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What to look for in a pulse survey provider

3 min read
Looking to get started with pulse surveys? Here’s what to watch out for in a provider to make sure you’re getting value out of this initiative

For your pulse program to be successful, you need to be able to include the right mix of items, adapt them to your company priorities, accurately report on results to the right stakeholders and use them to inform decisions.

To do that, it’s essential you have certain features and functionality at your fingertips. Here’s our guide to what you need.

Must haves

Longitudinal tracking

This may seem obvious, but it’s essential that your provider can show an item or theme’s tracking and scores in a report or dashboard from one time period to the next.

Real time data

This is particularly essential if you run a monthly pulse, potentially less so if you run one quarterly. The effectiveness of your pulse survey will be impacted if you cannot view the results immediately and establish an ongoing reporting and survey rhythm.

Easy administration and tying data together

A time-consuming part of administering a pulse program has traditionally been stitching together all the items and teams at different time periods using Excel or PowerPoint. Software that can do this for you (i.e. show tracking for a number of different teams as well as the organisation as a whole) makes pulse an easy and sustainable part of your employee experience program.

Anonymity thresholds

The ability to maintain confidentiality and trust in employee-facing surveys is critical – people are more inclined to fill in surveys when anonymity is guaranteed. Ask your survey provider if they can provide anonymity thresholds and suppress personally identifiable information to ensure that the leaders viewing dashboards are not able to identify individual responses.

Good to have

Operational data

It’s essential to have a purpose to any pulse program you put in place, and perhaps a business metric you are hoping to influence through employee feedback.

Find out more: Questions to ask before starting your pulse program

Integrating the appropriate business data (eg. revenue, employee performance, customer satisfaction) into your results dashboards will allow you to link your longitudinal pulse feedback with your longitudinal business metric. In time, you will understand how your employee programs are impacting the metrics that matter most to the organisation.

Integration with your HRIS platform

Integrating your own people data into your survey platform saves a lot of time by automating the employee update process. Joiner, mover and leaver data can be automatically updated and stitched together, without the need for manually re-importing a new employee list for each time period.

Advanced statistical analysis

As you run more and more pulse waves over time, you will collect a large number of feedback data over a number of dimensions. You will also be able to introduce a time element into these dimensions. In order to be able to draw valuable conclusions from all of these data points, you will likely need an advanced statistical analysis package.

Even if you have a statistician in-house or are comfortable using a statistics software such as SPSS, look for a provider that offers a statistics package as part of the solution. It should be possible to easily perform detailed statistical or text analysis for anyone in the organisation.

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