Employee listening: Pulse surveys

This feature is part of the paid add-on, Employee listening. Contact your CSM for more information. 

Table of contents


Creating a survey 

Managing surveys


Managing questions and themes

Responding to a survey


Best practices


A Pulse survey allows for a set of questions to be sent out to users at repeated intervals. Users can answer questions on a five-point Likert scale (the default scale label is strongly disagree - strongly agree). When creating a survey, you can choose from a selection of labels as well as customizing your own. Each question gives the opportunity for optional free text feedback.

Creating a survey

App managers and those with the survey permissions (Manage > Application > Employee listening) can create Pulse surveys. You can create surveys using questions from the Simpplr question bank, or creating your own custom questions and themes.

To create a survey:

  1. Go to your user menu, then Manage > Surveys. This will take you to the survey listing. Here you can select the Create survey option.
  2. Choose Pulse > Create.
  3. Name your survey accordingly. This can be anything you'd like, but it should clearly communicate what type of survey it is so your users get a good idea of what to expect from it. 
  4. Choose the distribution audience. This can be the entire organization, specific Audiences, or members of a specific site in your intranet. 
  5. Choose the default introductions message (shown below) or create your own. This will appear for all employees when the survey is sent out. This is another great opportunity to be concise and deliberate on your expectations regarding this survey. Tell your users why they're receiving this, and what you want the outcome to be from it.
  6. Similarly, you can choose the default Thank you message, or insert your own custom message. This will be the first things users see once they submit the completed survey. 
  7. Choose whether or not to show survey results for people managers in the My team dashboard. Managers with 4 or more direct reports will see their team’s anonymized responses to selected surveys in the My team dashboard.
  8. Decide the frequency in which you'd like the survey to be sent out. This is an auto-recurring time that you only need to set once. You can change the frequency at any time. The default, and recommend, option is monthly, but you can make it weekly, every two weeks, or every three months.
  9. Next, decide an appropriate participation window. This is the amount of time a participant has to complete a survey each round. Pulse surveys should always be short, and consist of concise questions. Users shouldn't be taking hours of their time to complete them. Because of this, the default participation window is 7 days. However, you can customize this window as needed. The participation window should align with the frequency so that you have time to review and take action on results.
  10. Finally, before getting to the questions, set the survey schedule. Choose the date and time you want it to be sent to users, as well as the duration of the schedule. This will determine how long the survey frequency will continue. By default, it's set to indefinite, but you can choose an end date.Say for example, you only want the survey to go out monthly for a year (12 times in total). If that's the case, set the end date for a year after the start date. 
  11. When you're all set, click Next.

Adding questions

You have two ways to add questions to your survey in this interface; Browse question bank and Create your own. Let's talk about each. 

First, the question bank. The bank is pre-loaded with already written questions that organized into themes. There are over 100 pre-written questions to browse through. We highly recommend looking through the question bank before creating your own, as these questions are industry standard. It's also worth noting that any custom questions you or another survey manager creates will be stored in the question bank for future surveys.

To create your own question:

  1. Click Create your own.
  2. Enter a question name and select an answer scale.
  3. Organize your question into a theme. If you don't see an appropriate theme, you can create a new theme (more on this below).
  4. Click Done.
  5. Decide whether or not your question should be optional on the survey. A required question will have a red asterisk next to it.
    Survey optional question.gif
  6. Add more questions as needed. You can preview the survey at any time by clicking Preview survey. This will show you what the survey will look like for end users. 
  7. Click and drag the questions to rearrange their order in the survey.
    Pulse survey preview.gif

Managing surveys

As a survey manager, you can head to Manage > Surveys to view a list of all surveys created, including Pulse, All-purpose, and Engagement. Here you'll see an overview of all survey data, including number of active surveys right now, average response rate, and when the next survey is scheduled to go out.

You're able to edit, pause (if active), duplicate, or complete (if active) a survey at any time. To delete a survey, you must complete it first. An active or scheduled survey can't be deleted until it's complete. 

The ability to duplicate surveys is useful in case you have a lengthy survey that needs a minor edit, but you don't want to recreate the whole thing. You can also retitle a duplicate survey to fit a different audience or theme.

Survey analytics

The main Survey menu has an overview dashboard of all scheduled, active and past surveys with a snippet of their metrics. You can filter by survey type, status or date sent.

To view the metrics of a specific survey, click the name of the survey in question. Here you'll see a dashboard with the stats from all surveys sent in the time frame set. There are two tabs; Themes and Questions

The Themes tab will highlight user sentiment from the survey(s) as well as participation from the audience. You're able to download a CSV file of all participation rate for better reporting. 

The Questions tab will give specific data on each question that was included in the survey. At the bottom of this page, you can download a CSV file of all feedback left by your participants (if applicable). Note this feedback is anonymous.

Managing questions and themes

Another way to create custom questions for your surveys and group them for reporting is in Manage questions and themes. Back in the main Manage > Surveys menu, you can create questions without creating a survey in Add > Question. Fill in the question text, then choose the appropriate scale based on the question's context. You can also make your question multiple choice or free text, which will prompt users to type in their answers.

You're able to edit your custom questions at any time (even during an active survey) by navigating to the same menu and clicking Edit on the ellipsis.
Custom survey question 1.gif


Themes are how you group and categorize your surveys for analytics, aggregating similar questions so that trends for key topics can be easily tracked and identified. Add a new theme by clicking Add > Theme. Or view the current list of themes by clicking the Themes tab. This is also where you're able to rename or disable any themes. 

Disabling a theme makes the questions within that theme unavailable to select when creating a new survey. If questions within a theme are currently being used in an active survey, you won't be able to disable the theme. This won't affect metrics for past surveys that used the theme/questions. And you can always re-enable the theme. 


Responding to a survey

Once a survey is sent out per the schedule, users will be prompted initially via email as well as an in-app window to begin the survey. The in-app notification will appear in the bottom right corner every time they log in until the survey is complete.

Once opened, you'll be taken to the Surveys page. View all your open surveys and click Take part to participate in a survey. You can also go to your user menu > Surveys, which will take you to a list of all your open surveys.



 User participation view for Pulse survey

Response time

For email notifications after the initial email is sent to everyone, the following logic applies according to the length of the participation window: 

  • Participation window = 0-3 weekdays (not the length of the PW itself)
    • There will be no reminder sent outside the initial notifications
  • Participation window = 4-9 weekdays  (not the length of the PW itself)
    • Reminder: 2 weekdays before the survey closes
  • Participation window = 10-15 weekdays (not the length of the PW itself)
    • First reminder: 5 weekdays after the survey is sent
    • Final reminder: 2 weekdays before the survey closes
  • Participation window = 16+ weekdays (not the length of the PW itself)
    • First reminder: 5 weekdays after the survey is sent
    • Second reminder: 10 weekdays after the survey is sent
    • Final reminder: 2 weekdays before the survey closes

Survey analytics

Simpplr's Pulse survey analytics shows the data from each instance of the pulse survey so that key trends can be easily identified. The Overview tab lets you filter surveys by date, location, and department, and breaks down survey scores by their theme and questions. The Surveys tab gives a list of each instance of a pulse survey, details of its status, and when it was sent out.



Clicking on a theme takes you to the theme analytics screen.

Selecting the theme will lead to the individual theme reporting page. On this page you can see:

  •  A line graph for the aggregated scores for each question within the theme, as they were asked for each instance of the survey
  • A score heatmap showing the distribution of responses by employees across departments and locations
  • A list of questions within the theme. Selecting the chart icon on a question will take you to the individual question reporting for this theme
  • All open free text feedback that has been left by employees

All reporting can be filtered by department, location and team manager.


Alternatively, if you select the Question toggle and then click on the chart icon on a Question, it will take you to the question analytics screen for that particular question.

Selecting the chart icon will lead to the individual question reporting page. On this page you can see:

  • A line graph for the average scores each time the question was asked for that survey
  • A scale bar showing the distribution of answers for the selected instance of the survey
  • A score heatmap showing the distribution of responses by employees across departments and locations
  • All open free text feedback that has been left by employees

All reporting can be filtered by department, location, and team manager.

Best practices

With any survey sent to your employees, large or small groups, you may want to consider some best practices to get the most engagement. To counter things like employee burnout, disengagement and inaccurate results, consider these best practices before creating surveys: 

  1. Clear communication: We recommend that you clearly communicate the purpose of the survey to employees. Explain how their feedback will be used to improve the workplace, making it evident that their opinions matter. If you don't already know the concrete purpose for sending out the survey, hold off. Communicate the purpose well enough in advance so that your teams are not caught off guard when they receive the survey.

  2. Anonymity and confidentiality: Assure employees of the anonymity and confidentiality of their responses. When people feel safe to express their honest opinions, they are more likely to participate. Perhaps you want to include this reassurance in your pre-survey comms plan. 

  3. Engagement initiatives: Speaking of pre-survey comms, conduct pre-survey engagement initiatives like town hall meetings or department discussions. Engaging employees before the survey can pique their interest and encourage participation.

  4. User-friendly interface: Although Simpplr offers a streamlined, easy-to-follow experience for your users, you want to make sure you're delivering the survey in an easy way too. Don't overcomplicate the process by going beyond the distribution method offered by your intranet. Complicated or lengthy processes might discourage participation.

  5. Incentives and Recognition: Offer incentives for participation. Recognition, such as certificates or public acknowledgment of departments with high participation rates, can motivate employees. If you're not already using Simpplr's Recognition Suite, learn more about it here. It can be a great tool for fostering cross-team engagement and participation in your surveys. 

  6. Time management: Be mindful of employees' time. If the survey is lengthy, provide breaks or the option to save progress and return later. This is where the Sections feature of your survey can come in handy.

  7. Engage leadership: Encourage visible support and participation from top leadership. When employees see that their leaders are involved, they are more likely to engage too.

  8. Feedback loop: Establish a transparent feedback loop. Communicate what changes are being made based on a previously survey. This demonstrates that their input leads to tangible improvements and change, motivating them to participate again.

  9. Question clarity: Ensure the questions you choose are clear, concise, and directly related to the organization's goals. Ambiguity can lead to confusion and lower response rates.

  10. Follow-up: Send out reminders strategically. A well-timed reminder, especially nearing the survey deadline, can significantly boost participation without being too intrusive.

  11. Diversity and inclusivity: Ensure the survey is culturally sensitive and inclusive of diverse perspectives. This helps in making all employees feel that their unique experiences and viewpoints are valued.

  12. Continuous improvement: Regularly analyze survey data to identify trends and areas needing improvement. Act on the feedback received, and communicate these actions to the employees. Demonstrating that their input leads to positive changes is vital for sustained engagement.

  13. Solicit feedback on the survey itself: After the survey, ask for feedback on the survey process. What worked well? What could be improved? This information can be invaluable for planning the next year's survey.

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  • Such a useful feature! I believe it was mentioned as a paid add-on. If that's the case, how can we request it and see the pricing? 

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  • Hi Danielle. Yes, it's a paid add on. Your CSM will be happy to provide more information on pricing and get your instance set up with the whole Employee Listening suite.

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