Companies find themselves in a constant battle to attract and retain the best talent in today's competitive job markets. However, it's not just enough to attract the best employees; it's equally important to retain them.
When companies don't prioritize employee retention, they are more likely to suffer from voluntary turnover, which costs most U.S. businesses $1 trillion every year. The turnover cost covers direct replacement costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity and time, temporary coverage, and training a new employee. These turnover costs can be expensive for any business leader and can eventually kill their business.
An HR leader may ask, "what can I do to mitigate these turnover costs and improve employee retention within my company?" Great question! Besides creating a healthy and attractive company culture, you can go further by using pulse surveys for employees.
In this four-part resource guide, we will present everything you need to know about employee pulse surveys.
As the name implies, an employee pulse survey checks the "pulse" of employees, and its result indicates if the company is in a healthy or unhealthy state.
Pulse surveys help HR leaders collect information and assess employees' feelings about their jobs and the company regularly, especially on operational or strategic issues. These surveys measure employee satisfaction, loyalty, and employee engagement, and they provide companies with the data they need to make informed and proactive decisions.
Most HR departments have traditionally relied on formal, large-scale surveys to gauge employees' feelings. While these, often annual, employee surveys are far from extinct, they are clearly on the decline because they are too lengthy, provide outdated data, and have little impact since the actions taken tend to be reactive. Such issues with annual surveys have led to the rising popularity of employee pulse surveys, and as a result, we believe every company should use pulse surveys.
Unlike the annual engagement surveys, companies should use pulse surveys more frequently because they play a significant role in improving the overall company culture. Since it's not advisable to wait for an entire year to evaluate whether morale has gone up or down, you'll find pulse surveys useful because they:
Over the years, Gallup's research showed that most employees are not engaged—stating that only 15% worldwide and just 34% in the U.S. are engaged. In May 2020, the percentage of engaged workers in the U.S. saw a historic climb to 38%. However, one month later, Gallup recorded the most significant drop in their history of tracking employee engagement in the U.S., dating back to 2000. Seeing how the engagement data fluctuated within one month, you can see that it's unreasonable to wait for an entire year to track employee engagement at your organization. So, pulse surveys can help you notice such fluid changes in real-time, detect warning signs, show areas for improvement, and take proactive next steps.
According to Survey Anyplace, "survey response rate is directly correlated to survey length or duration. On average, the response rate drops by 17% when a survey has more than 12 questions or takes longer than 5 minutes to complete." Questions used for pulse surveys are often concise and easy to complete, which elicit more responses. The more answers you receive, the more data you have to identify issues and themes.
It's no news that HR professionals consistently ask to have a seat at the table. In other words, HR leaders request to participate in strategic decision-making and drive significant impact within their organizations. Why is this such a struggle for HR? According to a Harvard Business Review article, "only 11% of business leaders trust HR to use data to anticipate and help them fill their talent needs."
One way for HR to earn their CEO's trust is to use analytics in anticipating business needs.
HR managers can predict problems before they surface by using HR metrics, such as productivity, turnover, retention, or engagement rates. As an HR leader, pulse surveys can provide you with the data you need to play a more strategic role.
When deciding to use pulse surveys for your company, we think it's essential for you to consider the following factors:
As an HR leader, you will need executive support for your HR initiatives, but management buy-in will most likely occur after you have shown them the business impact of using pulse surveys. Let your business leaders know the kind of data they can expect and how it will help the organization.
After leaders endorse the use of pulse surveys, they need to encourage employees to participate. According to Gartner, once leaders can answer the question, "what's in it for me?", then half the battle for high response rates is already won.
To make your employees trust your feedback process and more willing to participate in future pulse surveys and employee engagement surveys, they will need to know each employee pulse survey's results and understand your company's improvement plans. Be prepared to bring employees up to speed with the employee pulse survey results, and solicit their involvement in planning the next steps.
Determine how often you plan to administer the pulse surveys. Pulse surveys should be more frequent than once, meaning you may use them monthly, quarterly, or biannually. However, in doing so, ensure that your employees do not experience survey fatigue—when people stop responding to surveys because they think that their feedback isn't relevant. In determining the frequency of your pulse surveys, find out:
When designing pulse surveys, consider the following:
Understand that there's no one-size-fits-all pulse survey platform, so what worked for a different company may not necessarily work for yours. When evaluating pulse survey platforms for your company, you should be asking these questions:
For example, our all-in-one engagement platform, Empuls, answers all the questions above and more. Through Empuls, you can efficiently run and manage pulse surveys, measure employee engagement in real-time, and turn feedback into actionable insights. It is one of the best pulse survey software for organizations to keep track of employees' pulse. Our platform also offers ready-to-use and research-backed survey templates for different aspects of the employee lifecycle, such as onboarding, learning, wellness, diversity, and exits.
We can configure the cadence, questions, and audience to meet your requirements. Most importantly, we ensure anonymity for all responses.
Once you've considered all the factors above, you can then go ahead with administering your pulse survey in these simple steps:
Check out the next part in our resource guide, which shares 15 pulse survey questions you should be asking your employees.
We offer employee engagement solutions to HR professionals through our products. Book a free live demo to get your tailored introduction to Empuls by Xoxoday. You will see our platform in action and learn more from us about how you can drive an engaged culture in your organization.