How to prioritize employee mental health with pulse surveys

8 min read
How to prioritize employee mental health with pulse surveys

Have you ever noticed how the workplace can sometimes feel like a whirlwind of deadlines, never-ending to-do lists, and the constant ping of incoming emails? It's no wonder that employee mental health has become a hot topic in recent years. After all, happy and mentally thriving employees are the key to a successful and thriving organization.

Picture this: you're sitting at your desk, drowning in a sea of stress and desperately trying to meet yet another tight deadline. Meanwhile, your mental well-being is waving a little white flag, silently screaming for much-needed attention. Sounds relatable, right?

Well, there's a powerful tool that can help organizations prioritize the mental health condition of their employees: pulse surveys. These nifty surveys provide real-time insights into the thoughts and feelings of your workforce, helping you identify areas of concern and take action to support your team.

According to a recent study by the American Institute of Stress, a staggering 83% of employees feel stressed about work. It's time to address this issue head-on and make mental health a top priority.

In this blog, we'll dive into the world of pulse surveys and explore how they can revolutionize your approach to employee well-being.

Table of contents:

Why are employee mental health surveys important?

So, why exactly are these pulse surveys so important when it comes to prioritizing employee mental health? Well, let me break it down for you.

First and foremost, these surveys give employees a voice. They provide a safe and confidential platform for individuals to express their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions without the fear of judgment or repercussions.

In a world where mental health benefits are often stigmatized, this opportunity to be heard can be incredibly empowering. It shows that their well-being matters and that their organization genuinely cares about their happiness and satisfaction.

Secondly, pulse surveys allow organizations to gather real-time data on the state of their employees' mental health issues. Instead of relying on guesswork or assumptions, companies can obtain valuable insights directly from the source.

By asking targeted questions about workload, stress levels, work-life balance, and overall satisfaction, employers gain a clearer understanding of the specific challenges their workforce is facing.

Furthermore, these surveys enable organizations to identify patterns and trends. Are certain teams consistently reporting high levels of stress? Are there common concerns across different departments? By spotting these patterns, companies can take proactive measures to address issues before they escalate.

Pulse surveys also serve as a way to measure the effectiveness of mental health initiatives and interventions. By regularly surveying employees, organizations can track changes in attitudes and perceptions over time. This data can guide decision-making and help refine existing programs or implement new strategies to better support employee well-being.

Ultimately, employee mental health surveys foster a culture of transparency, trust, and open communication. They show employees that their voices matter, enable organizations to identify and address areas of concern, and pave the way for a healthier and more productive workforce.

How can employers prioritize employee mental health?

Here are some key strategies to consider:

Act on the survey findings: It's essential to take the insights gathered from the pulse surveys seriously and use them to drive meaningful change. Identify common concerns or areas of improvement and develop action plans to address them.

Foster an open and supportive culture: Create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing mental health. Encourage open conversations, provide resources for mental health support, and train managers to recognize and respond to signs of distress.

Promote work-life balance: Encourage employees to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life. Offer flexible work arrangements, encourage breaks, and discourage a culture of overworking or burnout.

Provide mental health resources: Invest in employee assistance programs (EAPs), counseling services, or access to mental health professionals. Ensure that employees know about these resources and are encouraged to utilize them without fear of stigma or reprisal.

Train managers in mental health awareness: Equip managers with the knowledge and skills to support employees' mental well-being. Provide training on recognizing signs of distress, mental health offerings, and fostering a positive work environment.

Encourage self-care practices: Promote activities that enhance well-being, such as mindfulness exercises, physical fitness programs, or relaxation techniques. Encourage employees to take breaks, engage in hobbies, and prioritize self-care.

Recognize and appreciate employees: Regularly acknowledge and appreciate employees' efforts and achievements. Recognition boosts morale and helps create a positive and supportive work environment.

Evaluate workload and job demands: Assess whether workloads are manageable and reasonable. Consider redistributing tasks, revising deadlines, or providing additional support where necessary.

Continuously monitor and improve: Keep the pulse surveys as an ongoing practice. Regularly assess the effectiveness of implemented initiatives, seek employee feedback, and make adjustments accordingly.

Remember, prioritizing workplace mental health is an ongoing commitment. By implementing these strategies, employers can create a workplace where mental well-being is not just encouraged but genuinely valued.

How do you measure employee mental well-being?

There are effective methods to gauge the mental health of your workforce. Here are a few key approaches:

Pulse surveys: As we discussed earlier, pulse surveys are an excellent tool for measuring employee mental well-being. These surveys can include questions that directly address stress levels, job satisfaction, work-life balance, and overall mental health challenges. By conducting regular pulse surveys, organizations can track trends and identify areas for improvement.

Absenteeism and turnover rates: Monitoring absenteeism and turnover rates can provide insights into employee mental well-being. High rates of absenteeism or increased turnover might indicate underlying issues affecting the poor mental health of employees.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) utilization: If your organization offers an EAP or similar mental health support program, tracking the utilization rate can give you an indication of how many employees are seeking assistance for mental health concerns.

Performance and engagement metrics: Employee performance and employee engagement levels can reflect their mental well-being. Decreased productivity, disengagement, or a decline in the quality of work may suggest that employees are struggling with addressing mental health.

Manager feedback and observations: Managers play a crucial role in recognizing signs of distress or changes in behavior among their team members. Encouraging open communication between managers and employees and seeking feedback from managers can provide valuable insights into the mental well-being of the workforce.

How do you monitor and support employee mental health through pulse surveys?

Monitoring and measuring mental health of employees through pulse surveys is a powerful approach that can make a real difference in your organization. Here's how you can effectively utilize pulse surveys to monitor and support employee mental health:

Regular survey cadence: Establish a regular cadence for pulse surveys to capture the evolving state of employee mental health. Quarterly or biannual surveys can provide a snapshot of trends over time while allowing you to intervene when necessary.

Thoughtful question design: Craft engagement survey questions that directly address mental health and well-being. Inquire about stress levels, work-life balance, job satisfaction, and support systems. Design survey questions to be open-ended as well, enabling employees to share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions.

Anonymous and confidential: Ensure that pulse surveys are anonymous and confidential, creating a safe space for employees to express themselves honestly without fear of reprisal. Anonymity encourages candid responses and helps maintain trust.

Action-oriented analysis: Analyze survey data with a focus on identifying areas for improvement and actionable insights. Look for recurring themes, patterns, or concerns across teams or departments. Use this data to inform decision-making and prioritize initiatives that support employee mental health.

Communication and transparency: After analyzing survey results, communicate the findings to the entire organization. This demonstrates that their voices are heard and their feedback is taken seriously. Share any planned actions or initiatives resulting from the survey to foster transparency and trust.

Targeted interventions: Use the survey data to implement targeted interventions and support mechanisms. For example, if the survey reveals high-stress levels, consider offering stress management workshops, mental health services, or implementing flexible work arrangements to promote work-life balance.

Track progress: Continuously monitor the impact of interventions and track progress over time. Revisit pulse surveys to gauge the effectiveness of implemented strategies and measure changes in employee perceptions and well-being.

Foster a culture of support: Pulse surveys should be part of a broader culture of support for mental health. Encourage open dialogue, provide resources, and foster a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable seeking help and support.

Utilize benchmarks: Compare your survey results against industry benchmarks or external data, if available. This can provide valuable context and help identify areas where your organization may be falling behind or excelling in terms of employee mental health.

Integration with employee development: Integrate the findings from pulse surveys into employee development initiatives. For example, if the surveys reveal a need for additional training or resources in certain areas, incorporate these findings into training programs or professional development plans.

Long-term strategy: Treat pulse surveys as part of a long-term strategy rather than a one-time endeavor. Consistently monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your mental health initiatives, make adjustments as needed, and continue to prioritize employee well-being as a fundamental aspect of your organizational culture.

What are the questions on the employee survey about mental health?

When it comes to including questions about mental health in your employee survey, you want to ensure you gather comprehensive and insightful data. Here are 11 sample questions that can provide valuable insights into employee mental health:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your overall level of job satisfaction?
  2. How often do you feel overwhelmed or stressed in your role?
  3. Are you satisfied with the work-life balance provided by the organization?
  4. Do you feel supported by your manager in terms of your mental health and well-being?
  5. Have you experienced any symptoms of burnout, such as exhaustion or cynicism, in the past six months?
  6. Are you aware of the mental health resources and support available to you through the organization (e.g., EAP, counseling services)?
  7. How often do you take breaks during the workday to relax and recharge?
  8. Are you comfortable discussing mental health concerns with your colleagues or supervisor?
  9. Do you feel that your workload is manageable and reasonable?
  10. Have you experienced any work-related conflicts or incidents that have negatively impacted your mental health?
  11. Are you satisfied with the level of recognition and appreciation you receive for your work?


Prioritizing employee mental health is a crucial endeavor, and pulse surveys are a powerful tool to help organizations achieve this goal. By regularly monitoring and supporting employee mental well-being through thoughtful survey questions, companies can gain insights, identify areas for improvement, and take targeted actions.

But why stop there when you can take it a step further with CultureMonkey? CultureMonkey is the best way to go when it comes to conducting pulse surveys that truly make a difference.

With its user-friendly interface, customizable survey templates, and robust analytics, CultureMonkey empowers organizations to gather real-time feedback, track progress, and foster a culture of transparency and support.

With features like recognition programs, feedback loops, and peer-to-peer recognition, CultureMonkey creates a holistic approach to nurturing a positive work environment where mental health is valued, and employees can thrive.

Don't settle for average when it comes to prioritizing employee mental health. Choose CultureMonkey and revolutionize your organization's approach to supporting the well-being of your most valuable asset – your people.