Pulse Survey Questions that Deliver

Philip Cleave
May 4, 2021
Employee answering pulse survey questions.

Having provided a solid introduction to what a pulse survey is and how it can be used to support employee engagement, in the first part of our investigation into this topic, we’re now going to look at some of the most popular pulse survey questions asked by HR and internal comms teams.

While in part one the pulse survey examples, we focused on included remote working and the return to the office, more generally you’ll want to cover every aspect affecting staff engagement in your pulse survey, from job satisfaction and personal growth, to how an employee feels about their team, manager and company.

Ten pulse survey questions you should be asking your staff

Based on the areas we’ve highlighted already, here are our suggested pulse survey questions. We’ve also outlined the insight each question should provide for you in terms of what it reveals about your employees’ feelings on the issues raised with them.

While the list is not definitive, it will give you a solid overview of the areas you should be probing with your questions.

Unless otherwise stated, the questions have been designed to be answered using a five-point Likert scale system, based on the ratings below:

Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither agree nor disagree | Agree | Strongly agree

How happy are you at work?

Response scale: Very unhappy | Somewhat unhappy | Neutral | Somewhat happy | Very happy

The insight it reveals: this question should give you a better idea about how happy each employee is with their job role and the extent to which they enjoy what they’re doing and like where they work.

I can access everything I need to perform to the best of my ability in my role

The insight it reveals: by asking this, you should get a better feel for which employees have the equipment and resources they need and those that require more support or may have obstacles preventing them from working effectively.

I completely understand what constitutes good performance in my role

The insight it reveals: this question should help you to identify how many of your employees feel that their job role is clearly defined and how many that don’t. It should also give you an inkling into how many staff understand the link between their performance and how well they are progressing with their goals and objectives.

I always receive valuable recognition whenever I’ve done something really well

The insight it reveals: by asking this, you should get a better sense of how valued your employees feel. You’ll also get a better idea about how well they feel their work and achievements are appreciated.

I feel at ease giving my opinions and feedback to managers

The insight it reveals: by assessing how comfortable your staff feel about expressing their opinions, this question can reveal the strength of the working relationships that exist between employees and managers in your workplace, as well as how open your company culture is.

How would you rate your work-life balance – based on a scale of 1-10?

Response scale: based on a 1-10 rating where 1 indicates a very poor work-life balance and 10 an extremely good one.

The insight it reveals: by asking this, you should get better feel for how employees view their work life balance within your organization. This could encompass a variety of issues, such as whether they feel too much is expected of them, whether your working culture is too demanding, or even if they feel their working hours are too long.

My personal values align with the company’s vision and mission

Response scale: Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neutral | Agree | Strongly Agree | Not sure what the company vision/mission is

The insight it reveals: this question should reveal the degree to which your employees share your company values and to what extent they feel personally connected with what your company does or stands for.

How likely are you to recommend your organization’s products or services to a friend?

Response scale: based on a 1-10 rating where 1 is ‘Not at all likely’ and 10 is ‘Extremely likely’

You could also choose to ask your staff the Employee Net Promoter Score question, which measures their overall happiness and willingness to recommend others to work for your organization.

The insight it reveals: by asking this, you should get a better sense of how proud your employees feel about working for your company, as well as the extent to which they believe in what your company does or produces. It should also highlight how positively they talk about their job outside of work.

I’m always given opportunities to learn and develop my skills

The insight it reveals: this question should give you an inkling into how well your employees believe they are encouraged to learn new skills, as well as the degree to which personal development is encouraged by your managers and the wider organization.

There is clear career progression in my role

The insight it reveals: by asking this, you should get a better feel for how many employees feel there are sufficient opportunities to progress within your company, how supportive their managers are concerning their career development and how many staff feel they have a future with your company.

Why pulse surveys are a vital tool for any business

From job satisfaction, employee engagement and staff motivation to recruitment, onboarding and employee training. While there are plenty of workplace surveys you can use to improve your understanding of staff in key areas and life stages of their employment journey with you, there aren’t really any offering as much agility as the pulse survey to quickly check in with your staff on any area that your organization deems critical at a particular point in time.

Subsequently, if you’re an HR professional or business owner that already uses some employee surveys to get feedback from your staff, but not a pulse survey, then it would be prudent to include one. With a pulse survey included in your portfolio of staff surveys, you’ll be much better able to keep a pulse on some of the faster changing aspects of your organization, namely your staff and therefore protect the overall health of your business.

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