3 tips for making great internal comms pulse surveys

3 tips for making great internal comms pulse surveys

July 5, 2016

If you’re not measuring your internal communications, then you can’t determine if what you’re doing is working and – more importantly – how to improve it.

Given the resources that are typically allocated to internal comms, measuring it can often seem like an extremely daunting prospect. But it doesn’t need to be.

Jane Revell, Head of IC Strategy at Headlines, shares her top three tips for success:

Make it easy for colleagues

An easy way of obtaining quick, measurable and actionable feedback is to send out a short online survey to employees. Pulse surveys are ideal for “simple, instant and accurate feedback”.

There are loads of great options available to IC professionals to make simple online surveys, fast.

Services like Google Forms and SurveyMonkey let you set up great-looking forms extremely quickly and – importantly – for free.

But making sure that any survey you ask colleagues to complete is simple and painless for them is absolutely critical.

Jane said: “It’s very important to steer clear of using jargon in any surveys. It’s a sure-fire way of putting off colleagues. Use clear, easy-to-understand vocabulary that is straight to the point – any ambiguity can undermine your results.”

Before sending your survey out to the workforce, it is worth testing it with colleagues.

“Make sure employees understand what they are being asked – and why – and that it works easily on different devices, including desktop, mobile and tablet.”

Make it easy for yourself

“It’s really important that you understand the purpose of asking for employee views and know how you will use any feedback that you receive from these kind of quick pulse surveys before you design the form”, Jane said.

“Having a clear idea of how results will be analysed will also inform how you design your pulse survey. For example, whether you use multiple-choice questions rather than open questions.

“Analysing results of closed questions, like rating scales or multiple choice, is quick, simple, and makes for easy bench-marking and reviewing trends.

“The important point here is to make it as easy as possible for yourself. That way you can act on the pulse survey results quickly.”

Don’t be too ambitious with the scope of the feedback

It can be tempting to get greedy and include a lot of questions on a wide range of topics, but Jane warns against this.

She said: “A few well-crafted questions is preferable to hundreds of poorly constructed questions.

“Having a tight focus to the questions not only ensures that colleagues will be more inclined to fill out the pulse survey open and honestly, it also helps you evaluate the responses.”

Jane also cautions against overusing pulse surveys.

She added: “They shouldn’t be sent out all the time, otherwise colleagues end up resenting them and won’t fill them out with the level of detail and thought that you want.”

“Overall, pulse surveys using online forms are a great way for IC professionals to quickly gauge colleagues’ feelings on a specific subject. Just be careful not to fall into any of the common pitfalls – purpose and preparation is key.”