Remote work makes it challenging for leaders to understand and support their employees.
Lack of communication is the first challenge for remote teams to build and maintain a strong company culture. The most important obstacle for managers is seeing and understanding how their direct reports feel.
In this strange and scary time, most companies have been forced to shift to remote work to stay safe. And as employers, we are wondering if employees working from home can work productively.
Are they still aligned with the company objectives? Do they know what is expected of them? How can we support them properly? This lack of clarity can affect the progress of your employees, and you can even lose your best employees.
But, don’t worry! You can prevent all of this with Remote Employee Pulse Surveys. At Happierco, we’ve found that the key to building strong relationships is asking the right questions. By conducting pulse surveys regularly, you will improve your team culture, solve problems before they happen, and maintain your employees happy.
Whether you’re shifting to remote work or have been distributed from the start, this guide is for you. We’ll share a series of questions to help you create highly engaged and productive remote teams. But first, let’s dig deeper and explain why you should implement pulse surveys.
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What are Remote Employee Pulse Surveys?
An employee pulse surveys is a simple survey system that is sent to employees frequently throughout the year for feedback. It replaces traditional surveys and is designed to be launched weekly or every few weeks. It gives the pulse of a company’s health.
For remote work, the survey can focus on communication, happiness, relationships, employee satisfaction, and overall engagement. The purpose of these surveys is to keep a short format (3 to 15 questions) and not overwhelm the participants. With valuable insights, you can react to employee feedback if something is not going well before it gets worse.
It will help managers in your remote teams stay connected with their direct reports, regardless of their locations, and ensure that they achieve their goals.
6 Benefits of Employee Pulse Surveys
1. Improve employee engagement
Remote employee pulse surveys improve employee engagement.
It is more complicated to keep individuals and teams engaged when working from home. There are plenty of things that can disconnect them from what’s going on in the business. Therefore, asking your team for feedback regularly increases employee engagement.
Having engaged employees provide huge benefits for your business:
- Productivity: Engaged employees are more productive and motivated to succeed faster. They tend to have higher profitability rates.
- Relationship with customers: Engaged employees increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Innovation: Thanks to their passion, the work of engaged employees leads to higher levels of innovation.
- Employee retention: When employees are engaged and satisfied, they are more likely to stay at the company.
However, you must take action based on their feedback; otherwise, you may cause the opposite effect to the desired one.
2. Improve company culture
How can you build and maintain a culture when your teammates are working from home?
In an unhealthy company culture, employees will act individually and perform their duties only to meet their needs (paycheck, health benefits). Pulse surveys can help you maintain and even grow your company culture, no matter where your teammates are.
So, a healthy and positive corporate culture is created where companies regularly ask for feedback from their employees and work to increase their engagement. It helps you prevent your best talents from leaving you for a company with a better culture.
3. Improve employee relations
Also, one of the most difficult aspects of working from home is nurturing the relationship between management and workers. By asking for employee feedback, workers feel more comfortable speaking and feeling closer to management.
Pulse surveys for remote teams are also a way to encourage direct conversations about improving morale and culture.
4. Remind that management values employee feedback
Thanks to remote employee pulse surveys, employees feel that their manager cares about them.
If you can read the minds of your employees, you might be amazed at what you find out about your business. Because, if they don’t feel like you want to listen to them, it can lower their productivity and engagement, and they may even leave your company.
By sending frequent pulse surveys to everyone in your business, you let them know that their opinion is important. They value leaders who ask for feedback. Therefore, it improves their relationships, morale, and happiness.
5. Quick completion time and higher response rates
Unlike annual surveys, these surveys are short, simple, and don’t take long to complete. This allows employees to give honest feedback quickly. Managers will receive feedback in real-time on the team’s health and take the right action.
Since pulse surveys are shorter, employee response rates are higher than traditional alternatives. It’s easier for an employee working away from the office to complete a brief survey, especially if they understand that the goal is to help them overcome their obstacles.
You need to communicate the goals, time length, and benefits of these surveys.
6. Provide meaningful insights in real-time
Remote employees face different types of problems than those who work in an office. And if you don’t ask, you won’t even notice anything and take action. Based on responses from regular pulse surveys, you can understand what motivates your employees and make faster, more informed decisions.
Armed with these insights, leaders can:
- re-calibrate actions, resources, and priorities to achieve peak performance;
- focus their attention on areas of the business that may require additional training or support;
- address problems and invite employee involvement in real-time.
How to get the most out of remote employee pulse surveys?
What questions should you ask? How often should you ask them? How can you detect over time the impact of morale and satisfaction on your employees? What actions should you take? All above are critical and sensitive questions.
Here are some tips to consider before using continuous feedback:
1. Communicate the purpose of the surveys to your team
There needs to be clear communication with all your employees about the purpose of the pulse surveys. If they don’t understand the goal, the response rate will be low. Because the polls can go in many directions, it is crucial that you make the goal as clear as possible.
For example, if you’re doing it because of a crisis affecting your business and want to keep your team closed, let them know. Don’t forget to show them what will be the benefits of the surveys.
2. Create or find the right questions
Once you’ve set your goals, it becomes easier to create or find the right questions.
The responses you receive should be meaningful and aligned with the objectives of the pulse survey. For example, if you are trying to learn how relationships are between managers and employees, asking general questions about administration will be useless.
You also have to think about mixing the different styles of survey questions. Employees can get bored by receiving the same question styles, and it can affect the response rates. Here are some example of question styles:
- Multichoice questions: The participant is asked to choose one or more items from a limited list of choices. It can help you have fast processing times.
- Open-ended questions: The participant can express what is their opinion. It’s ideal for qualitative rather than quantitative information.
- 1-10 scale questions: The participant is presented with a statement/question and is asked their level of agreement with the statement by selecting a point on the scale. It’s easy to read and complete.
- Boolean questions: The participant should choose their answer between two propositions (a positive and a negative). It helps you understand quickly what position the participants have about the question.
Make your surveys fun, and your employees will respond to them without being overwhelmed.
3. Determine the appropriate length and cadence for your survey
The reason why remote employee pulse surveys work is that they are short.
People are more likely to complete a shorter survey because it takes less time. Especially when you are addressing remote employees, your survey should not exceed 10 questions.
Depending on your goals and desired results, the appropriate number of questions may vary. This might also depend on the cadence of the survey. If that makes sense for your business, you can check out your company’s pulse every week.
By regularly collecting data you will know the current state of your employees. But you can also choose to launch your surveys bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
4. Analyze data, share results and act quickly
There is no point in running a pulse survey if you’re not taking action.
Why would your employees take the time to respond to polls if they didn’t notice any real changes? You risk fueling your employees’ mistrust, and they’ll suffer from survey fatigue when conducting check-ins.
Before taking action, consider the survey response rate. If you want to make critical decisions using survey data, make sure the response rate is the majority. Afterward, decide with managers and leaders which changes to make now and which ones to save for later. If you want to go deep, you can learn how Google uses people analytics to create a great workplace.
Examples of Employee Pulse Survey Questions for remote teams
At Happierco, we worked with experts to produce questions adapted to remote teams.
So we want to share it with you to help you create highly engaged and productive remote teams. These questions are easily exploitable, dynamic, and oriented towards the well-being of your employees.
They are grouped into important themes focused on the experience of the employees.
Employees, no matter where they work, want to feel they have the opportunity to grow and have a better impact on your business. Capture the level of autonomy they have, whether or not they’re improving their skills and whether they believe in the bigger purpose of their role.
- At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- I am appropriately involved in decisions that affect my work. 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- Is there someone at work who encourages your development? Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied are you with the level of autonomy you have at work? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- If you were in charge of the company, what’s the first thing you would work on? Open-ended question
As you work remotely, you can access the best talent from around the world. Measure the level of employee pride in the organization and whether they would recommend it to others.
- Hypothetically, if you were to quit tomorrow, what would your reason be? Open-ended question
- When you say what organization you work for, how do you feel? Open-ended question
- On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to recommend your organization as a good place to work? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- Do you feel that we are truly dedicated to customer satisfaction? Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
Lack of recognition is the first reason why employees can feel unmotivated. Since you don’t work in the same environment, the last thing you want is not to know that your employees are not motivated. Track the quality and frequency of recognition they receive.
- In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work? Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- Is recognition meaningful when you receive it? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- How would you rate the frequency at which you receive recognition? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- I am happy with how frequently I am recognized. 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
Companies are making considerable efforts to communicate effectively with remote employees. Evaluate the quality and frequency of feedback employees receive, as well as their opinions and suggestions.
- At work, do your opinions seem to count? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- Which of the following best describes the amount of feedback you typically get regarding your work? Multichoice questions: (1- Not at all, 2- Not so much, 3- A little, 4- Always)
- I feel like I can voice my opinion regarding my organization. Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- Employees are encouraged to be innovative even though some initiatives may not succeed. 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- On a scale from 1-10, how valuable is the feedback you receive? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
Relationship with peers
Employees that develop close relationships with colleagues have a good mood and are more productive. Diagnose the trust, communication, and collaboration of your employees with their peers.
- Do you have a best friend at work? Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- I feel like I am part of a team. Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- My peers welcome opinions different from their own. 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied are you with the frequency at which you communicate with your peers at work? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- Do you respect the people you work with? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
Relationship with manager
Some managers may find it challenging to manage their team due to little experience in remote work. With these questions, quickly identify which managers need additional support.
- Does your supervisor seem to care about you as a person? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- My direct manager is someone I can trust. 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied are you with how frequently you communicate with your direct manager? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- The last time you accomplished a big project, did you receive any recognition from your manager? Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- Do you feel that your supervisor is a skilled problem solver? Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
Because you don’t work in the same environment as your remote employees, it is vital to make sure that they don’t feel isolated. Maintain a high level of happiness at work and satisfaction with their work-life balance.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you at work? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- Most days I feel a sense of accomplishment from what I do. 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- I feel that I can maintain a healthy balance between work and my personal life.Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- I feel supported in my workplace when I am dealing with personal or family issues. Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
Understanding your employees’ stress levels and how they perceive your organization’s efforts to support them can help you refine your communication, actions, and programs.
- My organization offers the support I need to deal with work-related stress. 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- Someone would say or do something helpful if I looked stressed at work. Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate your organization’s actions to promote employee wellness (resources, programs, etc.)? 1-10 scale questions: (1=Never, 10=Always)
- Is your workplace environment comfortable? Boolean questions: (negative=No, positive=Yes)
- Overall, how do you feel about your level of work-related stress? Open-ended question
In conclusion, it’s possible to keep a remote team aligned and connected. Employee pulse surveys are a simple system that will allow organizations to receive regular feedback from employees.
It provides huge benefits, it:
- improves employee engagement (productivity, relationship with customers, innovation, retention)
- reminds that management values employee feedback
- improves company culture
- provides meaningful insights in real-time
- improves employee relations
Knowing how everyone feels and making sure they stay motivated and productive depends on how we get the most out of the check-ins.
- Firstly you have to communicate the purpose of the surveys to your team,
- Secondly, create or find the right questions according to the goal,
- Thirdly, determine the appropriate length and cadence for your survey,
- And finally, analyze data share results, and act quickly.
The questions you’ll ask your employees should correspond to the objectives of the surveys and should be frequent. And they must be easy to use, dynamic, and oriented towards the well-being of your employees.
The coronavirus has accelerated trends that were already underway. Many companies were looking for ways to cut expenses and work remotely. If you are, you should definitely think of a tool that will make your team happy and productive.
Use a tool that will keep your remote team connected and engaged. With Happierco, you can easily check and improve the pulse of your organization but also take action and improve employee engagement. The questions above are part of the 100+ questions in the Happierco database available to our beloved customers.