What is the most effective survey tool?

Team leaders are in an exciting time for gathering data about their workforce. With so many options for data analytics, it can be difficult to decide which route to take. Here is our view on what works best.

Annual surveys are not enough.

If you have done them in the past, you can relate to the logistical nightmare related to sending out a long winded and exhaustive survey.

As a leader, a major annual survey is expensive and results in an information overload that is difficult to interpret and create meaningful action from.

As an employee, receiving a notification that it is time to complete the survey simply adds another task that in most cases ends up as a low priority item. This can result in rushing through questions, or not completing the survey at all. Every voice that is not heard is a missed opportunity to improve the performance of your team.

Enter: the pulse survey.

Think of it this way,

Annual surveys are like going to the gym once a month to try and achieve your health goals.

Pulse Surveys are like having a plan, getting a trainer, going multiple times a week and making slow but steady progress while improving on weaknesses and tracking your progress along the way.

Instead of being burdened once a year with a massive load of results that need to be slowly digested and interpreted, HR leaders and consultants can have regular snapshots of the health of their team and receive feedback that they can respond to immediately.

Why is this so good?

Leaders have more information about team drivers on a regular basis, and employees do not have to wait 365 days to have their voice heard. This fosters a trusting relationship between leaders and employees which is paramount to building a high performance team.

This is not to say that annual surveys do not have their place. Annual surveys are by design more thorough and robust, but as a result tend to miss the small details that pulse surveys are fantastic at picking up. 

There is no perfect solution, but the recent rise in pulse survey technology make them one of the most accessible and effective tools HR leaders can have under their belt. 

Stay tuned for more info about pulse surveys and how we are using them right now.

How to get the most of your employee engagement survey

Asking questions is crucial to the success of your business. Questions are a way to express our curiosity of the world around us and learn how to grow our business. One aspect of your business that you CANNOT forget to ask questions about is your human capital – the talent that your success stems from.

Using an employee engagement survey is one of the best ways to improve your business from the inside out and learn about what makes your people tick. Letting your team know that their voice is heard improves motivation and retention. Although a survey may seem costly both from a time and money perspective, it is far less expensive than losing a valuable team member and having to rehire.

Whether you are wondering how to start, or looking for ways to improve, here are some insights into maximizing the ROI of your survey.


Job security is a big deal in today’s world. Employees may be apprehensive to open up about how they really feel at the workplace for fear of losing their income. Providing an anonymous platform to submit answers for surveys will encourage honesty and provide more complete answers from the participants. Let people step aside from their job title and speak as a human being to you. The survey is simply a window to future discussion, so it is imperative that you open up all the curtains to let light shine through.


Before you open the survey, set up a discussion board or submission box for questions people would like to see on the survey. Doing this will provide you with a more thorough and robust set of questions, and increase participation since people will be more likely to answer when their own interests are involved. After the survey, get your team involved in solving any problems that arise . Again, they know best. Involve as many minds as possible, and embrace the diversity of your team. No need to put the burden on one person to solve the problems of many.


This is the most difficult part, and the most important. The truth is, performing the survey is only the first step. If nothing is done after the survey, you run the risk of your team becoming disengaged and unfaithful if they don’t feel like their needs are being addressed. DO NOT do an engagement survey if you are not willing to take action on its results. You must be able to act quickly and implement some positive changes sooner rather than later.

By running a survey, you are nourishing the longevity of your team. Do them often, and make them part of you culture. The results may surprise you!

3 Key Elements That Make The European Workforce Happier and More Productive

A whole continent can not be reduced to 3 generalizations. That is a given. But our hope is that you can take away some valuable tactics that are more prevalent outside of North America that could change the game in your business. 


 Founders House, Copenhagen

Founders House, Copenhagen

1. Work Hours

It is widely known that Europeans have a different pace of life than us in North America. The French and the Swedes take a staggering 8-12 weeks of vacation. Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany all work remarkably shorter days (approx. 5-6 hours). 

Our paradigm may be fixed on work hours, vacation time and what truly makes us productive, but perhaps we need to start second guessing ourselves.

In most cases, less hours worked with a high commitment to getting the job done, working diligently and with focus will increase productivity and profitability. PLUS employees report notably higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction

Recently, I observed this first hand in Berlin and Copenhagen. The laughter that permeated through offices was infectious. Yet in meetings, people were focused, determined and amped to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Because less people are overworked, their capacity for deep and thoughtful work increases and the results speak for themselves. Europeans did not seem to be as afraid to make work a meaningful experience in their lives. Instead of running away from work everyday, they often look to enjoy themselves, getting as much fulfillment from life at work as they do at home.

Take Action

Test this with your teams. What way are you able to push the boundary on work-life integration? We’ve continually seen examples in research that shows us that most people spend 1-2 hours in the work day, well, not working. This unproductive time can be cut down by having employees be required to have a similar output of work (~90%) completed in a reduced work day (5-6 hours) (https://www.fastcompany.com/3063262/what-happened-when-i-moved-my-company-to-a-5-hour-workday). Conversely, we have data to show us that less hours work actually does produce more output (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/03/does-working-fewer-hours-make-you-more-productive).


2. The Multicultural Advantage

With the EU and its splendid open-borders agreement, it is simply a part of who they are to work with people from many different countries. I saw this first hand in many organizations. When I met with the team at Redbubble in Berlin, of the 6 employees I met with, none were from the same country. 

This secret strength, an openness and welcoming of diversity, cannot be overlooked in the North American workforce.


The need for new and innovative ideas that can be taken to market is greater than ever before. Harnessing an ability to collaborate with people from many nations, tribes and tongues is an untapped road to innovation. We’ve seen this backed by research, innovation and market growth increases in workplaces of higher diversity


 Endomondo team collaboration

Endomondo team collaboration

Take Action

Update your hiring practices. Are you actively seeking people to work for you that do not just “fit” the job description, but exceed it. Further to that, do you have a solid understanding of your employee base to know what cultures are represented and more importantly what you are missing. Flip your thinking. Diversity isn’t something we do to be nice and meet the status quo or some sort of legal requirement. Rather, it gives us a way to game-changing innovation and execution on out-of-the-box ideas.

3. Multiple Small Offices

Barriers for travel are drastically lower in Europe. This is an advantage. It allows them to attract talent from different regions and still accommodate them in their workforce. Access to a greater variety of markets and customer demographics comes with a much smaller price tag. After all the business environment of London and Barcelona are wildly different, but still accessible if helpful for your company. 

I was baffled at how many companies I visited, even small tech start-ups of less than 10 people had multiple offices. 

What makes it possible? 

Well it’s NOT that they can easily travel from country-to-country. Actually, it’s a principle that makes it accessible as well for North Americans: systems and processes. The use of collaboration technologies (Slack, Asana, Zoom Calling etc.) is rampant. 

I understand we are doing this across North America as well, but we are a bit slower to the draw outside of tech hubs such as Waterloo, Silicon Valley and Seattle. 

When we can build companies that CAN exist to be fully virtual and remote, even if we have physical locations, our business wins. The cultural impact of giving your employees more freedom, accessing talent and resources with a greater ease-of-entry, and establishing presence in more markets are perks of the remote company that can no longer be ignored. 

Take Action

Is it actually in your best interest to have just one office location? Could the advantages of multiple locations outweigh the perceived disadvantages? Have you challenged your assumptions about the cost of such an endeavour, the impact it will have on your culture and its impact on your bottom line?

How might you test this?

  1. Propose. Give your employees an option to work 1 week remotely per year (or quarter, or month, whatever you’re comfortable with). They can be on vacation in the Bahamas or on their couch at home, but encourage them to not be at the office.
  2. Give them one caveat... they just have to tell you where they are going. Why? Not to breach their privacy but so you can look for opportunities to partner with them in this.
  3. Harness the opportunity. If they are travelling to Toronto, have them attend an important event that week as a representative of your company. You could even set up a meeting with a prospect that you couldn’t have met in person before with. Your employee will instantly feel like you trust them much more, they will get out of their regular pattern of work and you will experience the ebb and flow of what it’s like having people work for you remotely.