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