Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of businesses find the right employee pulse survey tools to measure workforce morale and diagnose sources of disengagement.

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WorkforceHub

WorkforceHub is a unified solution for time and attendance, scheduling, applicant tracking, benefits management, employee engagement, and more. It’s the HR tech platform that scales as a business grows while delivering the mission... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 96 recommendations

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Paycor

Paycor creates HR software for leaders who want to make a difference. Paycor's Human Capital Management (HCM) platform modernizes every aspect of people management, from the way you recruit, onboard and develop people, to the way ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 82 recommendations

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ClearCompany

Since 2004, ClearCompany has empowered thousands of companies to attract, screen, and hire better talent, engage their team, and use strategic insights to keep their recruiting competitive.The ClearCompany Talent Management Platfo... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 81 recommendations

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BambooHR

BambooHR is a cloud-based HR management software solution for small and midsize businesses. BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), t... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 78 recommendations

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UKG Ready

UKG Ready (formerly Kronos Workforce Ready) is a flexible and seamless HR solution that provides a connected people experience to easily manage the entire employee journey, from a single solution. Designed for flexibility and ease... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 56 recommendations

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Namely

Namely offers a cloud-based solution for companies seeking a single comprehensive system to manage their human capital. Namely helps midsize companies manage compliance and streamline everything payroll, benefits and talent manage... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 53 recommendations

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UKG Pro

UKG Pro (formerly Ultimate UltiPro) is a powerful, global HCM solution. Transform your business with a truly connected global workforce experience delivered through resilient and mindful HR technology. From payroll, to talent, to ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 45 recommendations

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Dayforce HCM

Dayforce, provided by Ceridian, is a cloud-based solution for Payroll, Benefits, Workforce Management, Human Resources, Talent Management, Document Management, and Analytics. As a single application, Dayforce provides organization... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations

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HQ Platform

Infinity is a cloud-based construction management solution that helps small to large enterprises manage HR operations, field layouts and building information modeling (BIM) services. Users can configure role-based access across pr... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 36 recommendations

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PurelyHR

PurelyHR is a cloud-based leave management solution for small to midsize businesses. The system’s core modules allow HR departments to track staff leave requests and approvals as well as manage diverse time off policies and hierar... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 26 recommendations

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iCIMS Talent Cloud

Support the entire candidate experience from start to finish with a unified recruitment platform. iCIMS offers best-in-class recruiting products for your hiring life cycle, available as part of one unified talent cloud platform, o... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 25 recommendations

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Collage

Collage is a cloud-based human resources (HR) and benefits management platform built for the needs of small and midsize businesses. Collage also digitizes group benefits enrollment and can sync with any insurance provider in Canad... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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Humi

Humi is Canada’s HR, Payroll, and Benefits solution for Canadian small-medium sized businesses. Companies use Humi to manage their employee data, employee onboarding, time off tracking, performance management, recruiting, reportin... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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PerformYard Talent

PerformYard is a cloud-based feedback and corporate performance management solution that allows users to set goals and track performance. The solution also helps in other human resources (HR) processes such as onboarding and organ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations

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BizMerlin

BizMerlinHR is a cloud-based human resource management solution that helps mid to large enterprises manage the entire employee lifecycle, from onboarding to comprehensive employee records to performance management to team retentio... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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CSP

Collaboration Software Partners (CSP) is a global HCM provider with a focus on implementation and support that caters to any sized organization above 100 employees. CSP has several office locations across the US and is headquarter... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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emPerform

CRG emPerform is a hybrid employee performance management solution that helps organizations to automate performance reviews and align, develop and retain talent. It can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud. CRG emPer... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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Engagedly

Engagedly is a cloud-based workforce management solution that offers integrated applications to manage on-boarding, employee learning, performance review and goal management. The solution focuses on communication and collaboration... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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CommonOffice HRIS

CommonOffice is a cloud-based human resources (HRIS) software service for small and midsized businesses. CommonOffice offers customizable HRIS solutions to organizations of all sizes, which includes applicant tracking (ATS) and HR... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Mosaic HCM

Mosaic HCM is a fully integrated, mobile-enabled, SaaS human resource and payroll solution that provides enterprise-level workforce management services and technology for mid to large-size employers. Mosiac's Workforce1 HCM platfo... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Buyers guide

“How's it going?" may seem like a simple pleasantry on the surface, but it's a question that actually has incredible implications for your small or midsize business. As a manager or HR practitioner, understanding how employees feel about their job and what factors are causing any dissatisfaction is vital if you want to retain top performers and keep them engaged in their day-to-day.

Figuring out how employees really feel can be tricky though. Even workers that have great relationships with their manager may be hesitant to say something negative about your company face-to-face for fear of retaliation. Formal annual surveys offer much-needed anonymity, but they have their drawbacks too. Not only are employees torn away from work for a significant amount of time, but annual surveys also fail to capture important shifts in morale throughout the year.

A balance between the informality and frequency of a 1-on-1 conversation and the anonymity and power of a survey provides the best of both worlds, which is why you should consider investing in an employee pulse survey tool.

In this Buyer's Guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about employee pulse survey tools to help you make a more informed purchase decision.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Are Employee Pulse Survey Tools?
Common Employee Pulse Survey Tool Features
Benefits of Employee Pulse Survey Tools
How to Get the Most Out of Employee Pulse Surveys

What Are Employee Pulse Survey Tools?

Employee pulse survey tools are an emerging subcategory of employee engagement software that allow businesses to send out short, informal questionnaires to their workers on a regular basis (usually daily or weekly) in order to gauge workforce morale, engagement and more.

Almost always deployed via the cloud, employee pulse survey tools offer companies a flexible platform to customize the questions they ask, automate the administration of surveys to workers and collect results in real-time.

A three question pulse survey sent to workers in Saba
Employee pulse survey in Saba

Employee pulse survey tools can be purchased standalone (e.g., TINYpulse) or as a feature set within a larger, more comprehensive employee engagement or talent management platform (e.g., Workday).

Common Employee Pulse Survey Tool Features

When evaluating different employee pulse survey tools, you'll find that they share three core features in common:

Pulse survey customization Create pulse survey questions from scratch or use questions from a provided bank of preset options.
Pulse survey administration Automatically send pulse surveys to workers on a regular, predetermined basis (e.g., daily, weekly etc.).
Results tracking & analysis Gather survey results and analyze trends over time through reports and visualizations.

Because these tools tend to offer similar features, vendors will set themselves apart in other ways. Besides functionality, buyers should weigh things like the intuitiveness of the user interface, how in-depth the reports and visualizations are and what support options are offered. Seamless integration with core HR systems should also be a high priority.

Benefits of Employee Pulse Survey Tools

By simply adopting and implementing a pulse survey tool, you're already sending a message to employees that you care about their well-being and what they have to say. That has benefits even before a single result comes back. According to a study by PwC, companies that send out regular employee surveys enjoy 30 percent higher engagement levels than those that don't.

Here are some other benefits that employee pulse survey tools can bring:

  • Lower survey fatigue. Because they're only a few questions long, employees can focus on giving detailed, useful answers in a pulse survey, as opposed to a long-winded annual survey. Response rates are typically higher because of this reason as well.
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  • More impactful results. By sending out pulse surveys on a daily or weekly basis, you can better track trends with answers over time to see how strategy changes or new policies are affecting your workforce.
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  • Improved HR efficiency. Once you have the questions you want to ask picked out, the tool takes care of the rest. By not having to administer surveys and collect results manually, you save time to focus on other strategic needs.
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  • Happier employees. This is the most impactful benefit of all. Using pulse surveys, you can diagnose what issues are causing unhappiness in your workplace and fix them. The result: happier, more productive workers.

How to Get the Most Out of Employee Pulse Surveys

Regardless of what tool you end up purchasing, it's important to know best practices when it comes to crafting questions and administering pulse surveys to workers in order to maximize their effectiveness. Errors or missteps with even the best tools can lead to skewed data and frustrated employees.

With that in mind, here are some final employee pulse survey tips:

  • Communicate surveys ahead of time. A message from your CEO or another prominent company figure letting workers know they'll be receiving regular emails with an anonymous survey asking how they feel about their job will set the right expectations.
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  • Keep surveys short. Pulse surveys should be no more than 10 to 15 questions long and should take no longer than five minutes to complete. Employees should be able to answer them quickly and get back to work.
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  • Send out surveys daily, weekly or monthly. Beyond a monthly survey, it gets harder to track trends and changes over time. In general, the more often you send out surveys, the shorter they should be.
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  • Ask about a wide variety of topics. On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you with your job? Do you feel motivated to do your best work? Are you achieving an ideal work/life balance? How's your relationship with your manager? These are just some examples of the types of questions you should be asking.
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  • Don't be afraid to follow-up. If survey results come back and there's one glaring area that employees agree needs to be addressed, send out another survey asking for more specifics with that issue or suggestions to improve.
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  • Act on the results. If workers keep saying they have concerns in their pulse surveys, and nothing is done to address them, they'll get frustrated and feel ignored—creating a whole new source of unhappiness with your employees.