What Are Employee Pulse Scores?

Employee pulse surveys are an important tool in collecting employee feedback, getting insight into corporate culture, employee engagement and so much more. Employee pulse scores are the cumulative results from pulse surveys.

They are calculated by gathering all the responses from the survey and getting an average. These scores will reveal any issues that need to be addressed and even inform strategic decisions. In order to better understand employee pulse scores, we need to understand why employee pulse surveys are important.

Administering employee surveys

Before getting to the pulse score, you need to administer a survey. Pulse surveys are short and happen more regularly. Some organisations do them weekly while others may have them bi monthly or monthly.

Questions you ask will be determined based on the goals the organisation wishes to achieve in the short, medium or long term. They may centre on workplace culture, assessing recent changes in the organisation or morale. They can also be a combination of different areas.

Best practices for carrying out employee pulse surveys

Introduce it to the team first

If pulse surveys are new to your teams, take the time to introduce the initiative first and to explain its benefits.

Keep them brief

The beauty of pulse surveys is that they are brief. This ensures that employees do not have to take much time to fill them in. Keeping them brief will also encourage participation and ensure that full responses are given.

Make them simple

In addition to keeping your surveys brief, keep them simple. A simple survey with a 0 to 5 scale will increase the response rate. At the same time, leave room for employees to add a detailed note if they please.

The survey should be relevant

It shouldn’t be generic. Instead, it should be focused on your organisation and industry. This way, employees will see value in responding.

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Share results with employees

After the survey has been conducted, the first thing to do is to thank employees for their participation. Next, after the results have been analysed and you have the employee pulse scores share insights with employees. This not only improves participation, it shows employees that the survey is important.

Repeat the survey

Pulse surveys collect feedback over time so they need to be done periodically. Subsequent surveys may focus on assessing if the changes implemented have had the desired effect. They may also introduce a new area the company wishes to focus on or to collect employee feedback on a new issue.

The benefits of pulse surveys

They drive employee engagement

Pulse surveys are an important tool for engagement. This continuous listening tool demonstrates to employees that their input matters and that the company is concerned about their wellbeing. This can result in increased job satisfaction and engagement.

They give rise to honest feedback

Surveys, especially confidential ones, give employees a chance to be entirely honest without any fear. One on one check in’s are great but employees may leave some things unsaid.

 According to one culture report, 77% of respondents stated that they are more likely to be honest in a survey than in a conversation with their manager. It may be difficult to be fully open with your manager particularly if the topic being discussed is management.

They facilitate real time changes

Unlike yearly surveys, pulse surveys are more frequent. This gives management a chance to adapt in real time. If an action plan is not working, it can be remedied immediately. This can stop problems from escalating, allow for charting of new courses and overall help the company in achieving its objectives.

They foster a culture of communication

Good communication in the workplace aids in better collaboration, team work, morale and improves productivity. If pulse surveys are done right and the feedback shared with staff and acted on, communication can improve.

Employee pulse scores

Now that you have got your responses from the pulse survey, what happens next? Examining the results will help to identify trends, expose strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

It will also show that you treat employees’ feedback with the necessary consideration. Here’s what to do when you get the results.

Analyse the results

Surveys are conducted with a goal in mind. Keep this goal in mind while determining the pulse scores. At the same time, remain open to learning even more from the results.

Trends can reveal information you had neglected. Remain alert to factors outside of the company that may be affecting the results.

Look a little deeper

When looking at results, don’t just take them at face value. Look out for trends or commonalities by group for instance.

If your female employees are responding the same way to a particular question and if this answer is different from what male employees are saying then there is a need to look deeper into the issue. Another pulse survey may be conducted to shed more light on the matter.

Make a comparison

As pulse surveys are done regularly, you can compare the results you get with those from previous surveys. For instance, if you carry out employee surveys weekly, comparing them after a month will help you arrive at a more comprehensive employee pulse score.

Check the employee participation rate

A high engagement score that comes from responses from only half your staff is nothing to celebrate about. Investigate why people are not participating and employ tactics like offering incentives for participating and having employees who have already bought in act as change agents to influence their peers.

Decide on the priority areas

Your survey may yield a lot of data but you will be able to see which questions had the highest or lowest scores. If these are areas key to achieving organisational goals, then these are the ones that should be prioritised.

Make an action plan

The next step after deciding on priority areas based on the employee pulse scores is to make a plan of action. Make clear steps detailing how and by when these areas will be addressed. This is an important step in ensuring employee participation in subsequent surveys.

In Summary

Pulse surveys are an easy and quick employee listening tool. Effective workplaces carry out periodic employee surveys to determine how engaged employees are and improve levels of engagement.

The employee pulse scores that result from these surveys reveal employee sentiments and provide a guide for what the organisation can do in order to achieve its strategic objectives.

Gerald Ainomugisha

Gerald Ainomugisha

Gerald is a freelance writer with a pen that is keen for entrepreneurship, business and technology. When he isn't writing insightful articles on employee engagement and corporate culture, Gerald can be found writing for a number of media outlets.