Using Pulse Surveys to Engage Your Team: Engaging Your Team (web version)
Team pulse surveys are short, easy-to-complete sets of questions sent electronically on a regular basis to do a "pulse check" of employees in areas such as engagement, satisfaction, relationships, and the work environment. They are useful for getting feedback from your team members, monitoring team effectiveness, and identifying opportunities for improvement.
This first job aid in the series describes the benefits of boosting team engagement and explains what engagement and disengagement may look like in the workplace. It also covers the factors that contribute to engagement. This can be useful for drafting your survey questions.
Benefits of team engagement
Engaged work teams enjoy what they do and feel connected to their work. They are motivated to do their jobs well.
Ongoing monitoring via team pulse surveys can reinforce what is working well and help identify opportunities to boost engagement.
Contribution of engagement to positive outcomes
Overall, increased engagement can lead to a higher-performing workplace which, in turn, can have positive impacts for Canadians.
Considered in isolation, increased engagement can lead to higher productivity and innovation and reduced absenteeism and presenteeism.
Higher-performing workplaces produce better results, frequently improve employee retention and ability to attract talent, and reduce workplace errors.
- Team engagement is closely related to team performance.
- Engaged teams experience more positive workplace outcomes.
Signs of engagement
Focused on and enthusiastic about the work
Invested in the goals and best interests of the organization
Understand need for change and open to possibilities
Work completed on time; professional and respectful attitude
Able to lead selves and guide others
Achieve results with enthusiasm; willing to put in extra effort
Mutually helpful and supportive of those struggling
Communicate effectively and promptly, share information, collaborative and attentive
Positive team dynamics
- Mutual trust and respect
- Mutual accountability
- Positive attitudes
- Work well together
- Produce results
- Share commitment to success
Signs of disengagement
Reduced output or contribution to work projects, missed deadlines
Less communicative, withdrawn
Late arrivals, early departures, little drive to advance goals
Producing lower-quality work
Work is of lower quality or below expectations
Less able to cope with typical challenges; reduced morale
Less openness to new opportunities and challenges; avoid work, offer excuses
Disengagement in some employees could be a sign of personal problems unrelated to work. The employee may need the kind of support that is beyond the scope of this job aid.
Negative team dynamics
- Conflict among team members
- Reluctance to engage together
- No interest in new ideas
- Less committed to producing results
- Uncertainty around roles and responsibilities
Factors contributing to engagement among employees
Employee buy-in to the organizational vision and goals communicated by senior leaders
Value of work
Work is meaningful, achievements are recognized and feelings of appreciation are high
Equipment and resources
Access to the modern tools necessary to collaborate effectively and produce results
Team members are trusted to work independently, have some control over how they work, and have input into their performance goals
Team lead demonstrates strong communication, interpersonal and decision-making skills
Flexible hours, virtual or hybrid working arrangements and good benefits
Strong, trusting relationships among team members who work well together
Support for career development and personal growth
Engagement in the Public Service of Canada
Some of the questions in the annual Public Service Employee Survey are designed to measure factors that contribute to engagement. Most have been repeated since 2014 to track progress in this area over time. For example:
- I get a sense of satisfaction from my work
- Overall, I feel valued at work
- I am proud of the work that I do
- Overall, I like my job
- I would recommend my department or agency as a great place to work
- I am satisfied with my department or agency
- I would prefer to remain with my department or agency, even if a comparable job were available elsewhere in the federal public service
- Strongly agree
- Somewhat agree
- Neither agree nor disagree
- Somewhat disagree
- Strongly disagree
- Don't know
- Not applicable
Source: Public Service Employee Survey 2020–21, Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
This series of ten job aids explains how to design and administer pulse surveys to support team engagement, positivity, and productivity in the workplace. Each job aid offers background information and covers the key steps in the process of developing team pulse surveys.