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Get your finger on the pulse

Blog post

Jenny Holsgrove
Written by
Jenny Holsgrove
2nd November 2020
HR & Culture
Calculator and tax forms

Pulse surveys are a great way of measuring employee engagement and also finding out what matters to the people within your co-op. This will give you an informed platform to improve your co-op's culture.

Improving engagement and happiness at work has been proven to have a positive effect on performance, creativity and worker retention. But how do you know what your engagement levels are like? Or how happy people actually are. And if they aren't happy, then what's the reason (or reasons)? Pulse surveys are no magic wand, but they can be a very useful tool. So... If you're ready to collect some valuable feedback here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Decide how long your 'collect, understand and taking action cycle' will be. We recommend leaving your survey open for 10 days; taking three to five days to review and before communicating findings and any actions
  • It can be helpful to hold a discovery session with your staff, to work through the findings and build a collective action plan
  • Create 'shared reports' so when the survey closes the results can be distributed to everyone at your co-op
  • Address the highlighted areas that will have the most impact for your co-op. This will build confidence, happiness and engagement
  • Build your data over time. If you're asking the right questions then ask them again - and again! This allows you to track responses over time. You can then build a picture of where you are having impact or if there are any trouble spots.
Quote mark
Improving engagement and happiness at work has been proven to have a positive effect on performance, creativity and worker retention.
– Jenny Holsgrove, Head of Culture, Co-operatives UK

When forming your questions, it is important that you take some time to consider what you want to know - and  why you are asking the questions. This will help you stay focused and stop the survey from becoming too long! You will also want to align questions to your co-op's values. These should be driving
your work environment and behaviours.

Designing a pulse survey will be highly personal to your co-op. It's all about the areas your co-op wants to explore and its values. Here are some example questions to help get you started:

  •  “I am proud to work for [insert co-op name].” This question reflects levels of engagement and affiliation. It gives you insight into how your co-op is viewed internally
  •  “The leaders at [insert co-op name] keep people informed about what is happening.” This question focuses on communication. Keeping your people informed is the basic foundation for strong leadership
  •  “Most of the systems and processes here support us getting our work done effectively.” This is a great question to find out how effectively your people feel they can get their work done. Use ‘most’ instead of ‘all’ as perfection is hard to achieve!
  •  “I receive appropriate recognition when I do good work.” Feedback is vital to building success. If there is a low score here it could lead to low motivation and performance

Need help designing a survey?

Our Head of Culture, Jenny Holsgrove, can help with your culture questions.
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