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Engagement Surveys vs Pulse Surveys

Engagement Surveys vs Pulse Surveys

Both engagement surveys and pulse surveys offer significant benefits to an organization when it comes to understanding the views and perspectives of employees and improving certain processes and procedures. While they both obtain feedback from employees, it’s important to note the differences between these two types of surveys and know how your organization can reap the benefits of each.

What is an Engagement Survey?

An engagement survey refers to a comprehensive survey that includes a series of questions intended to assess the overall level of employee engagement in an organization. This can cover various topics, such as employee experience, job satisfaction, workplace relationships and alignment to company values and culture. Engagement surveys are typically conducted annually or bi-annually with the purpose of identifying broad issues within an organization.

What is a Pulse Survey?

A pulse survey refers to a short list of questions that allows organizations to obtain quick feedback on important events, issues, employee sentiment and more. Pulse surveys can be conducted weekly, monthly or after certain company events, with the purpose of gaining real-time feedback on current issues or changes in the organization.  

The main differences between Engagement Surveys and Pulse Surveys

The first notable difference between engagement surveys and pulse surveys is the frequency of each survey. Engagement surveys are typically sent on an annual or bi-annual basis, whereas pulse surveys can be sent weekly, monthly or after specific events or changes in a company.

The second difference is the length of the surveys. Engagement surveys are longer in length in comparison to pulse surveys, and therefore require more time for employees to complete.

Thirdly, the level of analysis between engagement surveys and pulse surveys differs. Pulse surveys are usually relatively easy to interpret and one can easily gain quick insights, whereas engagement surveys are more comprehensive and may be more time-consuming to interpret.

Another key difference between engagement surveys and pulse surveys is the scope of each survey. Engagement surveys cover a vast amount of topics, where pulse surveys address only specific events or issues.

Lastly, the most important difference for organizations to note is the purpose of each survey. Engagement surveys are used to gain a comprehensive understanding of overall employee engagement, whilst pulse surveys are used to gain feedback on certain issues and specific events.

Knowing which survey is right for your organization

Before sending a survey to your employees, it’s important to assess what you are trying to achieve from the survey, what insights you want to receive and how you will use the insights going forward.

If you’re planning to monitor a new project or initiative or want to get insight into a recent change or event in your organization, then pulse surveys would be most appropriate.

On the other hand, if you’re going through an organizational change or are busy with strategic planning, then an engagement survey would be the best solution.

The benefit of using both Engagement Surveys and Pulse Surveys

  • Corresponding insights: Using engagement surveys and pulse surveys together allow you to have a combination of both detailed feedback and shorter, easy-to-consume insights. This can be beneficial when it comes to general strategic planning and pivoting your strategy in the right direction.
  • Improved employee experience: By engaging employees with both longer format engagement surveys and shorter pulse surveys, it allows your employees to regularly have a voice and feel heard, but also gives them the opportunity to express more comprehensive views and opinions. This will ultimately contribute to an improved employee experience.
  • Better decision making ability: Having both long and short forms of feedback will allow your organization to make more informed decisions and enable you to be responsive to feedback at the right times.

Effective approaches to implementing surveys

  1. Define clear goals and objectives:
    The most important step to implementing a survey is to know what you’re trying to achieve from it. By clearly defining goals and objectives for your survey, you will be able to understand feedback better and effectively use the  feedback to make improvements in the organization.
  2. Communicate effectively:
    In order to receive employee buy-in and obtain as much feedback as possible, you need to communicate the purpose for implementing the survey as well as explain the importance of it and how it can benefit the organization as a whole.
  3. Act on results:
    Implementing a survey and receiving feedback is the first step, however effectively analyzing the information you receive and acting on the results is crucial to ensure you are making improvements.
  4. Follow up regularly:
    Closing the feedback loop is essential in successfully executing a survey. Ensure that you are making a continuous effort to update employees on how their feedback is being used to improve the organization.

Qualee’s Engagement Survey (eNPS) solution:

We offer a revolutionary solution to employee engagement surveys that allows organizations to seamlessly gather information from all employees through an anonymous survey that has 46 pre-configured engagement drivers that are founded on thorough organizational psychology research.

With Qualee’s eNPS solution, your organization is able to:

  • Track eNPS scores instantly through a user-friendly dashboard
  • Analyze results in further detail with comprehensive reports
  • Enhance and adapt pre-set survey questions to your liking
  • Communicate with employees directly, whilst maintaining their anonymity
  • Receive suggestions on ways to enhance engagement based on your specific organization
  • Close the feedback loop by creating initiatives that can be assigned to an individual, team, location or the organization as a whole  

Qualee’s Pulse Survey solution:

Our offering enables organizations to nurture a feedback-first culture with customizable surveys that enhance flexibility and offer accurate insights instantly.

With Qualee’s survey solution, your organization is able to:

  • Customize survey questions
  • Choose from a variety of question formats (multiple choice, star rating, free text, etc.)
  • Receive valuable insights instantly through intuitive charts and graphs
  • Summarize responses
  • Evaluate comment sentiments
  • Identify key themes


It can therefore be concluded that both engagement surveys and pulse surveys can be incredibly beneficial for an organization and contribute to its overall success. Whether your organization makes use of engagement surveys to obtain comprehensive information to inform strategy or pulse surveys to gain quick insights into current issues or events, both surveys offer a wide variety of advantages for business success when used correctly.

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