Updated: 19 September 2022
The last list of employee pulse survey questions you’ll ever need. Learn the number one question you should ask all employees and more.
Want to find out what employees really think about your organization? There’s only one way to find out for sure – ask them in an employee pulse survey.
We know that engaged employees are happy employees. Employee pulse surveys are a great way to gather quick and targeted feedback from employees and see who’s feeling engaged and who’s not.
Many companies are also using surveys to supplement annual employee surveys and track progress. Whatever the case may be, employee pulse surveys will get you the answers you need and are great for improving employee communication.
In this post, we share some tips on how to create employee pulse survey questions that will help you understand what is important to your employees.
And to make it even easier for you, we’ve included a full list of over 50 pulse survey questions we’ve used to massively increase employee engagement for our customers.
Best Practice Tips for Writing Survey Questions
- Keep it short.
By definition, surveys are short and snappy. Try to keep your survey to just three to six pulse survey questions. That way, you’ll avoid survey fatigue and are more likely to get a good response rate. Plus, a short pulse survey makes it easier for you to analyze the results.
- Make it relevant.
Keep the end goal firmly in view and ensure every question is relevant. Don’t be tempted to include those “nice to know” items. Instead, your pulse survey questions should address a specific need within your company culture.
- Focus on action.
Ensure you can act on the survey’s results. Staff will quickly become reluctant to complete pulse surveys if they don’t see positive action in response. Head off frustration and mistrust by visibly acting on the survey results.
- Be fast and frequent.Surveys are designed to be conducted quickly and regularly. The aim is to get a snapshot of employees’ views or a quick check-in on progress.
Survey Question Structure
There are three main types of questions to select from as follows:
- Outcome questions
These are designed to measure trends or the impact of an initiative over time. It’s a good idea to use a scale for these questions to gauge the strength of feeling.
- Driver questions
These types of questions help you determine the key drivers for the issues you are trying to measure. It could be company practices, culture, or behaviors. The aim here is to identify actions and solutions.
- Open-text questions
These questions invite employees to write their own responses. It’s an opportunity to gain deeper and more valuable insights. However, open-text questions can be hard to analyze, so keep them to a minimum.
And when it comes to the right mix of questions, we recommend the 70:20:10 rule:
- 70% driver, action-focused questions
- 20% outcome, measurement-focused questions
- 10% open-text, qualitative questions.
Employee Pulse Survey Questions Straight from Our Customer Library
- I care about the future of this organization.
- On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this organization as a good place to work?
- I am willing to put in extra effort on behalf of the organization.
- I have a sense of pride in working here.
- How much do you trust the leaders of this organization?
- My direct manager/supervisor is open and honest with me.
- What level of confidence have you in the leadership team of this organization?
- What level of confidence have you in the integrity of your manager?
Organizational and role fit
- How aware are you of how your role contributes to the success of the organization?
- I am in a role that makes good use of my skills.
- The values of this are closely aligned with my own values.
- The culture of this is a good fit for me.
Ownership / Involvement
- I regularly have the freedom to make decisions in my role that are in the organization’s best interest.
- I feel empowered to make decisions in my role.
- I influence and input the goals that I am working on.
- I am given an appropriate level of responsibility.
- I have great friends at work.
- My manager treats me with respect.
- My manager cares about me.
- I am provided with the tools and resources I need to do my job.
- How satisfied are you that you are personally developing in your role?
- My manager has spoken to me about my development during the last six months.
- There is somebody in this organization that is encouraging my development.
- I expect to continue to develop in my current role over the next 12 months.
Health & Wellbeing
- The health and well-being of employees are promoted in this organization.
- I can effectively manage my work-life balance.
- This organization cares about my well-being.
- What level of flexibility are you given to manage your work-life balance?
- My manager makes good decisions.
- My manager makes timely decisions.
- How confident are you in the direction your manager is taking you?
- My manager communicates a clear picture of my team’s direction.
- My workgroup looks to provide a great customer experience.
- My workgroup is always looking for ways to improve the customer experience.
- Things I do in my role provide me with a great sense of achievement.
- How informed are you about what is going on in the organization?
- I am clear on the goals and objectives of the organization.
- How aware are you of how the organization is performing versus its goals?
- I am clear on what is expected of me.
Rewards & Recognition
- I feel I am paid fairly for the work I do and that my wage/salary compares favorably with what I could get elsewhere.
- I know about the available benefits in this organization, and I feel they are of value to me.
- In this organization, there are opportunities to attain extra financial and other rewards for an excellent performance.
Health & Wellbeing (Remote)
- Are you taking steps to protect your physical health as you work remotely?
- How satisfied are you with your productivity level while working remotely?
- Are the remote working tools meeting your needs?
- Have you any tips that have helped you to achieve a healthy balance as you work remotely?
- The organization believes in putting the customer first.
- I get the required training I need to provide the best possible service to customers (i.e., complaint handling, etc.).
- I am empowered to make decisions on the spot to help customers and immediately solve their problems/complaints.
- I have all the physical resources I need to do my job well – i.e., uniform, equipment, etc.
- I have all the information, knowledge, and skills I need to do my job well.
- There are generally sufficient employees in our department/area to ensure we deliver a great experience for our customers.
Why Use Employee Pulse Surveys
Now you know how to create employee survey questions to improve employee engagement and add to your company culture.
If you need to demonstrate how they can add value, here are our top reasons to create employee surveys.
Engaged employees are happy to fill out surveys and will usually do so by the deadline you set them. If only 20% of your employees are completing your pulse survey questions, it’s time to ask yourself why this is.
It’s important to incentivize completion to get a full and accurate picture of your company culture.
Gauge general mood
If most of your workforce has completed your pulse survey, you should be able to gauge how your employees are feeling. You may be able to identify themes emerging across the organization.
Make employees feel listened to
Creating a pulse survey gives employees a chance to give their thoughts and opinions. A good employee pulse survey will ask the sorts of questions that help employees feel listened to. Their responses will give you the opportunity to ensure their hard work feels appreciated and allows them to receive meaningful recognition.
Encourage honest feedback
An anonymous pulse survey means that employees don’t feel pressured into giving an answer they think you want to hear. Honest feedback is important because it creates opportunities to improve the employee experience and other business areas.
Discover new ideas
In a large organization, it’s impossible to hear ideas first-hand from every employee. The right pulse survey questions can certainly go a long way to helping you hear opinions and career goals from people you rarely hear from.
How to Respond to the Data
There is no point in creating pulse survey questions unless you plan on using the responses to improve employee satisfaction. Next, we explore the next steps you should take after your pulse survey is complete.
Thank your employees
This should go without saying but thanking your employees should be the first thing you do after they’ve completed your pulse survey questions. This gratitude might be as simple as sending an email or asking your leadership team to record a video.
For improved completion rates, you might include an incentive for those who complete the pulse survey questions. This might be a voucher, a morning or afternoon added to their annual leave, or providing a few edible treats for the office.
Look out for trends in the data
It’s likely that when you were creating your pulse survey questions, you had a few questions in mind that you hoped to address. Perhaps you’ve noticed a growing trend of burnout and were concerned about work-life balance for your workforce. It might be that staff retention is at an all-time low, and you’d love to understand why.
Group results into the themes you want to address. Let’s imagine you have noticed staff starting to take time off due to burnout. Look for the questions that reveal more about why this is.
If your pulse survey reveals that 75% of staff feel unhappy with their work-life balance, and the majority give a negative response to the statement “What level of flexibility are you given to manage your work-life balance?”, you can surmise that there is a problem with the workload that’s affecting your team’s happiness.
Having an employee engagement platform with an insights dashboard can make spotting trends much easier.
If you’ve noticed an emerging picture, you should communicate this with the wider team.
It’s important for employee engagement for them to understand that you’ve seen their concerns and that you plan to do something about them.
It doesn’t all need to be bad news. Pulse surveys are great at revealing the things your company is doing well.
Taking our previous example, you might have noticed that employees feel their workload is too much. However, they might resonate with your company values or love working at a place with a fun, inclusive culture.
Once you’ve identified running themes and you’ve communicated them with the team, create goals. These should be tangible, actionable responses you can measure using your next pulse survey questions.
For example, if professional development opportunities have been raised as a concern, set a goal to offer additional training to X% of staff.
Create a question in your next survey to ask whether employees have noticed an improvement in development opportunities. You should have set a goal to see an improvement of X%.
Address negative feedback
It’s challenging to please everyone at an organization, but there is some feedback that you shouldn’t ignore, even if it only applies to one or two employees.
For example, if employees feel as though they have experienced discriminatory behavior, it’s essential to dig into this further. You may want to offer employees the opportunity to submit their experiences to your HR professionals. They may wish to do so anonymously to protect their identity.
It’s important to show that you’re taking action against anything that can seriously impact employees’ well-being. Create a plan to address the negative feedback, and make sure that you communicate this with the team in a discreet way that doesn’t put anyone at risk.
There are always several ways to meet your goals. They don’t always need to be huge structural changes to the organization. Often, a combination of both is ideal.
Create newsletters or podcasts to address some of the concerns raised or plan staff awards or shout-outs to boost morale and recognition. Doing things that are visible and accessible to all staff to participate in makes it clear that you’re addressing some of your findings.
Track and communicate progress
As we’ve previously touched on, clear and consistent internal communications are key!
Update your team with any news on progress at frequent intervals. Invite feedback to see whether you’re heading in the right direction. This can save you a lot of time and energy going forward.
Do another pulse survey
You should create pulse survey questions frequently. Annual surveys are an excellent idea, but it’s great to do more if you think they are needed.
Be aware that if you create too many pulse surveys, employee engagement is likely to suffer. No one wants to feel that answering daily pulse surveys is another regular chore to add to an already long to-do list.
Future pulse surveys should be tweaked and adjusted to address themes and issues you’ve spotted in past pulse surveys. This is a great way to track progress and ensure that employees feel that the surveys are there for a reason and are not just paying lip service.