Table of Contents

Do you know that it took SAP one survey to record a 1% improvement in the Business Health Culture Index (BHCI) which is linked to a positive impact on their operating profit in the range of €90 million to €100 million?

SAP is a major software company that prioritizes the health and well-being of its employees as a key part of its overall business strategy. So, it included a yearly employee survey and rehashed it as the Business Health Culture Index to measure the success of their employee well-being programs.  

In 2014, a study found a connection between the BHCI and factors like employee satisfaction, retention, and the company's profit. With a high participation rate of 73%, over 72,000 employees participated in the 2018 survey. Moreover, according to the SAP integrated reports, employees continue to recognize themselves with SAP throughout the years.  

So, it goes without saying that a well-structured employee survey can not only understand an employee's sentiment to identify and improve the company culture but also lead to professional development opportunities. 

Therefore, this blog will share a thorough understanding of employee surveys, the do’s, don’ts, and the best practices around the matter so that you can get the best out of the structured survey.  

What is an employee survey? 

An employee survey is a tool containing a questionnaire. It is designed to gather feedback from employees about their work experience. It's essentially used by organizations to gauge employee sentiment on various aspects of the workplace. With a properly documented employee survey, an organization can record. 

  • Increased employee retention 
  • Improvement in decision-making 
  • Boosted morale among employees 
  • Improved employee engagement 
  • Identification of areas for improvement 
  • Early detection of problems 

The importance of employee surveys reflects the company culture. The impact of employee surveys extends even further. This connection between employee satisfaction and financial success is no coincidence. Let's delve deeper into the quantifiable benefits of implementing an employee survey program. 

A quantified study on the impact of employee survey: 

- According to Gallup research, organizations with high employee engagement scores see 21% greater profitability. 

- To interlink the study of profitability with employees’ psychological stance that impacts the retention rate of an organization, Gallup also found that engaged employees indeed are less likely to miss work and more productive.

- According to a study by MIT's Center for Information Systems Research, companies with a strong focus on employee experience see 4 times the revenue growth and 2 times the innovation compared to competitors.

- Gallup data shows a mere 34% of U.S. employees are engaged. This presents a significant chance to boost workplace satisfaction and employee productivity. 

The numbers are enough to showcase the significance of implementing an employee survey program. By harnessing the collective voice of your workforce, you can unlock a wealth of insights that propel your company toward greater success. However, to introduce the survey into the organizational structure, you must know the type to gauge the right information.  

What are the different types of employee surveys? 

Employee surveys are valuable tools for organizations to understand their workforce's perspectives and improve the overall work environment. There are various types of surveys, each focusing on specific aspects of the employee experience. Here's a breakdown of three common types: 

1. Pulse survey 

Pulse surveys are short, frequent surveys that gauge employee sentiment on specific topics. They are ideal for getting a quick snapshot of employee opinion and measuring employee sentiment at a specific moment in time. 

  • Frequency: Conducted frequently, often through short, anonymous questions. 
  • Benefits: Provides real-time insights into employee morale, concerns, and areas for improvement. 

2. eNPS Survey 

The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) survey is a simple yet powerful tool for gauging employee loyalty and likelihood to recommend your company as a workplace. 

  • Purpose: Measures employee engagement and satisfaction, identifies promoters, and tracks changes in employee sentiment over time. 
  • Duration: The eNPS survey itself is very brief. 
  • Benefits: Provides a quick and regular pulse check on employee sentiment and allows for early identification of potential problems and areas for improvement. 
A case study that showcases the impact of the 360-degree survey:
Boehringer Ingelheim collaborated with CCL to develop leadership using 360-degree assessment

Boehringer Ingelheim is a major pharmaceutical company that is undergoing complex changes, including stricter regulations and intense competition.

So, to introduce a more results-driven culture, BI collaborated with the Center for Creative Leadership to instill stronger decision-making, strategic thinking, and the ability to inspire and guide others towards a shared vision and business objectives.

A program was co-created that allowed BI to get ongoing updates and innovative elements for the change. 


The Center for Creative Leadership designed a leadership development program in stages to address key skills important for BI's future success.

This program consisted of two separate, but connected, parts: a Management Development Program for new managers and a Leadership Development Program for high-potential mid-level managers.

The programs used a variety of engaging learning methods, including activities that involved real-life experiences, simulations, and discussions in a classroom setting that encouraged active participation.

The participants: 

- Met with their managers to talk about their progress and development.

- Used an online tool from CCL to track their progress toward specific goals they set.

- Worked one-on-one with a CCL coach who provided executive coaching.
- Participated in a project where they learned from their peers.


The initiative has significantly increased the pool of qualified leaders within the organization and improved the leadership pipeline. The program helped the organization notice:

- 90% of participants reported feeling more equipped to handle challenges.

- 90% indicated an improved ability to lead change initiatives. 87% reported improved effectiveness in working across different departments or teams.

- The skills learned in the program directly contributed to an improvement initiative that resulted in significant cost savings (one-year savings of $1,800,000).

- A graduate of the program led a project team that achieved an impressive cost reduction of over 80%.

4. Culture or Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Survey: 

These surveys assess employee perceptions of your company's work environment, values, and inclusivity. They help identify areas where your company culture can be strengthened to foster a sense of belonging for all employees. It assesses the organization's workplace culture and its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

  • Focus: Questions might address employee perceptions of respect, fairness, opportunities for advancement, and a sense of belonging for all employees. 
  • Benefits: Helps identify areas where the company culture can be strengthened to foster a more inclusive and positive work environment. 
A case study that showcases the impact of the DEI survey:

Google collaborates with Performance Paradigm to redefine DEI with an innovative approach

Google needs no introduction. The American multinational corporation and technology company, along with its parent company Alphabet, hordes around 182,500 full-time employees as of the end of 2023, making it very important for the organization to maintain diversity and cultural representation.

Google has made significant progress in increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in its workforce, particularly in leadership roles. The company has: 

- Increased the number of Black, Latino, and Native American leaders by 30%, beating their goal by 3 years!

- Have more women than ever before in both technical and non-technical leadership roles, all around the world and in the USA.

- Hired more Black and Latino people than ever before, with Black employees making up 9.4% and Latino employees making up 9.0% of new hires in 2021.


Normally, many companies struggle to create diversity and inclusion (DEI) programs that work. Even when they try, the programs may not be effective.

With the company so vast and inclusive, how does Google maintain diversity, equity, and inclusion? It was a challenging task for Google, but achievable.

So, they partnered with Performance Paradigm, a company that consults businesses on DEI issues. Together, Google and Performance Paradigm created programs to help Google leaders and staff become more engaged in DEI.

The programs are designed to change the way people think about race, gender, and unconscious bias.


Just implementing a DEI program may not be effective. “For so long, we looked up at largely white men and asked them how the organization is doing on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Michael Munoz, who leads diversity, equity, and inclusion within Marketing at Google, tells We First.

“We need to look at the Black, Latinx, Asian, indigenous populations and ask, ‘How are we doing at building a culture where you feel empowered and a strong sense of psychological safety?’”

- So, as a solution, they launched a program called Digital Human. The program concentrates on four key behaviors, including 'Show up', 'Be present', 'Creative visibility', and 'Proximate.' It includes workshops, exercises, and videos.

One activity that set the program apart from the rest was ‘2, 24, 25.’ The program allowed the managers to pick two people on their team, one that they knew fairly well and one that they barely knew.

Within 24 hours, schedule a 25-minute meeting with them and talk about them. The program lasts for 12 weeks.

The purpose was to increase the sense of belongingness. “We still used art and all the experiential things to deliver it, but we wouldn't let them fast forward. We wouldn't let them binge, they had to stop and do the work,” Butler claimed.

- Another program that they launched was called Examined Human. This program uses art and music to help people connect and learn about different cultures. These programs are designed to help Google create a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels like they belong.

- Implemented R.I.C.H dialogue to create community. “R.I.C.H. is an acronym for race, identity, culture, and heritage,” says Butler.

‘It's a type of communication tool that accelerates relationship management by exploring all the different points of view around race, identity, culture, and heritage.”


The DEI training at Google allowed the organization to see exceptional results.

- The DEI program dealt with the discomfort and allowed the marginalized, underrepresented people to feel included, and heard. Include a sense of belongingness.

- Facilitate communication and community building. Have a long-lasting impact.

What are the Do's and Don'ts of employee surveys? 

What you should do and should avoid while running an employee survey are written below: 

The Do’s:  

Do make your surveys successful by following these tips: 

  • Clearly explain why you're asking for feedback (communicate the purpose). 
  • Guarantee anonymity to get honest answers (keep responses anonymous). 
  • Highlight what's going well to boost morale (celebrate company successes). 
  • Share the results so employees see their voice matters (communicate survey results). 
  • Use easy-to-understand questions that avoid bias (use clear and unbiased questions). 
  • Keep it concise to avoid taking too much time (keep surveys short and focused). 
  • Use language employees understand (speak the employee's language). 
  • Think of surveys as interactions with your brand (treat surveys as brand interactions). 
  • Allow for detailed responses beyond yes/no answers (ask open-ended questions). 
  • Take action based on the feedback you receive (utilize survey results). 

The Don’ts: 

Avoid these mistakes that can make your surveys ineffective: 

  • Overwhelming employees with too many questions (ask too many questions). 
  • Surveying too frequently can lead to annoyance (deploy surveys too often). 
  • Asking for feedback without following up with actions (survey without acting). 
  • Phrases that nudge people towards a certain answer (ask leading questions). 
  • Underestimating how long it takes to complete the survey (understate survey length). 
  • Discouraging participation due to too many surveys (creating survey fatigue). 

However, just putting the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ into practice will not suffice. You must know the best practices to perform throughout the time the employee survey is run.  

What are the best practices for running an employee survey? 

Effective employee surveys can provide valuable insights into company culture, employee satisfaction, and areas for improvement. Here's a breakdown of best practices for each stage of the survey process: 

1. Before the survey 

The ideation of the survey is just as important as the implementation of it. So, keep in mind the following details: 

  • Define your goals: Clearly identify what you want to learn from the survey. Are you interested in employee engagement, work-life balance, or specific department processes? Focused goals will guide your question development. 
  • Build trust and anonymity: Employees need to feel comfortable providing honest feedback. Emphasize anonymity and confidentiality throughout the survey process. 
  • Craft clear questions: Use clear, concise, and unbiased language. Avoid jargon or leading questions that influence responses. 
  • Communicate effectively: Inform employees about the survey purpose, timeline, and how their feedback will be used. Encourage participation and address any concerns. 

2. During the survey 

During the survey, implement the following factors: 

  • Choose the right platform: Select a user-friendly platform that is accessible on various devices. Consider mobile-friendliness and ease of navigation. 
  • Keep it short: A concise survey with a reasonable completion time will improve participation rates. Prioritize the most important questions. 
  • Promote participation: Generate interest through internal communication channels. Use email reminders and highlight the importance of employee feedback. 

3. After the survey 

After the survey, consider doing the following: 

  • Analyze the data: Carefully analyze the results, identifying trends and areas requiring further investigation. 
  • Share the findings: Employees value transparency. Share key findings and explain how the feedback will be used to improve the workplace. 
  • Take action: Develop concrete action plans based on the survey results. Communicate these plans and demonstrate a commitment to addressing employee concerns. 


A well-structured employee survey lies in its ability to provide valuable insights into the health and well-being of your organization. Moreover, they act as a confidential communication channel for employees to share their honest opinions and experiences. So, you can use employee surveys as a weapon to turn the tide against disengagement and dissatisfaction among employees.  

However, to align them with shared organizational values, motivate the employees, and reinforce positive behaviors to create a truly engaged work environment, you need a platform that goes beyond conducting just surveys.

This is where Empuls can help. Empuls is an employee engagement platform that enables organizations to connect with employees. This holistic solution: 

  • Facilitate continuous feedback and improvement during the employee lifecycle using real-time surveys 
  • Helps plan data-driven employee engagement activities 
  • Fine-tunes action plans to improve eNPS 

So, gather meaningful feedback, identify engagement drivers, and take data-driven actions to improve the employee experience and culture with Empuls. 

Access the Free Guide to Running Effective Workplace Surveys.
Learn how

Nagma Nasim

Nagma Nasim

Nagma is a content writer who creates informative articles, blogs & other engaging content. In her free time, you can find her immersed in academic papers, novels, or movie marathons.