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Employee pulse surveys are complex to get right. To run successful pulse surveys, you should ask questions that will give you responses you can do something with.

Measurable responses can help you understand what is working, what’s not, and how to improve it.

One of the easiest tricks to get successful survey responses is asking the right questions properly.

What Do 2022’s Best Places to Work Have in Common?

A few of those traits, as shared by Glassdoor, include:

↠ Employees are engaged and empowered to do their best work.

↠ Honest feedback is valued and encouraged.

↠ Employees have a sense of purpose and understand the impact they make.

Employee engagement has become a central contributor to successful companies. Evidence-based research has shown that making employee engagement a business strategy yields clear and better results.

Companies with highly motivated and committed teams experience increased productivity, profitability, sales, and customer ratings and decreased turnover.

Even further, employee feedback contributes to creating great workplaces. One way for organizations to extract feedback is through employee pulse survey tools.

Pulse surveys are useful because they help HR collect regular feedback and measure employee satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement.

As an HR professional, you’ll need to ensure that you’re getting the right feedback by asking the right questions—that can provide meaningful and real-time insights into what your company needs to keep doing, improve on, or change.

Previously, we shared all you need to know about pulse surveys, including how to administer them. Now, we have come up with 15 employee pulse survey questions to help you get started collecting the right information and assessing employees’ feelings about your company culture.

These employee engagement pulse survey questions are research-backed, and some are modeled after Gallup’s foundational elements of employee engagement—the Q12 survey.

These questions will help your business leaders, managers, and teams address critical issues and track changes over time.

As highlighted in our previous article, these questions are concise and straightforward. They can be structured using different survey questions such as multiple-choice, Likert scale, or open-ended questions.

15 Best employee pulse survey questions

Here are our 15 employee pulse survey questions examples—grouped into categories—and the reasons why these questions are relevant:

Pulse survey questions based on leadership and management

Leaders and managers play key roles in impacting successful teams and driving organizational change. They help motivate employees and provide them with the resources they need to perform at their best.

Employee pulse surveys can help leaders and managers understand their impact on their employees.

1. Do you understand our company’s mission and goals?

➡Relevance: According to Gallup, the mission or purpose of an organization makes employees feel their job is important.

Further, IBM’s Employee Experience Index states that 80% of employees reported a positive experience when their work was consistent with their organization’s core values and mission.

When employees are fully engaged and can see how their work connects to their mission and goals, they will be motivated to do their best work and remain with your company.

This employee engagement pulse survey question shows employees’ level of engagement and commitment to your company.

2. Do you find our leaders and managers visible and accessible?

➡Relevance: According to a recent Forbes article, great leaders are present, visible, and accessible. During uncertainty, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, employees look to leaders for clarity and guidance.

When employees can see and access their leaders, they feel safer, building trust and improving their work performance. Often, and as expected, business leaders are busy and inundated with many responsibilities.

However, it works for your organization’s good if leaders make themselves more visible and accessible. This employee engagement pulse survey question tells you if employees trust the leaders and feel safe at your organization.

3. Do you feel your manager cares about you as a person?

➡Relevance: Think about a time when you knew that someone cared for you at work. How did that impact you and your attitude to work? Employees are not machines. They have feelings that can affect their performance, whether positive or negative.

Gallup’s research has shown that if more employees strongly feel that their manager cares about them, then companies “could realize an 8% improvement in customer engagement scores, a 46% reduction in safety incidents, and a 41% reduction in absenteeism.” 

Employees need to know that someone cares about their success.

Pulse survey questions based on employee experience

Employee experience determines if an organization is where employees WANT, not NEED to show up to work.

A great employee experience predicts twice the innovation and 25 percent greater profitability in organizations. Since experiences help us connect with and build relationships with others, measuring the employee experience is essential.

4. How likely are you to recommend our company to friends?

➡Relevance: Companies looking to gain a competitive advantage in their labor market have to pay attention to their employer brand because exceptionally skilled candidates tend to evaluate potential employers before moving ahead with the recruitment process.

Research has shown that “word-of-mouth seems to be an influential source of positive employment information in various stages of the recruitment process.”

So if your employees feel comfortable and proud to work at your company, they are more likely to publicize their company as a great place to work. This question tells you whether your employees believe in what your organization does and if they feel proud to work there.

5. Do you find meaning in your work?

➡Relevance: A study in the Harvard Business Review has shown that “more than 9 out of 10 employees are willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for greater meaning at work.”

Other empirical research has “linked meaningful work to important work outcomes such as job satisfaction, work motivation, engagement, performance, citizenship behaviors, and attachment to occupations and organizations.”

Employees need a workplace where they can apply their skills, connect to a greater purpose, and experience a strong and supportive work culture.

It’s important to check with your employees to find out what motivates them to work each day and discover ways to help them stay motivated.

Pulse survey questions based on work-life balance

Employees who lack work-life balance become susceptible to severe workplace stress, such as employee burnout.

Gallup reports that “two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job.” Also, workplace stress contributes to at least 120,000 deaths each year and between $125 to $190 billion a year in health care costs. 

Consequently, companies suffer from poor employee engagement, low productivity, and high turnover. Employers need to ensure that workers enjoy a healthy balance between their work and personal needs.

6. Do you feel our company cares about your mental and physical well-being?

➡Relevance: Ignoring employees’ mental or physical health has financial implications for companies. According to the World Health Organization, work stress can lead to physical and mental health problems, resulting in lost productivity.

The cost of illness covers the amount spent on medications, hospitalizations, emergency care, and days off from work. A pulse survey can help you know employees' physical or mental stress sources and identify how your company can support them.

7. Do you find enough time to rest and focus on your personal needs?

➡Relevance: The regular 9-to-5 work schedule is gradually becoming extinct because technology has blurred the lines between work life and personal life. We once considered evenings, weekends, and holidays as personal time.

However, work seems to have taken over personal time since companies expect employees to be available and accessible at any time.

This overlapping nature of work affects many workers and leads to a deterioration in worker health and well-being. Does your work environment promote work-life balance? Are employees happy with responding to work, even during their time?

Pulse survey questions based on diversity and inclusion

Research from Catalyst has found diversity and inclusion beneficial to individuals, organizations, teams, and society.

Among the many benefits of maximizing talent, increasing productivity, and maintaining a positive employer brand, companies with greater diversity are more innovative and get more revenue from new products and services.

We have identified two questions you should ask your employees in this category:

8. Do you feel accepted and respected in the workplace?

➡Relevance: Treating all employees with respect plays a significant role in creating a culture of inclusiveness. A diverse workplace typically consists of people with different demographic identities.

While some of those identities are visible, others aren’t. Regardless of which identities employees carry, such as gender, race, national origin, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, age, or disability, they need to feel accepted and respected.

According to Glassdoor, candidates evaluate companies and job offers for diversity. This question tells you if employees consider your workplace truly diverse and inclusive.

9. Are you comfortable contributing your opinions to our organization?

➡Relevance: Do you focus on the same faces or voices during every meeting? It could be that only the opinions of senior managers seem to matter over the rest of your team.

According to the 2018 State of the Employee Research Ideas, 82% of employees have ideas to improve their business. However, many companies fail to listen to them

Globally, only one in four employees agree that their opinions matter at work, according to Gallup. Companies need to be intentional about creating opportunities for employees to share their ideas and opinions.

You’ll notice that many of the companies with ground-breaking innovations are companies that value diversity and inclusion. For example, Apple recognizes that an inclusive and diverse workforce drives innovation and makes them stronger. This pulse survey question will help you identify and support diverse voices.

10. Do you feel our company is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace?

➡Relevance: Many companies make bold promises about diversity and inclusion, but the data and recent events show slow progress. Is your company a truly diverse and inclusive workplace?

Does everyone on your executive team look or think the same? With this pulse survey question, you’ll find out what your employees feel about your company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.

Pulse survey questions based on total rewards

Total rewards encompass an employee’s base pay, bonuses and incentives, benefits, recognition, advancement opportunities, and other perks in human resources management.

At Empuls, we believe in bringing your organizational values to life by aligning rewards with your mission and goals. It’s necessary to help your employees understand how their actions contribute to organizational growth.

We have identified four questions to help you explore how employees feel about your company’s total rewards program.

11. Do you feel appreciated for your work contributions?

12. How satisfied are you with our current employee benefits?

13. Do you have opportunities to learn and develop new skills?

14. Do you feel that our company supports your career goals?

➡Relevance: Total rewards are helpful because they help to attract, retain, and motivate talent.

According to Mercer, companies looking to optimize their total rewards program need to analyze workforce data to discover which rewards drive retention, engagement, and productivity.

Pulse survey questions based on support

Providing support to employees can help them perform at their best, feel appreciated, and be engaged at work.

15. Do you understand the duties and expectations of your role?

➡Relevance: Ideally, managers should address job duties and expectations during onboarding; however, not many companies give onboarding the priority it needs.

As a result, employees struggle to perform well in their roles. According to Gallup Q1, “clear expectations are the most basic employee need,” contributing to better employee engagement.

Employees must see how their roles connect to the entire organization or existing team projects. This pulse survey question will uncover why employees struggle or whether you need to revamp your onboarding process.

Employee pulse survey tool, Empuls

A robust employee pulse survey tool like Empuls helps organizations capture and listen to the voice of the employees. An employee pulse survey tool can help gain real-time employee feedback by accurately collecting, measuring, and acting on employee inputs. Organizations can increase employee retention by uncovering critical turnover factors, predicting behaviors, and analyzing hidden employee trends. Organizations can also monitor employee engagement levels with eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score Survey).

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Osasumwen Arigbe, PHR

Osasumwen Arigbe, PHR LinkedIn

Osasu is an HR professional and content writer. She has a Master’s degree in HRM from Georgetown University. She writes about important HR topics, and providing relevant information to her audience.