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Pulse Surveys: The Better Way to Measure Employee Engagement

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64% of organizations only measure employee engagement annually. While nearly one in five employees report that their companies don’t formally measure engagement at all.”

So, Congratulations! If you are interested in running a Pulse Survey in your company, you’re already ahead of the game.

Let’s get started!

What is a Pulse Survey?

Three keywords to define a Pulse Survey would be: Frequent, Fast and Short.

As the name suggests, a pulse survey is designed to track the “pulse or the heartbeat” of the organization. Just like our pulse rate gives a quick check of human health, an employee pulse survey measures the health of the company.


Owing to their easy-to-understand format and efficiency in collecting valuable company insights, they have become increasingly popular in modern companies.

For the uninitiated, Pulse surveys are short, standardized and focused reviews to measure various important company aspects. The employees receive a set of questions, and they have to rate it on a scale of 1-10.

It is typically run more frequently than other forms of studies. The aim is to keep a continuous check on the significant aspects of the company.

Pulse Surveys contain several short, simplified questions covering significant components of employee engagement. You can also add an optional comment section along with each question where they can elaborate on their answers.

The objective of a pulse survey is to quickly identify major concerns along with areas of improvement within the organization.

RELATED: 45 Pulse Survey Questions that you must ask in your employee engagement survey

How is a Pulse Survey different from a long-form employee survey?

Pulse Surveys have three primary differences over traditional surveys:

  • They are conducted at frequent and regular interval of time with the same set of questions.
  • Pulse Surveys are generally much shorter and time-saving with just 10-15 questions.
  • They ask targeted questions and uncover specific company concerns.

RELATED: Employee Engagement Survey: Everything you need to know

Benefits of a Pulse Survey


1. Creates Awareness:

Lack of awareness is one of the biggest challenges in corporations. When employees feel disengaged, it impacts their performance and commitment to the company.

When you fail to uncover the attributes of employee dissatisfaction, there cannot be scope for any improvement. Hence, turnover increases, productivity decreases, and the company’s bottom-line suffer. Pulse Surveys can be especially helpful here by becoming a means of creating awareness.

Also read: Employee Satisfaction Survey: A Brief Guide

2. Real-time Data:

Pulse Surveys offer on-going real-time insights at a granular level. In an annual engagement survey, there is a massive lag between actions.

Understanding major company problems and tackling the same using the results take time. Many issues go unreported in annual surveys, and as a result, improvement becomes slow.

3. Creates a Culture of Continuous Feedback:

They create a framework that enables the management and employers to continuously and quickly gain employee feedback. These can then help in evaluating the policies and procedures and build a better company culture.

4. Setting Industry Benchmarks:

Surveys are an excellent way to set an industry benchmark for companies. It is the only way they can keep track of their employee engagement levels, both scientifically and objectively.

Pulse surveys typically ask a standardized set of questions evaluating the building blocks of employee engagement. Comparing these aspects can offer valuable benchmark data across the industry.

5. Facilitates Quick Action Planning:

Pulse survey are short online surveys that land directly on your employees’ inbox. Hence, you get the results readily, and you can take action quickly. Also, the survey provides pretty straightforward questions in a categorized format, making it even easier for you to take action.

Structure of a Pulse Survey: 5 Steps for Best Results

How to run an effective Pulse Survey in your organization?


Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the structure of a Pulse Survey:

1. Defining the Purpose:

Running frequent Pulse Survey can be vague if you fail to define the purpose of the survey. Brainstorm the areas that you want to evaluate before curating the questionnaire. Then decide on areas you would like to focus on in this particular survey.

Ensure that you involve people from different spheres of the organization in the brainstorming/decision-making sessions.

2. Designing the Survey:

It is essential to ask the right survey questions. Keep your questions short, relevant and straightforward. Try to be on “their shoes” while asking the questions. It is advisable to keep the survey anonymous to gain honest responses.

You can always opt for trusted external vendors or survey software for designing the survey. It will, in terms, make the survey more effective and reliable.

3. Running the Survey:

Once you design the survey, the next step is the deployment of the survey. Make a proper announcement via oral or written communication before sending out the survey emails.

You can also add attractive incentives for answering the survey to get higher response rates. Run the survey and follow up at least once.

4. Analysis of the Survey:

After completion, when the results are in, you must review it in great detail. Look for common areas of strength and weaknesses and organize the data accordingly. You can categorize them into Behavior pattern, Psychographics, and Demographics.

5. Communicate Survey Results and Take Action:

The very purpose of an employee engagement survey is to pave the path to improvement.
Therefore, the most crucial step of the survey is taking action. Sharing results with employees build trust and enhance honesty and fairness among the workforce. It also helps the management in sharing and implementing constructive and corrective policies/procedures.


A great workplace is one where employees feel valued and cared. Organizational attributes directly translate to employee engagement. Uncovering issues of the company helps you in creating a fulfilling employee experience. Survey fatigue is the prime reason behind low survey response. To tackle that pulse surveys offer the best solution to collecting feedback.

This article is written by Darshana Dutta. She works as a Content Creator and Digital Marketer at Vantage Circle. She writes extensively on trends around employee engagement and transforming company culture. For any related queries, contact