The Gatehouse Blog

Gatehouse gradings: the continuous feedback edition

If you’ve been reading our content for a while now, you’ll know that A) audits and insights are a core service offering of ours, and one we take very seriously, and B) there is nowhere near enough measurement going on in the internal communication industry. But with new tools launching left, right and centre, implementing sophisticated measurement strategies couldn’t be easier. In this article, we explain the benefits and products in the realm of pulse surveys. 

Optimists at heart, we can’t help but feel disappointed every year when we analyse the data from our State of the Sector report and find that measurement practices by IC practitioners have scarcely improved. In 2018, the most popular measurement tool was, as in previous years, the employee engagement survey (in place in 69% of organisations). This was closely followed by online analytics, used by 68%. While good places to start, these channels have their limits.

The traditional engagement survey is a time-consuming exercise in the eyes of many these, and by only allowing employees to have their say once every year or two, we as communicators are missing out on the valuable insights they have to o er at other points in time. Whilst analytics provide a regular indication of the extent to which employees are consuming communications, they don’t really say anything about the outcomes that result from said communications, or the overall culture in which the engagement is happening.

Enter the pulse survey. Designed to provide regular, meaningful and actionable data, these short questionnaires ask for employees’ opinions on the topics that are relevant to them at that point in time, ensuring organisations are kept in the loop as to what matters to their people – instead of the focus being purely on broadcasting what matters to the chief executive. So, pulse surveys have a lot to offer to communicators currently relying on the aforementioned measurement tactics.

“In 2018, the most popular measurement too was, as in previous years, the employee engagement survey (in place in 69% of organisations)”

What’s encouraging is that nearly half of IC practitioners report using these types of questionnaires at present (43%). If your organisation has been considering introducing these, but doesn’t know where to start, we’ve put together a handy-dandy list of some of the off-the-shelf platforms you can use to hit the ground running.

Sharing is caring: Questback

Founded nearly two decades ago and headquartered in Norway, Questback isa powerful tool enabling organisations to fulfil three of their measurement needs: employee insight, customer insight, and market research. Therein lies the principal selling point of the tool in our eyes; with a single subscription, your organisation can poll all of its potential audiences and extract data that’s of use not only to HR, not only to IC, but to other departments including marketing, business development, product development, nance… In practical terms, Questback offers a combination of scheduled surveys and always-on feedback technology, and consolidates the feedback into interactive dashboards, which are updated in real time. This means that organisations can tap into insights at any given time and, crucially, for any of its audiences. If it’s a multi-purpose measurement tool that you’re after, Questback may be the one for you.

Getting ahead of the pack: Culture Amp

Culture Amp is an American platform that will soon celebrate its tenth birthday. As the name suggests, it is all about boosting organisations cultures by shifting the focus from evaluating performance to enabling performance through a mix of interactive, real-time dashboards and an integrated personal development tool. Built by a team of psychologists and data scientists, the tool proposes a bank of methodologically validated questions to pose your people, and supplements your data with the collective intelligence garnered from benchmarks from over 1,500 other organisations. Of course, if you want to go off-piste, you’re able to fully customise your questions – but we believe the benchmarking possibilities offered by Culture Amp are what really set the tool apart from its competitors. So, if you’re looking to compare your organisation to the rest of the pack, it may be time to book a demo.

Going incognito: TinyPulse 

TinyPulse was founded upon an ambition to create happier employees but acknowledges that instilling the confidence in employees to speak up is a difficult task. With this in mind, TinyPulse set about creating a platform which allows organisations to get all of the data and insights they need to create a better workplace, all while protecting the anonymity of employees. This goes beyond response confidentiality – platform also features an anonymous messenger, allowing leaders to contact frontline staff for more information, without leaders ever being made aware of the identity of the person they’re speaking to. This means organisations can supplement the quantitative data available to them on live dashboards with qualitative feedback directly from the mouths of employees, without employees fearing retribution. If distrust is a challenge in your organisation, perhaps TinyPulse could help you repair relationships as you measure.

“If distrust is a challenge in your organisation, perhaps TinyPulse could help you repair relationships as you measure.”

By popular demand: Waggl

One of the youngest platforms on this list, Waggl was borne from the observation that organisations do not do enough with qualitative data. Due to the nature of it, analysis tends to be time-consuming, and it is difficult to prioritise the avenues for improvement which are brought to light – but Waggl is here to change that. The platform has introduced a real-time voting system where employees can leave suggestions in response to open- ended questions, and then vote on one another’s anonymous ideas. This gentle gamification is designed to encourage participation, all while maximising authenticity and organically prioritising ideas in lieu of analysts within your organisation. This makes Waggl one of the best for crowd-sourcing ideas.

A taste of luxury: Peakon

Last but by no means least is Peakon. This Denmark-based business is one of the priciest on our list – but for good reason. The platform includes all of the best features from the aforementioned platforms, including benchmarking, a messaging tool, and a follow-up action-planning tool, but it also goes a step further when it comes to analysis. Peakon offers sophisticated topic and sentiment analysis of open-ended comments, and automatically links these to the engagement drivers needed to impact engagement. The platform also proposes data segmentation, heatmaps, and timeline views of results to help organisations track changes and visualise avenues for improvement. If you want it all, Peakon has it.

Closing notes

Of course, this is but a non-exhaustive list of pulse survey platforms, and the decision to choose one over another will require plenty of research. What we do hope is that this initial list sparks some inspiration in you and drives better measurement practices in IC.

Biography: Emer Beirne

A native Brit who grew up in the South-West of France, Emer’s area of expertise lies in internal communication and audit methodologies. She has a master’s degree in organisational communication Audits and Consulting, for which she produced a thesis on the impact of internal communication practices on employee engagement within start-ups.

While at university, she headed the quality function of a student agency and takes pride to this day in delivering bespoke IC audits and strategies with a strong attention to detail.