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How Adidas uses employee pulse surveys

3 min read
When adidas’ Director of People Analytics, Stefan Hierl was asked to re-launch the company’s 90-question annual engagement survey, he looked to their approach to customer feedback to devise a new way for the organisation to gather and act on employee feedback.

Speaking at Converge Europe 2017, Stefan explained how his heart sank when he looked at adidas’ engagement survey. When it came to employees, their approach was unwieldy and with a large, catch-all engagement survey, it was almost impossible to deliver on everything.

When it came to customer feedback however, adidas was much more agile and sophisticated. So he took the same approach to their employee feedback program through regular pulse surveys.

Pulse surveys at adidas

Adidas’ pulse surveys run monthly, and contain about 7-8 questions.

To measure Engagement, they use a single-item-measure of Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) – ‘On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend this company to others?’, mirroring the Customer NPS metric already embedded in their business. This enabled them to deliver leaders a metric they already understood and knew how to interpret.

The People Pulse

Adidas’s People Pulse operates on a six-month rotation, with pulses being launched each month. eNPS is measured every month, and focus topics derived from the company leadership culture (collaboration, confidence, creativity) are added on rotation, as well as a handful of other business priorities. They also give different business units the opportunity to ask their own questions every six months.

From the employee point of view, it only takes a few minutes to complete, and it feels on brand too, with a look and feel in keeping with the communications adidas sends to customers.

As well as the NPS rating, there is open-text feedback for respondents to provide qualitative insights, allowing the team at adidas to identify key trends and topics which otherwise might not have been picked up.

Topic analysis automatically distills these comments into themes which are reported back on the leader dashboards.

See how you can find insights hidden in open text responses

A measurement tool

The People Pulse can be used as a critical measure of ‘soft’ topics in the organisation. It’s all very well, says Hierl, to stand on a stage, presenting the company’s culture and leadership, but ‘you also need to start measuring – are you getting there, are you really improving?’.

Pulse surveys provide this measurement – ultimately toward the aim that happy, engaged employees give great customer experience, and the leadership values adidas is embedding to get there.

Watch Stefan’s Full Presentation

eBook: How to Launch Your Employee Pulse Program