Employee Pulse Survey Best Practices

Author Bio

Author Bio

A standard approach for pulse survey frequency

I recently returned from the HCI 2018 Employee Engagement conference. Confirmit has been participating in HCI’s employee engagement event for 5 years now, and as usual, HCI put on a great event with lots of topical content. Two sessions struck me in particular… in this post (which is the first of two) I wanted to focus on the PwC panel, where various people at PwC focused not on their consulting services for engagement, but rather their own internal employee engagement program.

Moderated by Jeffrey Jolton, Director, People Analytics, PwC, the panel included people who are “responsible for the engagement program” (Kristen Kraus, Director, Global Human Capital, PwC), as well as consumers of HR’s engagement efforts.

PwC recently decided to reinvent their engagement efforts, particularly with respect to pulse surveys and more real-time insights. They looked at every model in the industry. Some are doing surveys every day, others monthly, and some yearly. Some organizations are empowering managers to do their own pulse surveying in their teams, and others keep it centralized.

Kristen made a bold statement – there simply is NO standard. Don’t worry about copying Amazon, Google and Facebook. “Best practice” and what’s best is unique to each organization. You need to look at what your challenges are, and build from there.

I perked up when I heard this, because it echoes precisely what we advise our clients. There are things you can learn from other organizations, but the right approach for pulse surveys depends on a number of factors, including how data-driven the organization is in general and how quickly you can make change happen. In addition, attitudes of openness and willingness to share amongst employees can be critical, among many other considerations.

Taking this into account will help you decide on the right cadence of surveying, centralized vs. decentralized approaches, and governance rules to put in place. In fact, we illustrate them in three modes which you can see below.


There is no “right” mode to select, though across our clients and in the industry it is great to see a most companies begin to think more about empowering their teams with truly relevant insights for action.

In the next blog, I’ll report back on some great tips and tricks from another highlight of the HCI event. In the meantime, though, feel free to check out our Pulse Solution to learn more.