When it comes to employee engagement, some CEOs might prefer their managers to check in with workers at the end of the year, assessing their sentiment.
Luckily, there’s a simple fix: pulse surveys. These surveys are administered electronically as frequently as once a week or bi-weekly. The end result? Real-time feedback that reveals how your workforce views their jobs.
Are you hesitating on pulling the trigger on pulse surveys? Not a problem — we’re here to help. Here are 10 reasons why you need to care about engagement surveys:
1. Management knows what’s going on right now
Instead of waiting until the end of the year to check in with employees, pulse surveys are given much more frequently. This enables management to assess the state of their organization in real time. Rather than letting problems fester for a while before they’re even uncovered, these surveys allow employers to keep their fingers on the pulse of their organization throughout the year.
If, for example, a ton of responses all indicate variations of the same problem, managers can take swift action to remedy the situation before it gets out of hand. Example: finding out an employee is unhappy on the job and preventing them from quitting.
2. Surveys help establish and build trust
Investing in employee engagement surveys is a very clear sign that managers take their staff’s happiness seriously and care about what employees are thinking. Even further, anonymous pulse surveys help build a culture of trust because they prove that managers don’t care who says what; they just care that employees — all of them — are sharing their thoughts and feelings. When given the choice, who would want to work for a company where no one trusted each other when the opposite organization existed?
3. They also encourage open lines of communication
Communication is critical to the success of any organization. If employees feel as though they’re unable to talk with their managers about their ideas and concerns, chances are they won’t be able to reach their full potential.
Maybe they’ll try to figure out something on their own, and if they’d just spent a few minutes talking with their manager, the final product would have been so much better. Maybe they have great ideas about how to improve operations, but they’re unsure of how to go about sharing them.
By establishing a regular feedback channel, pulse surveys encourage workers to share their thoughts often. Companies become more open and more transparent, and everyone benefits.
4. Workers are more likely to respond
When employees are only surveyed once a year, they have a lot of ground to cover as they assess their organizations and their portfolio of work. In some instances, being asked to fill out an annual survey can seem overwhelming.
Turns out that the more questions you have in your survey, the less time people spend answering them. Meaning, these folks are likely not going to provide you with any thoughtful or useless feedback. To add to that, people get fatigued after the first 20 minutes of answering a survey.
So those 50-question annual engagement surveys aren't going to yield the results management needs to enact positive change in the workplace.
5. Employees become more engaged
When management is actively soliciting the thoughts and concerns of their employees, it shows that they care about what their workers have to say. When team members see their ideas that were shared via pulse surveys become reality, they’ll become more engaged if for no other reason than they’ll feel as though their voice matters.
Because they like their jobs and they like showing up to work each day, engaged employees are considerably less likely to look for another job. This, in turn, bolsters the bottom line because it costs a lot of money to continually have to hire new workers. On the other hand, employee retention has great ROI.
6. Work culture is strengthened
As a result of that uptick in engagement, work culture improves. This is important because work culture is highly correlated with employee happiness. When workers love company culture, they’re happier — and therefore more productive. On the flipside, a toxic culture can send employees running to the first opportunity they get. Is it really worth rolling the dice?
7. They don’t take up much time
When companies only review their employees at the end of the year, they need to budget a ton of time into what’s usually a super-busy period. Managers and team members sit down in one-on-one meetings, which often take place over the course of an hour or more. In addition to the challenge of having to condense an entire year’s performance into a single conversation, it’s not always simple for already-busy workers to carve out the time.
Because they’re sent out digitally every week, pulse surveys don’t take up that much time at all. Employees could get in the habit of spending 5 or 10 minutes every Friday afternoon completing them. And on the other side, managers don’t have to waste days and days assessing their employees. They’re able to analyze data and make informed decisions quickly.
8. Great ideas may materialize that otherwise wouldn’t
Some members of your team are quieter than others. While the more talkative employees might be quick to share their ideas with management, the introverts on your staff might hesitate to speak up for fear of being wrong. Instead of letting these more reserved workers keep their thoughts to themselves — some of which might be great — anonymous pulse surveys provide the perfect platform for them to share their ideas. You never know when your quietest worker might have the best idea.
9. Progress can be measured over time
Pulse surveys provide a snapshot of how workers are feeling at a specific moment in time. If, for example, all of your employees are miserable in March, managers will be able to easily see whether team morale improves by June. In this light, companies can clearly gauge whether their employee engagement efforts are working or if there is more that needs to be done.
10. You’ll save money
Because pulse surveys increase employee engagement and employee happiness, you’ll save money because your workers will stick around. On top of that, they’ll be more productive, so you’ll also make more money. By investing in pulse surveys and sticking with them, your organization will be healthier from a financial perspective and a productivity perspective. What’s not to like?
But for a number of reasons, year-end reviews aren’t really that useful. Primarily, most of what’s transpired over the course of the year is forgotten. Employees who did awesome work during the first half of the year might not be rewarded as much as those who had a killer end of the year.
- 10 Questions Every Employee Engagement Survey Should Use
- 3 Essential Factors That Make Employee Engagement Surveys Effective