Management Tips··9 min read

Employee Pulse Check: How to Do It

How to manage employees who are on duty during Christmas?

Keeping a finger on the pulse of your employees' well-being and engagement is crucial for maintaining a productive and positive work environment. Traditional methods like surveys are useful, but there are many non-obvious ways to gauge how your team is feeling. Here are thirteen innovative strategies to help you understand your employees' pulse.

13 Non-Obvious Ways How to Check on Your Employees' Pulse

1. Informal Coffee Chats

Set up informal virtual or in-person coffee chats where you can casually catch up with employees. These relaxed meetings allow employees to speak freely about their experiences and concerns. Make these sessions a regular part of your routine to build trust and open communication channels. Encourage openness and listen actively to what your team members share. These casual interactions can reveal underlying issues and give you insights into the overall morale of your team.

2. Anonymous Feedback Tools

Utilize anonymous feedback tools like suggestion boxes or digital platforms where employees can voice their opinions without fear of retribution. Regularly review and act on this feedback to show employees their input is valued. Giving anonymous feedback  can encourage more honest and candid responses. Implement changes based on feedback and communicate these improvements to the team. This approach helps create a culture of transparency and trust, making employees feel heard and respected.

3. Pulse Surveys

Conduct brief, frequent pulse surveys that focus on specific areas of employee experience. These quick check-ins can provide real-time data on how your team is feeling about various aspects of their work. Keep the surveys short and focused to encourage participation. Analyze the results promptly and take necessary actions based on the feedback. Regular pulse surveys help you stay attuned to the current mood and address issues before they escalate.

4. One-on-One Check-Ins

Schedule regular one-on-one online meetings with each team member to discuss their progress, challenges, and well-being. These personalized sessions provide an opportunity for employees to share their thoughts in a private setting. Prepare for these meetings by reviewing previous discussions and identifying areas to follow up on. Show genuine interest in their concerns and offer support where needed. Consistent one-on-one check-ins strengthen relationships and provide deeper insights into individual employee experiences.

5. Employee Resource Groups

Support and encourage the formation of employee resource groups (ERGs) around shared interests or demographics. These groups can provide a sense of community and a platform for employees to voice their opinions. Actively engage with these groups and listen to their feedback. ERGs can be a valuable source of information about the needs and concerns of diverse employee populations. Supporting ERGs demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity and can reveal insights that might not surface in other forums.

6. Social Media Listening

Monitor internal social media channels or platforms like Slack for informal conversations and trends. Pay attention to the tone and topics of discussions to gauge the overall sentiment of your team. Look for recurring themes or issues that might need addressing. Participate in these conversations when appropriate to show your engagement and concern. Social media listening can provide real-time insights into employee morale and highlight areas that need attention.

7. Stay Interviews

Conduct stay interviews to understand why employees choose to remain with your company and what might cause them to consider leaving. These proactive discussions can uncover factors that contribute to job satisfaction and areas for improvement. Focus on positive aspects as well as potential concerns. Use the insights gained from stay interviews to make meaningful changes that enhance the employee experience. Stay interviews help you retain top talent by addressing issues before they lead to turnover.

8. Peer Feedback Sessions

Organize peer feedback sessions where employees can provide constructive feedback to each other. This approach promotes a culture of open communication and mutual support. Ensure these sessions are structured and guided to prevent any negative experiences. Provide training on giving and receiving feedback effectively. Peer feedback sessions can uncover insights that might not surface in manager-led evaluations and help build a supportive team environment.

9. Team Building Activities

Plan regular team-building activities that encourage collaboration and camaraderie. Observing how employees interact during these activities can provide clues about team dynamics and individual well-being. Choose activities that are inclusive and enjoyable for everyone. Use these opportunities to gather informal feedback on team cohesion and morale. Team-building activities not only strengthen relationships but also offer a chance to observe and address any underlying issues.

10. Mental Health Check-Ins

Implement regular mental health check-ins to ensure employees are coping well with their workload and personal challenges. Offer resources and support for mental well-being. Create an environment where discussing mental health is normalized and stigma-free. Encourage employees to take advantage of available mental health resources and support programs. Regular mental health check-ins demonstrate your commitment to employee well-being and can help prevent burnout and stress-related issues.

11. Employee Engagement Platforms

Use employee engagement platforms that offer tools for recognition, feedback, and surveys. These platforms can provide valuable data on employee sentiment and engagement levels. Regularly review the analytics and take action based on the insights gained. Encourage employees to actively participate in these platforms by recognizing and rewarding contributions. Employee engagement platforms streamline the process of gathering and analyzing feedback, making it easier to stay connected with your team’s pulse. To further enhance engagement, consider offering custom branded gifts, such as custom hoodies or tote bags, as a form of recognition for outstanding contributions.

12. Cross-Functional Projects

Assign employees to cross-functional projects where they can work with colleagues from different departments. These projects foster collaboration and can reveal insights about employee strengths, interests, and challenges. Observe how employees adapt to new roles and interact with different team members. Use the feedback from these projects to identify areas for development and improvement. Cross-functional projects not only enhance skills and relationships but also provide a broader perspective on employee engagement. When you hire developers for a startup, cross-functional projects can be a valuable way to assess candidate skills and cultural fit.

13. Leadership Visibility

Ensure leadership is visible and accessible by holding regular town hall meetings, Q&A sessions, and open office hours. Direct interaction with leadership can boost morale and provide employees with a platform to voice their concerns. Be transparent about company goals, challenges, and achievements. Encourage leaders to actively listen and respond to employee feedback using OSI Reviews platform.. Leadership visibility fosters a culture of openness and trust, making employees feel valued and heard.

Case Study #1: Enhancing Team Dynamics at TechSolutions Inc.

Background: TechSolutions Inc., a mid-sized software company, faced challenges with team communication and collaboration. Employee surveys revealed that many team members felt their contributions were overlooked, and there was a lack of constructive feedback among peers.

Intervention: The HR team implemented structured peer feedback sessions. These sessions were designed to be monthly, with each team member providing and receiving feedback from their peers in a guided format. To ensure effectiveness, the company provided training on giving and receiving feedback constructively and emphasized the importance of these sessions in fostering a supportive work environment.


  • Each session began with a brief training refresher on feedback principles.

  • Employees were paired with different peers each month to broaden perspectives.

  • Sessions were conducted in a safe, open environment, with a focus on both positive feedback and areas for improvement.

  • Feedback was documented, and action items were followed up in subsequent sessions.


  • Within three months, the company observed a 20% increase in overall employee engagement scores.

  • Team cohesion improved significantly, with 85% of employees reporting better communication and collaboration.

  • Employees felt more valued and recognized, resulting in a 15% increase in productivity.

By implementing peer feedback sessions, TechSolutions Inc. effectively enhanced team dynamics, improved communication, and increased overall productivity, demonstrating the power of structured peer interactions in boosting employee engagement.

Case Study #2: Retention Success at HealthCare Plus

Background: HealthCare Plus, a regional healthcare provider, faced high turnover rates, particularly among nursing staff. Exit interviews indicated that employees felt undervalued and saw limited growth opportunities within the organization.

Intervention: The HR team introduced stay interviews to understand why current employees chose to stay and what might make them consider leaving. These interviews were conducted semi-annually with all staff members.


  • HR scheduled one-on-one stay interviews with a mix of new hires and long-term employees.

  • Interview questions focused on job satisfaction, career aspirations, and any potential concerns or reasons that might lead them to leave.

  • HR made a point to follow up on suggestions and feedback gathered from these interviews.


  • Over six months, the stay interviews revealed a need for more professional development opportunities and better recognition programs.

  • In response, HealthCare Plus introduced a new career development program, offering training, certifications, and clear career progression paths.

  • Additionally, a formal recognition program was implemented to regularly acknowledge and reward outstanding performance.


  • Employee turnover rates dropped by 30% within the first year.

  • Employee satisfaction surveys showed a 25% increase in perceived value and recognition.

  • The organization saved significant costs associated with recruiting and training new employees, enhancing overall efficiency.

Stay interviews provided HealthCare Plus with crucial insights into employee satisfaction and retention drivers. By addressing the feedback with tangible changes, the organization successfully reduced turnover and improved employee morale, demonstrating the effectiveness of proactive engagement strategies.


Understanding your employees' pulse requires a combination of innovative strategies and a commitment to open communication. By implementing these non-obvious methods, you can gain valuable insights into your team's well-being and engagement. Now it’s your turn to put these ideas into practice and enhance your workplace environment. Good luck!


  1. What are informal coffee chats, and why are they effective? Informal coffee chats are casual meetings where employees can speak freely about their experiences and concerns, building trust and open communication.

  2. How can anonymous feedback tools help in checking employees' pulse? Anonymous feedback tools encourage honest responses, providing candid insights into employees' feelings and concerns without fear of retribution.

  3. What are pulse surveys, and how do they differ from regular surveys? Pulse surveys are brief, frequent check-ins focusing on specific areas, offering real-time data on employee sentiment and engagement.

  4. Why are one-on-one check-ins important? One-on-one check-ins provide a private setting for employees to discuss progress, challenges, and well-being, fostering deeper insights and support.

  5. What role do employee resource groups play in understanding employees' pulse? Employee resource groups create a sense of community and provide a platform for employees to voice their opinions and share feedback.

  6. How does social media listening help in gauging employee sentiment? Monitoring internal social media channels reveals informal conversations and trends, offering real-time insights into overall employee morale.

  7. What are stay interviews, and why are they beneficial? Stay interviews explore why employees remain with the company and potential concerns, helping to retain top talent by addressing issues proactively.

  8. How can peer feedback sessions improve team dynamics? Peer feedback sessions promote open communication and mutual support, uncovering insights that may not surface in manager-led evaluations.

  9. What benefits do team-building activities offer in checking employees' pulse? Team-building activities encourage collaboration and camaraderie, providing clues about team dynamics and individual well-being through observation.

  10. Why are regular mental health check-ins important? Regular mental health check-ins ensure employees are coping well, offering support and resources to prevent burnout and stress-related issues.

  11. How do employee engagement platforms assist in understanding employees' pulse? Employee engagement platforms offer tools for recognition, feedback, and surveys, providing valuable data on sentiment and engagement levels.

  12. What insights can cross-functional projects provide about employees? Cross-functional projects reveal employee strengths, interests, and challenges, enhancing skills and relationships while providing a broader perspective.

  13. How does leadership visibility impact employee morale? Leadership visibility through town hall meetings and open office hours fosters openness and trust, making employees feel valued and heard.

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