When is the Right Time to Switch to Pulse Surveys?
Are you concerned with the status of your employee engagement levels? One of the best ways to measure the mood of your workforce is by conducting an impromptu survey – also called a pulse survey. This is an especially good practice during any change management initiatives. For example, if a new leader comes on board or if there has been a merger with another organization. It’s critical to know just where employees stand and if you can count on them to adapt to the change and remain productive. Your organization may be considering using pulse surveys as a way to either replace or augment traditional employee engagement surveys. But, the question comes up as to when’s the right time to switch to pulse surveys? Should your organization start conducting them on a regular basis to get immediate information instead of relying on traditional surveys that take too long? Here are some helpful guidelines for making the transition to a more real-time engagement survey practice using pulse surveys, along with the instant benefits your organization will realize.
Understand your short and long term goals
Your organization may be considering using pulse surveys as a way to either replace or augment your traditional surveys. Before you launch a pulse survey, your management team needs to understand what your short and long-term goals are. This can be a transition that requires an understanding of what engagement means to your company. An example of a short-term goal might be to test the temperature of engagement in your company during a critical change phase, a transition in management, an acquisition or merger, etc. It could equally be useful for some more 'everyday' feedback as the surveys are so quick to create, complete and take action with the result. An example of a long-term goal might be to see where things stand today as opposed to six months ago to assess how attitudes and moods have shifted on selected aspects of the business. The major benefit of doing a pulse survey is that you have immediate information that can help you to take action that improves the workplace for your employees and managers alike.
Use what works for your people
You know your work force better than anyone else. Think back to when you have run traditional, once-a-year surveys and the participation level that you received. Most times, you were probably using 360° surveys which took some time to complete. This probably also took an effort to get managers on board first and then getting employees to finish them by the deadline. With a pulse survey, however, questions are very brief and they are faster to complete - typically a few seconds. You can focus on single topics, one at a time and you can run them on a regular basis so that employees are happy taking them before any deadlines. In short, pulse surveys take the headache out of administering traditional employee engagement surveys.
Decide how you will use the data
Before you make the switch from traditional surveys to pulse surveys, you also want to consider how you will use the data to take action. People analytics can help you to spot trends in your workplace such as higher retention rates or turnover in specific departments. Data gathered from a pulse survey is organized into custom reports that will highlight specific areas where action might be needed, such as particular teams that may require more training, better use of resources or areas of unnecessary expenditure where savings can be found. When you work with a leading pulse survey solution, such as Thymometrics, you have the advantage of simple to understand visual reports that add depth to your human resource management combined with people analytics that can be analyzed to assess how your company is progressing.
When and how you will respond
When evaluating the use of pulse surveys versus traditional surveys, you also want to keep in mind when and how you will respond to employee engagement issues. Some situations require immediate action. Others can take time to sit down as a group of leaders and decide what, if any, action is needed. The advantage of a pulse survey is that you have real-time data to work with as opposed to static 'snap-shot' data which could be months old. Your response will be much more accurate, relevant and timely. The choice to switch to pulse surveys is entirely up to your company and you know what's best for your employees, but the technology is flexible and simple to use in any size or type of business. Explore the possibility of using pulse surveys in place of traditional surveys to see the outstanding results that you can achieve.