How I use Pulse Surveys to gather feedback as a CEO

By Tom on September 8, 2022 — 1 min read

Last year I ran a monthly pulse survey to gather regular feedback from everyone who works at Human Made on my performance as CEO.

  • It gave me a useful way to track a number representing how folks across the company perceived I was performing as CEO, whilst the absolute numbers weren’t so meaningful, it was very interesting to see them change in relation the whatever events or changes I was leading the company through at any given time.
  • It also gave me access to timely qualitative feedback as people would send me their thoughts on things I’d been doing or saying recently internally and externally. People also sometimes sent me small words of encouragement or support which was quite nice.

I used Small Improvements to set it up which we were using for most of our HR needs at the time (we’ve since switched to bob), but I’m sure it could be adapted to many other survey tools.

The survey sent to everyone using a Slack integration, each person received a DM and could answer the questions inline.

I tried a few different names and found calling the survey “Help me be a better CEO!” lead to the most engagement. I asked the following questions, the last 3 were optional:

  1. How do you rate Tom’s performance as the CEO of Human Made (1-5 scale + free text)
  2. Which things would you expect to see Tom doing more? (free text)
  3. Which things would you expect to see Tom doing less? (free text)
  4. Do you have any other feedback? (free text)
My goal is to be the best CEO of Human Made that I possibly can be and I need your help to get there! Sharing how you perceive I am performing as CEO is highly valuable to me. Thank you for helping me get better at the thing I love doing! You may find my CEO role description, list of current responsibilities, and How I work doc useful if you're unsure what to expect from me as CEO (I welcome feedback on those docs too!).

One early useful learning is that people didn’t always know what a CEO does or should be doing, that insight lead to me putting together a more comprehensive “How I work” document as well as an internal handbook page on my current CEO responsibilities as well as an updated CEO job description, I then linked all 3 of those in the opening description of the survey.

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