You are well aware of that time of the year when HR sends out an annual employee satisfaction survey. As an engaged employee, this is your time to share your opinions and shape the company. But don’t miss the train, or you will have to wait a whole year for the next survey. 

And what happens once the survey responses have been collected? Analysis time:

Team Lead X: 

“I can see that my team’s results are not that great, but it is most likely because customer’s systems were down and all team members were very busy and a bit stressed at the time of the survey.”

Team Lead Y: 

“It looks like my team is super satisfied, energetic, and happy - maybe because we just had a fun after-work last week.” 

Assumptions and speculations like this, about the timing of the survey, will always bias your analysis. Because there will never be a perfect time for all, to conduct the survey. I am an experienced HR professional, and I am 100% sure that I have made some wrong assumptions, too. 

So could there be a more reliable and frequent way to get the info of how our people are? A way to continuously see the impact of various activities, and to see trends over time? 

And to provide an easily accessible and modern way for employees to give feedback at any given time wouldn’t harm either ;) 

Pulse surveys keep your finger on the pulse

Pulse surveys are brief and regular feedback surveys. The extreme example would be one of those customer satisfaction surveys where you can press an emoji button as you exit a shop. The pulse survey we talk about in this blog post is a kind of check-in on the important topics in the workplace, such as the atmosphere, well-being, and collaboration.  

Pulse surveys had been on my mind for a long time. But at the same time I wrestled with the following though (as do most people, I would assume):

“But isn’t it a lot of extra work for employees to reply to continuous surveys and for team leads to analyze them?”

For too long, this doubt outweighed my courage to change - to just try it and see what happens. We are a modern tech company after all, and in those you test things. But I was afraid of causing extra work both for employees and for team leads. 

Making the switch

Like the rest of the world, we at Eficode also faced unprecedented times in 2020, with lockdowns and restrictions. Suddenly all managers wanted to have more continuous information about how our people feel and how we could support each other even better. What finally encouraged us to take the leap was merger. 

We merged with a fantastic Swedish company - Riada AB - who had already used pulse surveys for some time, with great results. 

And at the end of the day, one of our corporate values at Eficode is “we learn everyday”. We always encourage openness and transparency internally, and with our clients and partners, who we also teach the Agile and DevOps principles. So why wouldn’t we then want to apply continuous improvement and continuous development in our own People Operations’ work, too? 

The results are (always) in

The pulse survey platform we opted for is OfficeVibe, and we have now used it for 5 months. Team leads have gained invaluable insight into their teams’ successes and pain points. As a result, we have started well-informed improvement projects, and there are more to come. 

We can clearly conclude that our greatest strengths lay in good “relationships with the manager” and “relationships with colleagues”, and our biggest areas of improvement are currently feedback (how to get more valid feedback in our consultancy work) and recognition. We confidently work on this at full speed, with concrete action plans at all levels of the organization! 

PS: You can start by implementing relaxed pulse surveys with your closest ones: just ask “How are you?” more than once a year ;)

Published: May 27, 2022