Benefits of Pulse Surveys for Remote and Distributed Teams

Jeffrey Fermin
June 1, 2022

Companies are increasingly going virtual and for good reason. Remote teams have been shown to be more productive and engaged than their in-office counterparts. Even so, the manager of a distributed team—particularly one that's just beginning to go virtual—may worry about how to maintain visibility into team dynamics.

After all, it can be difficult to keep track of the pulse of your team when you aren't in the same room as them every day. That's why pulse surveys have become increasingly popular among distributed team managers.

What are pulse surveys?

Pulse Surveys are a way to get feedback from employees. They're a lightweight way to get feedback from employees who aren't in the office, and they're an ideal way to get feedback from your remote teams that won't take up too much of their time or energy.

The benefits of employee pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are the perfect way to gather feedback from distributed teams. They're an easy and effective way to get a pulse on how your team is doing, and how you can improve their work experience.

Employee pulse surveys can be used for a variety of purposes:

  • To improve employee satisfaction and morale
  • To identify problem areas in the workplace and take corrective action
  • To foster better communication between team members

Benefits of employee surveys for all types of teams

Employee pulse surveys are a great way to improve the satisfaction and engagement of your entire team, as well as increase their overall productivity. They're also an effective tool for measuring employee motivation levels, which can help you identify issues that may be affecting your team's productivity.

  • Employee engagement: Employee pulse surveys help managers understand how engaged their employees are with both their work and the company overall. You can use this information to pinpoint areas where improvement is needed, then create actionable plans for addressing those issues.
  • Employee satisfaction: Employee pulse surveys allow leaders to get a better sense of how satisfied employees are with various aspects of the workplace environment—from pay rate and benefits packages down to more granular concerns like office layout or table etiquette in meetings. This kind of data gives leaders insights into what needs changing within teams so they can provide improvements where necessary without wasting time on changes that aren't necessary (or even desirable) based on employee feedback alone.
  • Employee retention: As discussed above, many businesses struggle with retaining good talent due largely in part because they haven't been able to identify which factors play into why some employees leave while others stay despite similar circumstances such as salary levels between jobs being similar enough not warranting change when switching positions within companies themselves.

Why pulse surveys benefit distributed or remote teams

Pulse surveys are an effective means of gauging the pulse of your remote team. As a distributed team, you will benefit from knowing what your colleagues think about the project and its direction.

Remote teams don't have the benefit of face-to-face interactions as much as their onsite counterparts. This makes it difficult for them to communicate effectively with one another, especially when there's a lack of trust among colleagues that prevents them from being open and honest about their feelings and concerns.

An anonymous pulse survey allows everyone in the company to share their thoughts without fear of judgment or retaliation from others in the company who may disagree with them on various issues related to work-life balance or office politics.

This type of survey also allows for more honest feedback since people are less likely to share their true feelings when they're face-to-face with someone. This makes it an ideal way to get feedback from employees who may be afraid to speak up about certain issues for fear of retribution.

Pulse surveys offer many benefits for businesses with distributed teams. They allow for more honest and open communication among colleagues, help identify areas where improvement is needed, and foster better overall employee satisfaction. If you're looking for a way to improve the engagement and productivity of your remote team, consider using pulse surveys as part of your strategy.

Real-Time Feedback or Instantaneity

Time-sensitive questions. If you have an immediate need for feedback on a specific idea or project, you can send out a pulse survey with questions about it and get answers back quickly. Your employees will be able to answer these questions as soon as they have time to do so, even if it's in the middle of their workday or on their commute home from work.

Data is available immediately. When you distribute a pulse survey among your team members, they'll respond when it's convenient for them—and that means they'll usually respond faster than they would if you were asking them in person or over the phone by giving them enough time to think through their responses before answering each question.

Employees can answer questions on their own time.

You don't have to coordinate schedules or make sure everyone has free time at once; employees can complete the surveys whenever they want, on whatever device they're using at the moment (desktop computers, laptops, tablets). Because employees are responding when it works best for them—without having any pressure put on them besides having access to some free time—they're likely going to be more thoughtful about what they say than if someone had asked them face-to-face.

Employees can answer questions at their own pace

With this flexibility comes less pressure for everyone involved: there won't be any awkward silences while waiting for someone else's response because people can take care of all of the surveys whenever it fits into their schedules

Anonymity

One of the main benefits of a pulse survey is its ability to obtain honest feedback from employees. This is important for distributed organizations because it allows you to gain insights into how your team feels about their work environment and their managers, which can help you make adjustments that lead to better results.

You might think that employees are more likely to be honest when they're not directly interacting with each other, but in reality, it's often easier for people to be forthright when they know they're talking directly with someone who has authority over them or who will be evaluating their performance based on what they say.

There are several ways to ensure anonymity during a pulse survey:

Keep in mind that most pulse survey providers suggest anonymity by default, however, it's something that is customizable. The reason being is that the response rates tend to be higher and there tends to be more transparency coming from the person writing it.

Simplicity

Pulse Surveys are simple to create, distribute, complete, analyze and share with your team. There's no need to set up a survey on each person's computer or phone because all you have to do is send them the link. Pulse makes it easy for your team members to answer surveys without having to download anything or fill out long forms.

In addition to being easy for respondents, pulse surveys are also easy for you as the manager or project lead who is using them. You will be able to quickly share questions with the rest of your team so that everyone knows exactly what information they need when completing their own specific tasks throughout their day-to-day work lives.

Flexibility

Pulse Surveys can be used at any time. You do not need to schedule a specific time for the survey, which means you can collect feedback whenever you want. This is beneficial for distributed teams because it allows team members to choose when they would like to respond, so there is no pressure on them and no excuses for not participating in the process.

Pulse Surveys are versatile and flexible, so they can be used for many different types of projects or processes within your organization. They offer a number of features that allow you to customize each response as needed:

  • You have full control over who receives an invitation through email or text message
  • You have control over who sees what parts of the survey based on their responses (if applicable)
  • Pulse Surveys allow unlimited questions per survey; though we'd strongly recommend keeping it at around 5-10, to avoid survey fatigue.

Best practices for Pulse Surveys for remote teams

Always send a reminder email. Reminders are the best way to ensure that your survey reaches its intended audience, and it's also an opportunity to encourage response by providing social proof and positive reinforcement.

Make it easy for employees to respond. The easiest way to do this is through a mobile app, which can be downloaded and launched with one click or tap—no login required! Additionally or alternatively:

Provide employees with clear instructions on how they can respond in the email that invites them to participate in your pulse survey (i.e., "Open the Pulse Survey app on your phone" vs "Tap here").

Keep things simple when designing your survey form—don't ask too many questions at once (try limiting yourself to five), use single-answer text fields (rather than multiple choice), and make sure all of the fields are required so users don't accidentally skip over important questions.

Sample Pulse Survey Questions for Remote Teams

Here are examples of questions to ask in a pulse survey for remote employees:

  • What do you think is the best thing about working remotely?
  • What do you think is the worst thing about working remotely?
  • Do you feel like you have the same opportunities for career growth as if you worked in an office?
  • Do you feel like you are able to maintain a good work/life balance while working remotely?
  • How often do you feel isolated or lonely while working remotely?
  • Do you feel like your team is adequately supporting you while working remotely?
  • Do you feel like you have enough interaction with your team members while working remotely?
  • How well do you think video conferencing technology (e.g., Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts) works for virtual meetings?
  • Do you feel like you are able to take advantage of all the benefits of working remotely (e.g., flexible hours, no commute, etc.)?
  • What suggestions do you have for improving the remote work experience?

Those are just examples, but you can always come up with ones that will help you find out more about how your employees feel, and even find out more information about what they think might be underlying issues — and identify areas for improvement. To get started and make your own pulse survey questions, you’ll need to:

Draft a list of questions that cover a wide range of topics (e.g., “What do you like about working with us?”). You may also want to include questions about satisfaction or engagement in general, as well as satisfaction with specific aspects or processes at work.

Ask yourself how effective is this question in achieving its goal? Is it too broad or too narrow? Do the responses align with your expectations? If not, what changes can be made to improve the method or wording?

Remember that while surveys are often used simply as an indicator of satisfaction levels within an organization and nothing more, they can also be used as tools for gaining valuable insights into how people feel about certain issues—and which ones they want to be addressed first!

pulse survey templates by AllVoices
If you need to view some pulse survey questions we have a library of pulse survey templates

Ready to send out your first pulse survey?

Pulse surveys are a useful tool for remote teams. They can help you gather and analyze data about employee satisfaction and engagement so that you can make improvements where necessary.

Once you know what’s working well or not so well, it will be easier to take action on the areas where there’s room for improvement—and focus your efforts where they’re needed most.

Don’t get caught off guard by employee feedback. AllVoices can help.
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