One Step You Can Take To Make Employees Happy

Danielle Beurteaux

Birchbox does them. So does Quirky. They’re joining companies across the country that use quick “pulse” employee surveys to uncover their workers’ thoughts, wants, and needs.Businesspeople --- Image by © Randy Faris/Corbis

Employee surveys can be a tough job. It can take a long time to put them together, distribute them, then get employees to actually complete them and collate the results. This new trend uses survey apps that are quick—often just a few questions instead of a booklet’s worth—anonymous, and easy to do with a few taps and clicks.

Does this mean the traditional employee survey is about to change for good?

Companies like Niko Niko, Know Your Company, Culture Amp, and 6Q all offer versions of “pulse” surveys. TINYpulse gets to the point, stating “Reduce Employee Turnover by 72 %” on its website. The company also provides a selection of pre-written questions. 6Q offers “virtual high-fives” in its six-minute surveys of six questions, a feature that lets employees nominate co-workers for a job well done.

Know Your Company promises customers that they’ll “achieve three outcomes every single week”—how employees feel about the company, what they’re doing, and a little about each as a human. Niko Niko adds a dollop of cute, compiling survey data into colorful happy-face mood graphs.

The psychology of feedback

Studies have shown that employee surveys, done properly, have positive results for leadership and workplace commitment.

Quirky uses them every week. Some of these surveys are as brief as a single question once a week, but asking employees to provide a constant stream of feedback, even if it’s short and sweet, might eventually begin to seem like extra work. How much is too much? Gallup suggests limitng longer, more comprehensive surveys to once or twice a year and using intermittent “pulse” surveys through the year as a sort of spot-check.

Once you have the results, then what?

With any survey, keeping employees’ trust means being transparent with results and acting on them. Weekly surveys, for instance, require weekly follow-up—a schedule that for some companies might be a bit of a stretch.

For more employee empowerment strategies, see How to Build Employee Loyalty for Life.

Danielle Beurteaux

About Danielle Beurteaux

Danielle Beurteaux is a New York–based writer who covers business, technology, and philanthropy. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and on Popular Mechanics, CNN, and Institutional Investor's Alpha, among other outlets.