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Article | EX Insights

Survey best practice: COVID-19 – Employee listening via pulse surveys

By Andromachie Lella | March 31, 2020

In light of COVID-19 and its impact on the workforce, many of our clients are quickly pivoting to regular COVID-19 pulse surveys.
Talent|Employee Engagement
Pandemic Risk and Response

In response, we have designed a COVID-19 survey template, which is available now to all our Employee Engagement Software clients.

Employees are experiencing a range of concerns about their wellbeing, among those, how to cope if they or a loved one fall ill, or simply how to get work done in spite of office closures and travel restrictions.

Based on our recent learnings from China and around the world, we have designed 24 brand new questions covering the following topics:

Work arrangements

It is especially important to tailor this content based on the physical environment that employees are in (working from home or at a company location) as they will face different challenges.


This category addresses stress at work and home, as well as a sense of connection and financial concerns.


How you support your employees though this time will stay with them well after this crisis.

Business focus

Many industries (food retail, pharma, healthcare, etc.) are vital in keeping the world safe, healthy and fed, so employee views on how you operate is a key area to measure.

Policies and impact

Amongst others, employee benefits and travel/work from home policies should support your operations, while keeping everyone out of harm's way.

The Willis Towers Watson COVID-19 survey template is now pre-translated in 17 languages so you can deploy it instantly across the world.

Demographic questions

We cannot stress enough that this pulse survey should be as simple as possible, with results going directly to a COVID-19 taskforce (where available) and senior leaders, avoiding the extra complexity of delivering results to line managers. Therefore, your demographic section can be very high-level.

Given that different parts of the world are at different stages of the pandemic, make sure you include a location question. A role-based question will also be helpful, as different roles are likely to have different experiences. Lastly, consider asking about personal responsibilities which may impact an employee's ability to be productive.

What's next

In the near term, we are focused on creating an external benchmark to help you understand how your organization compares to other companies as we get accustomed to the "new normal".

Existing customers can sign into their WTW's Engage account today to learn more about the COVID-19 Pulse Survey template.

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