Your employees have developed their work flows, and they’re busy enough as it is. Still, because you understand the link between employee happiness and the bottom line, you want to make sure they're enjoying their jobs — not just miserably going through the motions.
After doing your research, you’ve found that pulse surveys — brief questionnaires sent to employees on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis — seem to be just the thing you’re looking for.
But because your workers have so much on their plates as it is, it can be difficult to sell them on having to do yet another task. When pitching pulse surveys to your staff, touch upon the following six ideas, and your workers should become eager to start taking their surveys and doing their part to improve the company.
1. Problems get nipped in the bud immediately
At one point or another, everyone’s worked for a company that had absolutely terrible communication skills — if they had any at all. In these environments, management may not become privy to problems for quite some time because they’re focused on initiatives — instead of how their employees perceive them.
Rather than letting problems grow larger and larger until they’re addressed eight months down the line, pulse surveys give employees an easy way to share their concerns with their managers right away. Managers who care about the happiness of their staffers will take this feedback and enact changes quickly so that things don’t spiral out of control and morale doesn’t deteriorate.
For example, nearly 70% of employees feel as though they have too much work on their plates each week, according to our research. If a company only assesses the state of its workforce once every year, it might take 12 months to figure out that its staff is completely overwhelmed.
Enter pulse surveys, and management will find out right away whether employees are overworked. They can then make changes quickly, ensuring workers are able to get their tasks done each week. Such a move improves both morale and productivity.
2. Managers will be able to determine whether different groups are being treated differently
Some managers have their favorites. Whether that’s a certain group of individuals or an entire department depends on the organization.
If your marketing team is expected to routinely burn the midnight oil while your sales staff seemingly comes and goes as they please, you better believe that the marketers won’t exactly think the company is structured in a fair way. But few, if any, of them may feel comfortable barging into their manager’s office to complain about this perceived unfair treatment for fear of backlash.
The great thing about pulse surveys is that even if no one on the marketing team explicitly complains about the different ways the two teams are treated, managers should be able to glean that information by looking at responses in the aggregate. If everyone on the marketing team indicates that things could be a bit better while everyone in sales talks about how awesome their jobs are, upper management should realize it’s time to make some changes to the marketing department.
3. They’ll also understand which aspects of the job employees like best
Pulse surveys enable workers to talk about their jobs in a very open and honest manner — both the good and the bad. While there will certainly be some complaints every so often, there will also be times when the enthusiasm connected with a response is so palpable it seemingly drips off the screen.
In other words, pulse surveys give managers insight into which aspects of their jobs employees like best. Great managers take this information into consideration when delegating responsibilities, brainstorming new campaigns, and launching new initiatives.
Essentially, pulse surveys increase the likelihood that employees will be instructed to spend time on the parts of their jobs they like the most. Instead of managers having to guess the best place to invest an employee’s energies, they’ll have data to help make the decision.
4. Pulse surveys provide a great platform to share ideas anonymously
Some employees have no problem letting their voice be heard in meetings or in group emails. They aren’t concerned whether their ideas are well received or if they fall on deaf ears.
But not all employees are gifted with that self-confidence. Some staff members are invariably introverted. These folks might be especially hesitant to share their ideas — even the great ones — for fear of being rejected and embarrassed.
Pulse surveys provide a medium of communication that maintains your employees’ privacy. Introverts will be able to let you know their thoughts without fearing they’ll be ridiculed. When selling pulse surveys to your employees, talk this fact up — your introverted staffers will definitely hear you.
And as an added bonus, your extroverted employees might also offer ideas they wouldn’t consider saying in public for whatever reason. While they may be more comfortable in group settings, they’re not completely immune from embarrassment either.
5. They can also help improve camaraderie
Pulse surveys don’t only have to contain work-related questions. You can ask your staff whether they prefer Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin, for example. Once the results come in, send out an email reporting them and blast some tunes of the winning band.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, including these kinds of questions in pulse surveys — at least every now and again — boosts camaraderie, which in turn strengthens work culture. This is nothing to scoff at because work cultures are strongly correlated with employee happiness, according to our research.
Are there any employees who wouldn’t want to work at a place they enjoy heading to every morning?
6. Unlike annual reviews, pulse surveys can be completed quickly
There are many reasons employees (and managers) dread traditional year-end performance reviews. One of those is the fact they take forever to complete.
Because they’re administered digitally, pulse surveys can be finished within a few minutes. So employees won’t have to spend too much time filling in their managers on what’s going on within their departments.
Back to that statistic about overworked employees: The last thing you want to do is launch a new initiative that only adds more work. While pulse surveys are most definitely yet another task, it’s important to stress the fact that the time workers spend filling them out should improve the employee experience without sucking up a lot of time. Your employees will almost certainly appreciate that.
- 10 Questions Every Employee Engagement Survey Should Use
- Why CEOs Need to Care About Employee Engagement Surveys