As we discussed on our previous post, employee surveys are very effective tools to carry out organizational listening and to obtain actionable feedback on topics  that matter to the employees and the organization alike, such as employee satisfaction, job role, communication, relationships, and work environment.


Gathering employee feedback is a powerful tool to ensure that employees feel engaged, valued and stay motivated overall. Furthermore, understanding the employees’ engagement and gathering feedback will allow the organization to take action proactively and face potential conflicts before they arise. 

Annual surveys vs pulse surveys, which on to use?

When choosing which kind of survey is best for your company, the first thing to take into account is the two main types of surveys that are common in the workplace: pulse surveys and annual surveys.


Annual surveys, as the name indicates, are extensive and lengthy surveys that are carried out yearly within an organization. In the context of an annual survey, the employee is questioned about different topics and matters with a certain degree of depth. The goal here is to get a complete picture on how the employee feels about the different aspects of the job and the company.


Pulse surveys, on the other hand, are shorter, more frequently carried out surveys on very narrow topics. The goal of these surveys is to have access to dynamic, up-to-date and actionable information on certain matters whose urgency is more immediate.


In 2018, Gartner found that that formal surveys were on the decline, although 74% of companies would still use them in 2019. However, it also forecasted that by 2020 other types of employee monitoring would be used by 80% of the companies, and formal surveys only by 63%.

A graphic depicting the trends on Employee Surveys by Gartner
According to Gartner's survey, by 2020 80% of the companies would use other types of employee monitoring than annual surveys

Both types of surveys have their pros and cons, and while annual surveys can be a great way to gather a more vast array on in-depth information about various topics, they also take time to analyze, resulting in data that might not be relevant anymore or in taking action when it is too late. On the contrary, while pulse surveys have a more limited scope, also offer an immediacy and greater contextualization of the answers, which makes them bias-free.

How to choose the best employee pulse survey solution?

In order to choose the best employee pulse survey software, it is important to keep in mind the characteristics that make up a good survey tool:


  • Simple to configure and use.
  • Scalable and customizable features such as frequency, format and content of the surveys.
  • Integrable into tools that are already in use in the company.
  • Automatic BI report generation and access to real-time and historic insight
  • Designed with a mobile-first mindset so the transition between desktop and mobile use is flawless.
  • Actionable insights, alerts and notifications generation.


Taking those features into account, we have analyzed some of the software tools available in the market that allow organisations to carry out their own employee pulse surveys:


1. SC Pulse


SC Pulse is our own pulse survey solution, that allows organizations to tune in with their employees via Teams. The tool is fully customizable, doesn’t require to install nor learn how to use any other software than Microsoft Teams, and it automatically generates survey reports on Power BI that can also be customized.


Besides, SC Pulse surveys can be answered with a single click action or with free text, they work in any kind of device, they provide with alerts and notifications when a new survey is up and they generate fun gifs for every answer given.


The price starts at 29,90€/month for up to 50 users, billed monthly, with an unlimited amount of surveys and devices included.


2. Survey Monkey


Survey Monkey is one of the oldest and most popular online tools to generate surveys. The tool for pulse surveys offers integrations with popular collaboration tools like Office 365, Google Drive and Slack, but it requires to download and install a Survey Monkey app or plugin. The surveys are customizable and generate survey results in several file formats, including as CSV, PDF, PPT, or XLS files (SPSS format is only available for Advantage and Premier members).


Surveys can be answered with single click actions or free text boxes, they are multiplatform and provide with alerts and notifications to the survey administrators anytime a new answer is given.


The price starts at 30€/user/month with a minimum of 3 users, billed annually, with an unlimited amount of surveys and devices included.


3. Qualtrix XM 


Qualtrix XM offers a employee pulse survey solution as part of its employee experience suite. The tools requires the installation of Qualtrix’ own software solution or the use of an online version of it. The surveys are customizable and survey reports are generated in Qualtrics iQ, Qualtrix’ own analytics tool. 


Surveys can be answered with single click actions or free text boxes, and provide with customisable and pre-built action plans with which managers can set due dates, collaborate with others and outline the specific tasks they need to complete to achieve results.


There is no general pricing information available on their website, but it is mandatory to contact sales and book a demo. There is no mention to number of users, surveys or devices either, but there is a mention to the possibility of mobile use. 


4. Populum


Populum is a software solution for employee pulse survey management that requires the installation of a new software. The surveys are customizable for the middle and high tier solutions (Business and Enterprise) and survey reports are also accessible on the tool’s own analytics system (data is only exportable to other BI systems within the Enterprise tier).


Surveys can be answered with single click or text, and they offer a 1-click offline team meeting presentations creation to PowerPoint of the results of a given survey. Email and SMS notifications of the surveys are also available, and they work on mobile.


The price starts at 4€/user/month for up to 250 employees, but it has certain limitations regarding the level of customization of the surveys.


5. Surveyapp


Surveyapp is, as the name indicates, a mobile app for carrying out employee pulse surveys. The tool works on iOS and Android portable devices, but not on desk computers nor laptops. Surveys can be customized, scheduled, and survey reports can be accessed in real time online, on a PDF format or exported to Excel.


The app also offers emails and SMS notifications when someone answers to the survey and the surveys also work when the user is offline.


The price starts at 6,81€/device/month with the Basic plan, billed annually, and it is limited to 100 responses per device, but has no limits concerning the number of surveys that can be made. Additional responses are charged separately.  


6. Peakon


Peakon is an employee success platform that offers, among others, employee pulse survey capabilities for organizations. The software has its own platform although it also offers integrations with HRIS providers, such as Workday, Slack and BambooHR.


The surveys’ questions cannot be fully customized on the Essential tier of the tool, and they are based on numeric scorings or text responses. Peakon automates the set-up, scheduling, delivery and analysis of employee surveys and also offers employee alerts and notifications.


There is no general pricing information available on their website, but it is mandatory to contact sales and book a demo. There is no mention to number of users, surveys or devices either, but there is a mention to the possibility of mobile use. 

The access to real-time and historic insights from the surveys will help you take action more proactively

Our advice to choose an employee pulse survey tool

As with any other business software tool that becomes the buzzword of the moment, employee pulse survey solutions are being offered by a myriad of providers and under a great variety of formats. However, for any organization that wants to acquire a high-end product that offers the best functionality for a fair price, it is very important to carefully consider all the options available as well as the particular needs of the organization and expectations regarding the software performance.


In Supervise, we provide companies with our comprehensive business solution SuperCards, the only software that you will ever need, built on top of the robust and safe environment of Microsoft Teams. Within SuperCards, you can find our very own employee pulse survey solution, SC Pulse, or you can just acquire it as a stand-alone plug-in.

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