Employee engagement pulse survey questions can provide excellent insight into staff sentiment. By analyzing data trends, HR teams and managers can get a good overview of how their workforce perceive the company and the existing labor conditions.

The key to getting actionable responses is to ensure you ask the right queries. What are good employee engagement questions will of course vary from business to business, but if you’re at a loss for where to start, here’s a list of some of the most useful sample pulse survey questions.

1. What Is an Employee Pulse Survey?

Staff pulse surveys are short questionnaires sent out to employees on a regular basis. This could mean quarterly, monthly or even weekly pulse survey questions. They usually track particular data points over time, so you can analyze any changes in attitudes. In other words, they take the pulse of an organization’s workforce. 

It’s possible to utilize closed-ended or open-ended pulse survey questions. For example, a closed-ended query might ask individuals to rate something on a scale of 1 to 5. An open-ended query, on the other hand, would ask participants to describe something in their own words, such as their favorite things about the company.

Pulse surveys don’t necessarily take the form of questions. They can also pose a statement, then ask how strongly a person agrees with that statement. 

2. What Are the Benefits of a Pulse Survey?

The benefits of employee engagement pulse survey questions can be divided into two broad areas. The first is related to company performance. Understanding how staff feel about things like their compensation or career development can help businesses identify mechanisms to increase contentment and wellbeing. These in turn are associated with higher levels of productivity and lower levels of absenteeism or turnover. Answers gathered through pulse surveys can help an employer nurture the perception of its brand and turn individuals into company ambassadors.

While there are other ways to gather data on staff sentiment, few are as effective as employee engagement pulse survey questions. This is the second major benefit of the format. Because pulse surveys are short, easy to complete and can be anonymized, they encourage higher response rates and franker answers. The frequency of their delivery also allows for more real-time workforce updates than annual or even biannual questionnaires.

3. What Are Examples of Employee Engagement Pulse Survey Questions?

3.1 Work-life Balance

The concept of work-life balance has been gaining traction for several years, but Covid has elevated its importance to whole new levels. In fact, 2022 research by workplace pensions provider Aviva found that work-life balance is now more important to employees than salary, upending the pre-pandemic status quo. As such, companies can’t afford not to monitor it.

Sample pulse questions:

1. How would you rate your work-life balance on a scale of 1 to 10?

2. How often do you take work home/work overtime?

3. Are you usually able to fulfill your work tasks within regular office hours? (Yes/No)

4. How strongly do you agree that your professional life and personal life are in equilibrium? (Strongly agree/Agree/Neutral/Disagree/Strongly disagree)

3.2 Employee Experience

Getting feedback on the employee lifecycle can help you identify the strong and weak points of your staff journey. You might discover that your interview process is widely applauded, but that the subsequent onboarding leaves something to be desired. 

Sample pulse questions:

1. How accurate was the information provided about the job position in the ad you saw? (Very accurate/Mostly accurate/Neutral/Mostly Inaccurate/Very Inaccurate)

2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how smooth did you find the onboarding process?

3. Did you feel that communication during the recruitment process was professional and timely? (Yes/No)

4. Are there any areas of your role that you feel were not clearly explained during the hiring stage?

3.3 Leadership

Pollsters Gallup estimate that 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units is down to how good or bad a manager is. In other words, good bosses have an enormous impact on how well staff perform. Pulse survey questions on leadership can ensure those with leadership roles in an organization have sufficient training to properly motivate and support their team.

H4 Sample pulse questions:

1. Does your manager offer a strong support system? (Yes/No)

2. Do you feel that your manager is transparent and fair with the decisions they make? (Yes/No)

3. Are there any aspects of your manager’s leadership style that could be improved? 

4. How strongly do you agree that your manager gives you opportunities to grow and develop? (Strongly agree/Agree/Neutral/Disagree/Strongly disagree)

3.4 Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are all about creating more open, equitable workplaces that draw from different ethnicities, genders and age groups. Proactive D&I policies not only create a positive brand image, but they have also been linked to increased innovation

Sample Pulse Questions

1. Do you feel the office is a diverse working environment? (Yes/No)

2. On a scale of 1 to 5, how much of a priority do you think diversity and inclusion is at this company? 

3. Have you ever experienced discrimination in the workplace based on your gender or race? (Yes/No)

4. Do you have any ideas for ways to make the workplace more inclusive?

3.5 Compensation and Benefits

Pulse surveys for employee engagement can’t ignore the weight still given to compensation and benefits when it comes to job satisfaction. The question often is, which is more important? According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, 80% of employees would choose benefits over a pay rise, but the only way you’ll know if that’s true for your specific company is to ask your staff their opinion.

Sample pulse questions:

1. How well do you feel your salary reflects your contribution to the company? (Very well/Reasonably well/Neutral/Reasonably poorly/Very poorly)

2. Given the choice, would you opt for better benefits or better pay?

3. Do you think the existing bonus structure is fair and equitable? (Yes/No)

4. Are there any additional benefits you would like to see made available to staff?

3.6 Flexibility

From remote working to job sharing, flexibility in one’s role is increasingly becoming normalized all over the world. In fact, the UK has recently mooted new legislation designed to promote flexible working, in order to bolster employment. For staff, knowing they have the option to work split shifts or even part time is a huge perk.

Sample pulse questions:

1. How many days a week do you currently work from home? (0/1-2/3-4/5)

2. Do you feel comfortable asking your manager for paid leave? (Yes/No)

3. Are you aware that flex time is offered by the company? (Yes/No)

4. On a scale of 1 to 5, how well do you think the company handles flexible working arrangements?

3.7 Career Development

Employee engagement pulse survey questions around career development aim to discover whether staff are being offered opportunities to learn and advance. The allure of L&D programs as well as chances for promotion can help attract and retain top talent.

Sample pulse questions:

1. How confident are you that there are opportunities for you to advance your career at this company? (Very confident/Confident/Neutral/Unconfident/Very unconfident)

2. Has your manager discussed and offered advice on how you can achieve your career goals?

3. How would you rate the availability of training and courses at this company on a scale of 1 to 10?

4. Do you feel you are gaining valuable experience and insight in your current role that will stand you in good stead in the future? (Yes/No)

3.8 Workplace Recognition

Approximately 82% of people consider recognition an important part of office happiness. Your company may have a comprehensive rewards strategy in place, but employee engagement pulse survey questions can reveal whether it is actually effective or not.

Sample pulse questions:

1. In your opinion, is there a robust framework in place to recognize employee contributions?

2. How frequently are you complimented or rewarded for doing a good job? (Very frequently/Frequently/Neutral/Infrequently/Very infrequently)

3. What do you feel is more impactful, managerial recognition or peer recognition?

4. Do you have any suggestions for ways the company’s recognition program could be adapted or improved?

3.9 Health and Wellness

During the height of the pandemic, individuals were resigning in droves – often due to a perceived lack of support from companies for their mental health. This spike in turnover demonstrated that if organizations want to keep their staff, then they need to invest in wellbeing initiatives. 

Sample pulse questions:

1. Do you feel the company treats your health and wellbeing as a top priority? (Yes/No)

2. How satisfied are you with the provisions the company has made towards promoting wellness in the workplace? (Very satisfied/Fairly satisfied/Neutral/Fairly unsatisfied/Very unsatisfied)

3. Do you currently participate in any of the wellness initiatives the company offers? (Yes/No)

4. Are there any suggestions you would like to make for ways the company could contribute more to staff wellbeing?

3.10 Internal Communications

Ensuring people are kept in the loop is one way to increase engagement and make staff feel more like stakeholders in a business. Especially with the rise of hybrid working, ensuring everyone is on the same page helps to create a sense of unity.

Sample pulse questions:

1. How would you rate the internal communications of the company on a scale of 1 to 5?

2. Would you say you usually know what’s going on in other departments around the company? (Yes/No)

3. Are you more likely to hear about company news from the office newsletter, social media or through word of mouth?

4. Do you think you would benefit from more regular communications regarding developments at the company? (Yes/No) 

3.11 New Recruits

Hiring new people is a resource-intense process. You need to make sure that the workflow for welcoming new recruits is as painless as possible for everyone concerned. A good first impression can save HR departments huge headaches down the line.

Sample pulse questions:

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, how easy have you found it settling into your new role?

2. Do you feel you were given enough support by HR and your team during your first few weeks? (Yes/No)

3. Was there anything missing from the onboarding process that you think future new staff could benefit from? (Please specify)

4. How closely have your expectations of the role matched up with the reality? (Very closely/Fairly closely/Neutral/Fairly different/Very different)

3.12 Work Culture

Does your company have a reputation as a good employer? If so, it will be a lot easier to get top-tier talent through the doors. Building a strong work culture is a gradual process, but employee engagement pulse survey questions can provide a directional steer.

Sample pulse questions:

1. How strongly do you identify with the company’s mission? (Very strongly/Strongly/Neutral/Weakly/Very weakly)

2. Based on your experience here, would you recommend working at the company to friends and/or acquaintances? (Yes/No)

3. Which of the company’s core goals are most important to you?

4. Would you say that there’s a strong sense of teamwork at this company? 

4. FAQs

  • How Long Does an Employee Have to Answer a Pulse Survey?

Some organizations implement a deadline for answering employee engagement pulse survey questions. This is done to ensure all the data can be gathered in and analyzed as quickly as possible. Generally, however, the goal is to make your pulse survey so quick and painless – just 5 minutes, 10 minutes tops – that you shouldn’t need to set a strict timeline to get responses. 

  • How Many Questions Should a Pulse Survey Have?

Between 5 and 15 inquiries is the norm, according to employee pulse survey best practices. If your pulse surveys are weekly, they should definitely lean towards the shorter side, whereas if they are quarterly, you can probably afford to make them longer without diminishing the quality of feedback.

  • What are the 5 Types of Survey Questions?

While there are many different types of queries, most pulse survey questions 2022 fall into 1 of 5 categories: open-ended, multiple choice, ordinal (e.g., on a scale of 1 to 5), interval (e.g., Agree/Neutral/Disagree) or ratio (e.g., 3 times or less/4 to 7 times/8 times or more).