13 Glaring Reasons Why Pulsing Surveys Destroy Annual Surveys

4 min read
Nov 29, 2016

Pulsing surveys

Does your company give out annual surveys to your employees? If so, it may be time to modernize your approach to feedback by starting to utilize weekly pulsing surveys instead.

Pulsing surveys are brief. They’re issued electronically — and anonymously (or at least, they need to be) — at whatever interval makes sense for your particular company (e.g., once a week or once a month). These surveys not only provide organizations with much more helpful data, they also help employees become more engaged as they feel more connected to their companies.

With that in mind, here are 13 reasons why pulse surveys are better than annual surveys when it comes to driving employee engagement.


01. You always know how your employees are feeling

Whether you send out a pulsing survey once a week or twice a month, you should have a pretty good idea of how your employees as a whole are feeling in near real time. That sure beats waiting until the end of the year to find out that everyone on the team has been miserable for the last six months.


02. Problems can be nipped in the bud quickly

Let’s say a pulsing survey reveals that a vast majority of your employees are upset about a new initiative that was just rolled out. They already felt overworked, but now they feel like they are drowning in their work to the point where they’re unable to get anything done at all. Instead of letting such a situation fester out of control, managers could use the information gleaned from pulsing surveys to correct course quickly before team morale plummets to the point of no return.


03. They don’t suck up a ton of time

When companies only use annual surveys to assess employee progress and the state of the organization, all involved parties collectively spend a lot of time drafting a survey, filling it out themselves, reminding other people to fill it out, analyzing the results, and coming up with an actionable plan to change things.

Pulsing surveys, on the other hand, are administered electronically. Employees can complete them in five minutes or less, and managers can quickly gauge the results to determine the next course of action.

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04. They paint a much more detailed picture of your organization

When employees are only surveyed annually, the results represent a single snapshot in time for the organization. Maybe business has been exceptionally good for a month and employees are influenced to more positively respond to their surveys.

But what happens if things start to deteriorate shortly after administering an annual survey? Can your business really stand to wait around for an entire year to find out how employees are really feeling?


05. More data is captured, which allows managers to make better decisions

It’s true that you can compare year-to-year results of annual surveys. But pulsing surveys provide companies with substantially more data. Managers that use them can analyze many more data points, which should enable them to make the right decisions more often.


06. Peers get to give feedback to their coworkers

Most annual surveys don’t allow employees to take their coworkers into account. Pulsing surveys, on the other hand, enable employees to recognize their coworkers’ efforts thereby eliminating the chance someone’s great work goes unnoticed.  


07. Pulse surveys prove management cares about employee well-being

According to our Engagement Report, only 31% of employees feel strongly valued at work. By administering pulsing surveys on a regular basis and routinely asking workers what they’re thinking, you should help convince your staff that you care about how they feel and are interested in what they have to say.

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08. Company culture will almost certainly improve

Pulsing surveys give employees more of a sense of ownership in their organization. When employees are asked how they feel and what they think — and their answers are incorporated into a company’s strategy and operations — you can bet that they’ll be happier and more engaged. As a result, company culture will become stronger.


09. Specific issues can be tackled each week

While you might ask the same questions in an annual survey each year, you definitely do not have to ask the same questions in pulsing surveys each week. Maybe one week you are curious about what employees think about their workloads, and the next week you’re wondering whether anyone on the team has a great idea for a team-building outing.

You know your company better than anyone else. These surveys allow you to answer the most-pressing questions you have each time you administer them.

The Ultimate List of Team-Building Activities


10. They strengthen the bonds between managers and employees

Because pulsing surveys prove that managers care about how their employees are doing, workers are more likely to be even more respectful of their bosses. A tighter bond forms between managers and employees — which leads to a more engaged and productive workforce.


11. Answers are always completely anonymous, so workers are more likely to be truthful

It might be hard for an employee to offer negative feedback to their bosses. For example, if a manager’s new idea is really terrible but they’ve been talking about how great it is for quite some time, employees might keep their mouths shut for fear of hurting their superior’s feelings.

Pulsing surveys allow employees to share their thoughts anonymously, so they’re much likelier to speak their minds and be honest. Even if it hurts, who doesn’t want to know the truth?


12. Results can help get everyone on board with a certain initiative

Imagine one of your employees thinks that a new marketing campaign is just absolutely dreadful. A pulsing survey is administered, and a vast majority of coworkers are 100% on board with it. This data should help convince the employee that it’s time to swallow their pride and get on board with the rest of the team — so long as they’re willing to admit they may be wrong.


13. Your company can tap into incredible ideas that otherwise might have remained hidden

Not all of your employees are comfortable with sharing their ideas and speaking their minds, even in a private setting. Because pulsing surveys allow workers to share their thoughts anonymously, there’s a good chance that introverted workers will open themselves up. You never know when one of your quieter employees is sitting on a gold mine of ideas.



Free Guide to Pulsing Employee Surveys

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