People work fast these days.  They run between personal and professional commitments. They juggle.  Time is a commodity. And in between this frenetic pace of life, people like to be heard.  Truly heard. Today, companies are great at asking for opinions on everything it seems. Except the feedback mechanism doesn’t always quite match the objective.  Why is that?  

Well we know a clear trend has emerged over the past year and it has centred on how you ask the people who work for you what they think. The tried and tested format is the Annual Employee Engagement Survey (AEES) but increasingly, this approach is becoming less popular.  According to LinkedIn research, 29% of employees think the AEES is pointless and worryingly, 80% believe that the data is not acted upon. Why go to all the bother of answering an 80 question survey if no one is going to do anything with it? It is true that there may be sticklers out there who would defend the AEES robustly because they depend upon certainty and routine to define their modus operandi.  Yet in today’s online world, there has to be an easier way to find out what’s going on.  

We think a Pulse Check™ is the answer because people crave simplicity as much as they do being valued.  The power of a one question pulse is that it works well as a listening device across many stakeholder communities. We favour emotionally-led questions such as – ‘What is the one thing that could improve your working environment right now?’ and then providing people with a series of relevant responses that relate/connect to the culture of the company they work for. 

 In short, the Pulse Check™ captures opinion on the move.  After the initial ‘go live’, it only nudges once for a response. People like that.  We know they also like the time factor.  It only takes 30 seconds to reply, usually less. The data that comes back is fresh and it comes back fast.  That’s powerful when so many surveys become congested in day to day admin tasks before they are relegated to ‘pending’ and then just forgotten about altogether.

In other words, the Pulse Check™’s currency is only going one way and that is up. The data yield means the insight is manageable.  What comes back from a single question is not only accurate in terms of the current point of view, it’s really easy to do something productive with it.  Then people know they’ve been listened to. The Pulse Check™ thanks to its simple format, creates a natural touch point with its respondent, making it much easier for people to tell you what they think.  How good is that? 

When all is said and done, the AEES is a traditional tool for a traditional world.  While there may still be a diminishing coterie of supporters for AEES because it delivers in-depth annual benchmarking, the reality is we don’t live in a traditional world anymore. It’s time for both approaches to co-exist because they can inform success.  Most important of all, they both give people a voice and everyone needs to be heard.

 Imogen Osborne, Co-Founder, Question and Retain