Employee Engagement – Annual or Pulse Surveys?


In my personal opinion the answer is… BOTH! The Engagement of employees should be a continuous behaviour of an organisation, gaining consistent feedback from employees will drive a positive culture. As a business owner/senior leader I’d like you to ask yourself the question “Do I care about the happiness and wellbeing of my employees, as well as their productivity and performance within my business?” I am assuming that most of you have answered yes, if your answer was no then the reality is that your probably not engaged yourself… that’s the start of the problem!

Many businesses focus on engaging and developing its leaders however, in my opinion you will get more from engaging everybody. However, my next question I want you to ask yourself is “What am I doing currently in relation to Employee Engagement, annual survey, pulse survey or nothing?”


Annual Survey

I’ve had contact with many organisations who claim they “have something in place” “already do engagement strategies” etc. However, when I drill into those conversations it all seems to come back to the same thing… “We have our annual survey”. Fair enough, annual surveys have worked in the past however, the environment that we work in today more competitive than ever before, trying to retain your existing staff is hard enough, never mind attract new employees. I’ve made a few points below on my opinion of annual surveys:

  • Seen as a compliance task – Due to lack of time or down to poor historic experiences where their feedback has not been valued, many employees now see annual surveys as a compliance task. I ask that you go into an organisation tomorrow and I guarantee if you ask employees when their next annual survey most of them will roll their eyes!
  • Large administration task – Following on from the annual survey this creates a large amount of quantitative and qualitative data that somebody (usually HR) have to vet through. Not only does this take HR out of action (which can lead to frustration for the business) however, it also means that the employees feedback takes a while to be processed as it’s typically done manually.
  • Frequency – Imagine if you are gaining feedback from your employees anonymously once per year, what would happen if your survey shut in January and then an employee had a valuable piece of information at any point over the next 11 months – you miss out on that!

In short historically annual surveys have been a great thing however, you don’t need me to tell you that they are now outdated – I have no doubts that you are probably one of the people who roll your eyes when asked when your annual survey is!


Pulse Survey

Pulse surveys are interesting. They are certainly a development in terms of the annual survey in terms of frequency and improving communication between an organisation and its employees. However, some would argue that the participation rates for pulse surveys are typically quite low. A compromise with pulse surveys is they capture a specific piece of information, at a given point of time.  When you are truly looking to change your culture and form a business change strategy (which requires investment and hoped ROI) the information gathered in pulse surveys and the functionality of the platforms in terms of customisation and reporting is a limiting factor. I have no doubts that pulse surveys will be the way forward.


Engagement Multiplier

As always, I am looking to add value through my blogs and give an insight into what we are introducing to clients/supporting them with. A question I would like to ask yourself is “Am I currently part of/leading/owning an Engaged Organisation?”. A really quick way to assess this would be to look at:

  • Retention/Attrition – What are your attrition rates currently? Is this something that you report on? What is the benchmark for your industry in terms of attrition? Is there anywhere within the business where retention is really good and why?
  • Productivity – How productive are we being? Are we measuring our outputs? What amount/level of products/services are we producing/delivering?
  • Employee Wellbeing – Do we use an annual survey/pulse/nothing at the moment? What does the culture of the organisation “feel” like?
  • Customer Satisfaction – Are we capturing customer feedback both during the sales process and post-sale? What complaints are we getting from customers? What positives are customers saying? Are we getting good case studies?

There’s many more ways to assess the current culture of your business, as well as engagement of your staff. However, the above should give you a good start.


As many of you will know Réncái are a certified partner of a tool called Engagement Multiplier. Engagement Multiplier is a simple to implement digital tool that provides insight and engagement scores for EVERY employee in under 10 minutes. Providing you with insight and data metrics that can help you form the most informed and effective business improvement initiatives.

To conclude Employee Engagement historically has been seen as a rather “fluffy” thing that is a nice to have within organisations. However, if we put our commercials hats on look at the ROI for organisations… lower attrition, higher productivity, higher customer satisfaction.


Have a go… 

I have included a quick video link introduction below, as well as the opportunity for you to complete a FREE survey for yourself – this will take around 9 minutes. Happy to provide further information and background for anyone who is interested to learn more, my contact details can be found below.

Introduction to EM Video

Click here for your free personal engagement report

As always very keen to be introduced so please feel free to comment below/share/give me a call (07341 662232) or an email [email protected]


Harry Wright

Client Relationship and Delivery Consultant

Réncái Group

07341 662232


One Comment

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