Employee Experience

How to get started with Remote + On-site Work Pulse

April 21, 2020 // 8 min read

Want to know how your workforce is coping during COVID-19? Ask them, in real-time. Here are our tips for getting started with our free Remote + On-site Work Pulse.

Many of your company’s employees have suddenly pivoted to working from home, but not everyone has shifted to remote work. Your workforce – and business model – is in flux.

Understandably, you’re worried about how your on-site and frontline employees are faring in this crisis. Likewise, employees working from home need increased, yet individual attention, too. As leaders grapple with how to support a now-distributed workforce, we want to help. Our free Remote + On-site Work Pulse enables you to understand if your employees have the support they need to succeed in this new environment – both on-site and remotely.

The tool is a simple and flexible solution; it takes just a few minutes to set up and start requesting feedback from your employees. With instant pre-configured reporting that helps you prioritize actions from insights, you can make real-time improvements to employee well-being, resources, safety, and enablement throughout this disruption.

Before diving in, check out a few of our best practices for running a successful pulse:

  • Focus on what matters for people right now. Many employees are facing new challenges and may find themselves overwhelmed with the level of change to their normal routine, including working remotely, child care needs, or feeling isolated and lonely. Focus on what matters for people right now to determine the right questions to ask in your pulse. Anything else can wait.
  • Lead with empathy. It’s critical to collect open and honest feedback from your employees in order to support them. Acknowledge that morale can go down during this challenging time and that some employees may find it more difficult to adjust to working remotely.
  • Make the pulse your own. Make sure that the tone and content of the questions are right for your organization. Consult leaders across various lines of business for their input and insights.
  • Keep the end in mind. Think about what you want to know about your workforce, and what sort of actions you’ll be able to take following the results.

Thinking through these topics ahead of creating your pulse will allow you to pinpoint relevant questions and anticipate the actions you’ll need to take after the results come back.

Here’s what else you’ll need to know to get started with Remote + On-site Work Pulse.

Choosing a Remote + On-site Work Pulse for your organization

Developed by Qualtrics IO psychology experts, the Remote + On-site Work Pulse XM Solution provides two methods for pulsing the workforce: the Quick Check-In and the Full Remote + On-site Evaluation.

Here’s how they break down:

The Quick Check-In

The Quick Check-In is a short two-question pulse to help you quickly assess workforce morale and well-being. If you are looking for a simple, quick way to assess how your employees are feeling overall, we suggest using the Quick Check-In.

Our strategy for keeping connected with volunteers during this time is simple. We send out a weekly pulse using Qualtrics, which asks three questions – how are you feeling, what is making you feel this way, and what can we do to help.

- Didier Moutia from St John Ambulance.

The Full Remote + On-site Evaluation

The Full Remote + On-site Evaluation helps you understand employee needs as they adapt to changing work environments whether remote or on-site.

The evaluation includes about 30 questions on the key topics that matter for employees right now:

  • Workforce support and balance: how employees are adapting to change and whether the right level of support is being provided to enable them to do their jobs
  • Leadership: how leaders connect with employees’ priorities and concerns
  • Communications: how informed employees feel during this time of change
  • Remote work enablement: what support your remote employees need to stay productive
  • On-site safety: what your on-site workforce needs to feel protected

Results are broken down by key demographics – such as location or teams – and between remote and on-site workforces to help identify the groups that need attention.

Tip: We recommend starting with the quick check-in as a simple, lightweight way to understand how employees are feeling in the midst of disruption. Then, follow up at a later time with the full remote + on-site evaluation to identify and prioritize areas of improvement.

Need more guidance setting up your pulse? Visit the Remote + On-site Work Pulse support page.

Establishing roles for taking action

Many organizations have created COVID-19 response teams involving experts from different functions (e.g. senior leadership, communications, HR, technology) to work together and act on people priorities. Make sure that these key stakeholders are involved in the questionnaire validation, and assign a specific owner for each of the topics included in the pulse. For instance, questions related to IT and resources need to be picked up by the IT support team, questions about PPE should be formulated by the supply chain management team, and so on.

Also, consider how to involve local managers in taking actions. Line managers can support in many ways, through establishing structured daily check-ins with their team members, structuring team communications, providing encouragement and being attentive to individuals’ concerns and personal circumstances.

Now is the time to really tap into how people are feeling and to be asking them how they need to be supported.

- Qualtrics Manager of EX Solutions Strategy Steve Bennetts.

Planning your pulse communications

Now is also the best time to think about how you’ll communicate about  – and distribute –  the pulse within your organization. Do you have a distribution list with employees’ email addresses, or will you send a link via text? Who will the request for feedback come from? Who can you tap to help get the word out?

If you’re unsure about the answers to these questions, use our quick checklist to ensure your pulse gets in the hands of every employee:

    • Establish an updated all-employee distribution list; it may include email addresses, phone numbers, or another form of electronic communication.
    • Draft a short and engaging message –  signed by the leadership team – explaining the purpose of the pulse and why each employee’s feedback is important for your organization.
    • Inform leaders and managers about the pulse, and ask them to encourage people to take time to complete it.
    • Ensure that communications are drafted and in place for all available communication channels, such as your company intranet, employee newsletter, and/or on-site posters.
    • Identify resources for employees in case they want to raise some specific concerns, e.g. links to health and benefits information, confidential helpline, etc.
    • Draft a reminder communication to send a few days after the initial invitation to boost participation.


Get started with our complimentary Remote + On-site Work Pulse solution

Anne Raeven // XM Scientist, Qualtrics

As part of the Qualtrics Scientists team, Anne advises on survey methodology and program design. Her focus is on creating scalable solutions to drive change and improve the Employee Experience. Anne has 15 years of experience in Consulting, and has been involved in large-scale business transformation programmes in various industries including energy, hospitality and manufacturing.

Yesenia Cancel // Associate Consultant - Employee Experience, Qualtrics

Yesenia is an Associate Consultant – Employee Experience for Qualtrics, supporting clients to develop customized, strategic employee listening programs designed to improve organizational outcomes. Yesenia has focused on survey design, analysis, and data storytelling throughout her career. Yesenia earned her MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida, and holds a B.S. in Psychology from Iowa State University.

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