In this post, we’re going to be looking at the purposes and opportunities email pulse surveys open up for companies, and why they’re especially valuable within the landscape of the pandemic. 


What are employee pulse surveys?

Listening to your employees is a fundamental cultural component for a company’s success. An increasingly popular method of doing this is through gathering continuous feedback. Email pulse surveys for employees are an effective, fast way of listening to your workforce through regular feedback opportunities. 

Pulse surveys allow managers to identify and address problems, often in real-time, and can provide companies with valuable insights into staff sentiment on an ongoing basis. Continuous feedback is integral to developing a productive and positive company culture, particularly for those who have moved to a hybrid/remote working model of business. 

Why is continuous feedback so important right now?

Considering the transformation of the working landscape over the last couple of years due to the pandemic, it’s now crucial for companies to be present and accessible. With so much of the workforce currently based remotely or on a hybrid model, companies need to maintain a robust connection with their employees. Developing a strong internal communication model has never been so important. Consequently, gathering feedback and gaining an understanding of the employee experience at any given time is incredibly valuable for businesses and their ongoing growth and development. 

What is the purpose of an employee pulse survey?

Employee pulse surveys are a complementary method of gathering employee feedback. They’re designed to work alongside the more traditional annual employee survey. One of the key purposes of pulse surveys is the ability to frequently and consistently track the same metric over time. Checking in with your staff engagement and sentiment levels every month, for instance, can reveal more important trends and insights as opposed to relying solely on an annual or bi-annual survey.

As they’re often shorter and more easily digestible, pulse surveys can be used for a range of purposes, for example:

  • As a useful tool for measuring employee engagement
  • As a means to discover the drivers of employee engagement
  • Helping to identify opportunities for employee re-engagement or development
  • Helping companies focus on the cultural sentiment among their employees and use this to power change
  • Enabling companies to gain valuable internal insight into specific issues
  • As a great way to provide employees with an outlet for regular feedback; ensuring that their voices feel heard

It’s easy for businesses to lose connection with their employees, especially given the nature of the working landscape in the COVID-19 age. Implementing email pulse surveys into your workplace culture could be one of the best ways to reforge and maintain positive, long-term bonds with your employees who may be based at home and don’t have the same level of face to face connection with managers as they may have had prior to the pandemic. 

Opportunities on offer for companies

Pulse surveys offer companies the opportunity to really listen to their staff. In the current climate of COVID-19, companies need to be conscious of communicating with their employees, not just to temperature check against business-related outcomes, but crucially, for staff health and wellbeing too. One such way to do that is with Surveyapp’s pulse surveys for employees, which give year-round insights into employee sentiment metrics. Using straightforward, easily customisable email survey templates is a great method of feedback collection for businesses adapting to the pandemic workspace; allowing companies to refocus and redefine their culture as one that’s truly responsive and people-oriented.  


The benefits of employee pulse surveys

Why are pulse surveys especially useful to companies in the present working landscape? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.

  • Rapid creation and turnaround – creating an effective email pulse survey is fast and straightforward when using one of Surveyapp’s inbuilt templates.
  • High response rates – companies using employee pulse surveys often see incredibly high response rates due to the speedy and streamlined nature of the smiley rating scale, for example. 
  • Enhanced engagement and sense of connection with staff – pulse surveys promote a culture of listening and responsiveness. They deepen the emotional connection between employees and managers by encouraging staff to regularly share their thoughts and opinions on their working culture. 
  • Results in real-time – a pulse survey can be created and turned around incredibly quickly, meaning that answers to a particular query or concern can be gathered and responded to in a matter of hours if required.
  • Ensures ongoing professional improvement for your business –  continuous feedback enables your business to regularly reflect upon and improve its working practices. From a company culture perspective, employee sentiment is a key metric against which companies can measure their success and impact. 

Pulse survey best practices

As the frequency of pulse surveys can be monthly or weekly in some workplaces, it’s key to ensure they’re not a laborious process for employees. In order to foster a culture of feedback, the cycle of surveying should feel like an easy, accessible outlet through which staff can voice their feelings and ideas. 

Simplifying the process through the use of Surveyapp’s smiley rating scales is a highly effective way to do this. Our use of the smiley emoji is one of the fastest and most engaging methods of gathering valuable feedback and has proven to help build effective emotional connections with staff and their employers. 

Having said that, it’s important to understand that the effectiveness of pulse surveys should be measured against your baseline objectives. Surveying weekly may not be the best idea for your company unless you can deliver rapid action in response to the feedback. Always ensure you only survey as frequently as you can deliver valuable action on the responses. That way, you’ll be able to avoid survey fatigue and ensure that your employees continue to engage with future feedback opportunities.

Deciding upon a frequency is down to your company’s specific needs, but ensuring your survey has a simple, accessible and effective format is vital. Something as simple as the use of a smiley rating scale can boost survey response rates hugely.


Pulse survey power during the pandemic

Perhaps one of the best uses of pulse surveys in the current climate of COVID-19 is for companies to identify the challenges that employees are facing. How in tune are you with your staff’s needs and issues if you’re not in regular communication with them? As a business, are you providing your workforce with a platform to share their feelings? Are you offering them regular enough opportunities to communicate with you? If you’re unsure, now may be a good time to consider a method of agile feedback gathering.

Staff should have frequent opportunities to evaluate how effective they feel their employer has been at supporting them and addressing their concerns. To help companies be at their most responsive, Surveyapp’s pulse surveys include a collaborative case management interface that ties into commonly-used business platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack. This interface gives companies the tools necessary to monitor employee feedback as it comes in. In turn, this allows managers to power real changes in response. It also means that managers can communicate back to staff about actions taken as a result of their feedback, the importance of which should never be forgotten.

Remote working culture is the here and now, and companies must adapt to that in order to maintain a happy and productive workforce. Keeping the feedback loop open and ongoing through regular email pulse surveys is a fantastic way to do so. 

What questions should companies be asking?

When creating a pulse survey for employees, it’s vital to think carefully about the kind of questions you need answers to and to formulate them thoughtfully. These questions should always be in line with what you’re trying to measure, to ensure that the information you collect is useful. Using a template from the Surveyapp template bank is a really simple way to get started with the process of asking the right questions. These templates make use of a range of trusted and tested question formats, to minimize human error and ensure high response rates.

Pulse surveys should be well-planned, but their real beauty lies in their simplicity. They could contain a single question you need an answer to right away, or be 5-10 questions with a simple smiley rating scale. Your surveying frequency should help you determine how many questions to ask; the more frequent, the fewer questions, is a good rule of thumb. Less is often more, as the old saying goes! 

Either way, when it comes to employee surveys, improving ease of use for your staff is the key to improving engagement and response rates, and therefore boosting your understanding of employee sentiment. 

Ready to get started?

If you’d like to find out more about email pulse surveys and how they can help your business, Surveyapp is here to help you! Find out more about our email pulse survey solutions or get in touch with us at and we’ll be happy to chat about your needs.

Photo credits:

Main photo by Keenan Beasley on Unsplash | Photo 3 by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash | Photo4  by Annie Spratt on Unsplash