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Over the past several decades, organizational surveys have shifted from being a novel intervention for gathering employee feedback (Nadler, 1977) to a critical and standard methodology for generating strategic insights, tracking culture change, and driving both large-scale and local action planning down to the managerial level (Burke, Coruzzi, & Church, 1996; Church, Margiloff, & Coruzzi, 1995; Church & Oliver, 2006; Church & Waclawski 2001; 2020; Kraut, 2006; Wiley, 2010). Surveys have proven themselves as a cornerstone in the Organizational Development (OD) toolbox to gather employee insight and inform change.
“. . . by integrating pulse and census approaches holistically, and leveraging the pulse model
to create a more diagnostic framework, the tool can provide critically important information to
advise a larger organizational change agenda.”
By Julian B. Allen, Sachin Jain,
and Allan H. Church
Over the past several decades, organiza-
tional surveys have shifted from being a
novel intervention for gathering employee
feedback (Nadler, 1977) to a critical and
standard methodology for generating stra-
tegic insights, tracking culture change, and
driving both large-scale and local action
planning down to the managerial level
(Burke, Coruzzi, & Church, 1996; Church,
Margiloff, & Coruzzi, 1995; Church & Oli-
ver, 2006; Church & Waclawski 2001;
2020; Kraut, 2006; Wiley, 2010). Surveys
have proven themselves as a cornerstone
in the Organizational Development (OD)
toolbox to gather employee insight and
inform change.
Consistent with this point is the con-
tinued rise and frequent use of pulse sur-
veys (Colihan & Waclawski, 2006; Jolton
& Klein, 2020), intended as short and
timely indicators to understand if inter-
ventions or action plans are on track. The
brief and targeted nature of these surveys
provides increased flexibility and the oppor-
tunity to generate insights at the strategic
level (pulse surveys are not typically suit-
able for local action planning given their
design). Yet, as some have argued (Church
& Waclawski, 2020), pulse surveys in their
current implementation present serious
limitations. While data from pulse surveys
may be highly engaging to senior leader-
ship, results are unlikely to drive change
from an OD perspective given their typi-
cal incomplete integration with the broader
organizational system and content. For this
reason, practitioners often require follow-
up focus groups or interviews to support
the interpretation of results.
Given these challenges, one might
argue that pulse surveys should be aban-
doned in favor of a return to large-scale
census driven change survey programs.
While more comprehensive (and census-
based) surveys do play a critical role in set-
ting a baseline for organizational change,
we argue that it is possible to apply pulse
survey methodology to organizational
change initiatives if practitioners are pre-
pared to take an agile mindset to their
survey programs. Specifically, by integrat-
ing pulse and census approaches holisti-
cally, and leveraging the pulse model to
create a more diagnostic framework, the
tool can provide critically important infor-
mation to advise a larger organizational
change agenda. If done well, pulse surveys
can communicate or inform the need for
change and allow OD practitioners the abil-
ity to flex the content quickly into a more
in-depth data collection tool.
To illustrate best practices and learn-
ings from our own experience at PepsiCo,
a global consumer products organiza-
tion with $67 billion in revenue, the pur-
pose of the current paper is twofold. First,
we will demonstrate how to implement a
pulse survey in an agile manner as an OD
intervention. The paper focuses on how a
short and targeted survey can be leveraged
to set strategic direction and inform orga-
nizational change. Second, to solidify our
arguments, we leverage a recent COVID-19
pulse survey (called the “Take Care Pulse
Survey” conducted at PepsiCo in April of
2020) as a case example. We will share
how the survey was developed, key results
identified and the impact those had on the
Using a Pulse Survey Approach
to Drive Organizational Change
organization’s flexible ways of working
strategy, and learnings from the process. It
is our intention that other OD practition-
ers may learn from this case example to
enhance their own approach to using pulse
surveys to support large-scale change in an
agile manner.
Organizational Surveys Traditions
and Standards
The organizational survey started as a base-
line measurement of employee attitudes
and behaviors. The main purpose of sur-
veying was to measure and track opinions
over time and action-plan. However, as
surveying became common practice, their
purpose was elevated from measuring and
tracking to promoting large-scale organi-
zational change. With the consistent adop-
tion by OD practitioners, the survey itself
became a vehicle to drive key messages and
interventions (Church & Waclawski, 2001;
2020). Simply stated, surveys drive change
via classic Lewinian OD theory (Lewin,
1958) by presenting data that creates dis-
satisfaction with the current state, which in
turn creates a felt need for change (Burke,
et al., 1996; Church & Waclawski, 2020;
Nadler, 1977).
At PepsiCo, over the past 20 years, a
similar approach has been followed. Sur-
veying is standard practice at the global
level, with an annual survey designed to
create a desire for change and diagnos-
tic pulse checks throughout the year. Fur-
ther, at the local level, there are frequent
focus groups, surveys, and interviews that
center on targeted employee concerns.
Taken together, these initiatives are based
on a single model of employee engage-
ment and commitment to ensure a uni-
fied understanding and reduce ambiguity
when designing and analyzing results.
Research at PepsiCo over the years (Church
& Oliver, 2006; Church et al., 2012) has
shown conclusively that taking action
from the survey process leads to change
over-time, while just sharing results from
a survey has no impact (or even negative
impact) on employee engagement. How-
ever, more recently, this standard process
and approach, despite its integrated nature,
was still not fulfilling the organizational
need. As the external need for change of
the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, new
types of insights and of a highly timely
nature required us to reevaluate our pro-
gram. Simply put, we could not wait for the
core cycle to meet our needs nor was the
content uniquely targeted to the challenges
ahead. We found ourselves operating on
accelerated timelines, with senior leaders
needing (1) immediate diagnostic insights
regarding how employees were respond-
ing to the crisis, (2) an understanding of
whether our communications and tools
were best supporting our employees, and
(3) recommendations for shifting the cul-
ture going forward to enable greater flex-
ibility in how we work.
Purpose and Process of the COVID-19
Survey Initiative
Organizations worldwide have been con-
fronting the realities of a new normal
with the COVID-19 pandemic (Church &
Ezama, 2020; Connley, Hess & Liu, 2020;
McKinsey & Company, 2020). From a tal-
ent perspective, challenges in this context
range from choosing how best to redeploy
or build new capabilities in talent to the
decision to retain or furlough employees.
For PepsiCo, at least toward the start of the
pandemic, a key question surrounded the
engagement and needs of employees while
working remotely. Although industry has
been shifting to remote or more flexible
ways of working, a fully remote infrastruc-
ture was never foreseen at PepsiCo prior to
the COVID-19 crisis. The rapid and unex-
pected shift to remote work for over 30,000
professional employees who previously
had worked out of offices around the world
resulted in multiple questions:
»Are employees able to adapt to their
new work arrangements?
»Are employees able to cope with their
family or personal demands and work
demands simultaneously?
»Are employees aware of the programs
and solutions being offered to them by
the organization?
»And how do employees feel overall
about the company during this time
of crisis?
As corporate owners of the internal
organizational survey agenda, the PepsiCo
Center of Expertise (COE) for Global Tal-
ent Management, we were asked to answer
these questions and more at a critically
short moment in time. More specifically,
during the COVID-19 pandemic, to sup-
port evidence-based decision making we
were tasked with understanding and deter-
mining employee sentiment and needs.
As our senior leadership team prepared
to launch communications, push capabil-
ity training out to the field, and change
policy to support employees, they required
an understanding of how best to care for
employees and the organization.
However, unique to this scenario,
there was a desire for quick evidence as the
crisis was new, uncertain, and rapidly driv-
ing change. This was a great example of
the external environmental pressures out-
lined in the Burke-Litwin model (Burke
& Litwin, 1992) for organizational perfor-
mance and change in action. This focus on
speed shortened our window for design,
alignment, and execution of a new survey
agenda. Further, with the crisis impacting
all employees, there was an overarching
fear of straining employees by overcom-
municating and surveying. Based on these
questions and the legitimate constraints
(i.e., speed and brevity), our team of inter-
nal OD practitioners and I-O psycholo-
gists developed and executed a new form of
pulse survey specifically designed to both
inform PepsiCo’s response and engage
employees in the process.
The initial decision to conduct a
pulse survey was based on its clear ben-
efits for tracking change but in particular
because of its ability to be implemented
quickly (Colihan & Waclawski, 2006).
However, being aware of the limitations
of pulse surveys—oversimplifying larger
organizational concerns, not represent-
ing the entire organization (given a fre-
quent sampling approach), and limited
ownership for change or results (Church
& Waclawski, 2020)—there were a few key
design changes we implemented to shift
the focus of the approach from a simple
“pulse check” to a more diagnostic deep
dive survey model for driving change.
In building and implementing the pulse
63Using a Pulse Survey Approach to Drive Organizational Change
survey to determine employee needs there
were a few survey standards or conventions
that were upheld, a few that were stretched
to ensure speed, and a few trial-and-error
components (in the spirit of an agile mind-
set) that supported our efforts. Each of
these are detailed below.
Standards followed.
While developing the
content and approach for the pulse survey
there were various key standards to ensure
results supported and informed organiza-
tional initiatives in response to the rapid
shift to remote work. These should be
familiar to most OD practitioners but are
worth mentioning as they helped with the
success of the survey. To start, our team
focused on integrating the pulse survey
with the larger organizational social system
(Katz & Kahn, 1978). Although pulse sur-
veys are frequently viewed as one-off diag-
nostic surveys, it is beneficial to integrate
them into a larger change management
agenda and with the right level of depth to
ensure accountability of the results. With
the “Take Care Pulse Survey” specifically,
we wanted to ensure results were cap-
tured appropriately and not forgotten. To
this end, following recommendations by
Church and Waclawski (2020), we took a
social system perspective in developing and
communicating the pulse survey.
In developing the survey content and
items, we started by revisiting our standard
and well-socialized employee commitment
and engagement framework used in our
core global Organizational Health survey
program. This framework centers on the
key drivers of employee engagement and
commitment by focusing on employee per-
ceptions regarding their career, team, work,
and company as major categories. By start-
ing with the existing framework, our goal
was to ensure the survey content would be
actionable and consistent with previous
standards and the larger survey and change
agenda. Based on this review, the item “I
feel energized by my work,” included in
our annual engagement survey and quar-
terly pulse check surveys, was added as a
primary outcome measure. With this item,
we were able to track changes over time
and reinforce the importance of the current
pulse survey.
From there, considering the unique
circumstances, we also consulted the
broader literature on remote and virtual
work (e.g., Gajendran & Harrison, 2007;
Golden, Veiga, & Simsek, 2006) and
benchmarked with other organizations
to ensure we were tapping all employee
needs appropriately. Based on this review
we added a secondary outcome of overall
“employee sentiment.” This represented a
unique approach for our organization and
one that we have rarely seen used in other
internal survey programs as well. As survey
outcomes are typically work-specific, this
was a new construct for the organization
and was intended to provide information
about employee attitudes above and beyond
the company as a whole. We believed by
including sentiment we would be better
positioned to answer the question from
senior leaders about how much internal
attitudes were being driven by external con-
cerns in the world relative to actual inter-
nal practices by the management team and
the organization.
Having defined the two main out-
comes, we began to identify the areas that
employees required organizational support
based on the shift to remote work. Three
main categories of employee needs were
Information needs
, focusing on
employees having an outlet to commu-
nicate and ask questions;
Resource needs
, to understand if
employees and teams have the desired
tools and are adapting appropriately;
Social needs
, to understand work-life
balance concerns and the shift away
from face-to-face interactions.
Moving forward, from a communication
standpoint, every survey needs to have
clarity of purpose. Without purpose, a
survey can produce ambiguity and uncer-
tainty impacting response rates, direction
in the analysis of results, and actionabil-
ity of insights (Church & Waclawski, 2001;
2020). From a systems perspective, the
purpose and any communications sur-
rounding the survey should be integrated
with company values and objectives. This
way OD tools can increase their value and
impact for senior leadership and employ-
ees. For the current case, the purpose was
clear—to identify employee needs to drive
energy and sentiment during the rapid
shift to virtual work. Based on this pur-
pose, the communication campaign and
survey were titled “Take Care.” With a clear
agenda, the following steps were taken to
ensure this purpose was aligned and com-
municated appropriately.
Given the need for speed in execut-
ing the survey, our team moved quickly
to present an integrated timeline between
the current pulse survey and other survey
efforts. The integrated timeline demon-
strated that the current pulse would pro-
vide an understanding of needs, while the
Reflecting on the decision to take a storytelling approach,
rather than a more traditional local action-planning framework,
we believe it provided clarity in a time of uncertainty. A single-
story contextualized around PepsiCo’s major groupings (e.g.,
sectors, primary countries) and key demographics (e.g., gender,
functions, age cohorts, level groups) simplified the move from
receiving the data to initiating change. More specifically, with
these groupings and demographics we were able to highlight
areas requiring additional support, needing increased social
connection with their team and leadership, improved capability
training on remote technology, and attention toward work-life
balance given the merging of work and home.
regularly scheduled leadership pulse (in
May) would serve as a follow-up. By using
this approach, the current pulse was not
viewed as a one-off initiative but part of a
larger survey and change agenda making
it more impactful to senior leaders. This
timeline and purpose were then aligned
with our sector Chief Human Resource
Officers (CHROs). Ideally, we would have
taken steps to align talent management
and OD teams at lower levels as well, but
in the interest of time, we aligned the top
to ensure others would fall in place. Fur-
ther, in communicating the survey to those
invited to participate, a corporate commu-
nication was shared from PepsiCo’s global
CHRO stating the purpose of the survey
and diligently connecting the survey to
PepsiCo’s core values as outlined in The
PepsiCo Way, an aspirational framework
that describes the behaviors that shape our
shared culture. Key across these efforts was
the transparency of communication in the
purpose of the survey and integration with
the larger social system (i.e., PepsiCo val-
ues, and the employee engagement & com-
mitment framework).
Standards “stretched” (broken).
Until now,
most of the process described should be
familiar or evident to practitioners who
engage in survey work. However, with the
current pulse survey, there were a few key
areas where we applied an agile mindset
and stretched our typical approach, and
with hindsight, these decisions supported
the success of the project. The two main
changes, described below, were a focus on
developing a unified and integrated story
with the results (Church & Waclawski,
2020), and the inclusion of both work and
non-work specific outcomes of interest.
Taking a storytelling approach, results
for the pulse survey were reported at a
global level with minimal slicing of the
data by company demographics. Apply-
ing an understanding of PepsiCo’s past
and taking into account the larger COVID-
19 context (i.e., number of positive cases
and lockdown stage by country), results
were reported in a more deliberate narra-
tive manner for senior leadership rather
than a bottom-up approach allowing local
teams to shape the interpretation (which
is atypical for us given our local action-
planning survey framework). The goal was
to provide a unified story and reinforce
the value of the data to initiate and inform
Pepsi Co’s response to the rapid shift to
remote work. Reflecting on the decision
to take a storytelling approach, rather than
a more traditional local action-planning
framework, we believe it provided clarity in
a time of uncertainty. A single-story con-
textualized around PepsiCo’s major group-
ings (e.g., sectors, primary countries) and
key demographics (e.g., gender, functions,
age cohorts, level groups) simplified the
move from receiving the data to initiating
change. More specifically, with these group-
ings and demographics we were able to
highlight areas requiring additional sup-
port, needing increased social connection
with their team and leadership, improved
capability training on remote technol-
ogy, and attention toward work-life bal-
ance given the merging of work and home.
Table 1 provides an overview of the key
findings from the survey itself.
The second major shift in the design
of the survey was the inclusion of both a
work and a non-work specific outcome. As
previously mentioned, the two outcome
items included in the pulse were energy
at work and overall employee sentiment.
The energy item, as it is part of our larger
engagement scale, was included to enable
us to track scores over time but more
importantly calibrate the current attitudinal
state of our employees with prior results.
By asking this question (though not action-
able by itself) we were able to determine
whether employees were more or less moti-
vationally impacted by the current COVID-
19 dynamic.
The sentiment item, on the other
hand, was added as a result of our litera-
ture review and conversations with local
OD teams. Admittedly, we were hesitant in
adding a general sentiment item as it was
Table 1. PepsiCo Take Care Pulse Survey Key Findings
• Across the organization results demonstrated that employees needed
increased social connection with their team and leadership, improved capa-
bility training on remote technology (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, etc.),
and attention toward work-life balance given the merging work and home.
• By continents or major business regions, those entering the COVID-19 pan-
demic (e.g., the preparation & prevention stages) reported higher levels of
sentiment and energy compared to those that were already in confinement
and with restrictions.
• Over time, based on a matched sample (n = 10,260), there was an overall
drop in employee energy of 3% from September 2019 to April 2020. However,
results differed by country, suggesting varying levels of resilience or tolerance
based on a combination of socioeconomic status, government response, and
COVID-19 stage. Countries such as China, India, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and
Brazil showed increasing or stable energy over time, while Australia, USA,
Canada, and South Africa experienced a decrease over time.
• Groups adjusting to remote work or with increased demands, as a result of the
pandemic, reported lower work-life balance, and overall energy and sentiment
leading to potential concern for burnout.
• Employees that were already working remotely before the pandemic were more
favorable. North America employees working from home prior to COVID-19
reported higher levels of energy, work-life balance, and social connection
compared to North America employees newly working from home. Findings
suggested that with time employees can adapt and that we need to learn from
these employees.
NOTE: Results are based on 13,658 PepsiCo employee responses globally.
65Using a Pulse Survey Approach to Drive Organizational Change
outside the realm of work and even less
actionable than the energy item. However,
measuring sentiment proved immensely
valuable to our senior leaders in contrast to
energy, ensuring the data was both insight-
ful and accepted as reflecting reality. Spe-
cifically, we found that while energy was
consistently high across almost all cohorts,
business units or functions examined, sen-
timent was considerably lower and varied
by the stage of COVID-19 across differ-
ent countries in our global organization.
Figure 1 provides an example of how we
were able to compare the two outcomes for
our senior leaders.
In short, overall employee attitudes
about the world differed much more sig-
nificantly by the state of their external envi-
ronment (safety), while their work-related
attitudes were impacted more by actions
taken by the organization. Often in sur-
vey programs, senior leaders can question
the perceived validity (in the colloquial not
empirical use of the term) of survey data.
By using both outcomes we were able to
show that they were in fact measuring very
different attitudes.
Coincidences achieved (aka Trial and
Lastly, unbeknownst to us there
were a few design decisions that worked
in favor of the survey and results. While
determining the population for the survey,
for example, there was an internal debate
whether to use a sampling approach or a
census approach. This is a common survey
methodology question and particularly rele-
vant to pulse surveys as many would argue
that a sampling approach is preferred (Coli-
han & Waclawski, 2006; Jolton & Klein,
2020). Although there was a concern of
burdening employees and not providing
enough time to respond to the survey (two
weeks rather than our typical approach
of one month), a more inclusive census
approach was favored. This approach was
chosen specifically because the survey was
meant not only to measure but to com-
municate to all employees impacted by the
COVID-19 pandemic that the organization
was interested in following-up with them.
Although a sample would have been eas-
ier and produced arguable equally valuable
results, the census pulse design reflects
our OD mindset in driving key commu-
nications (leadership concern for employ-
ees) and active engagement (all employees
impacted asked for their input).
Interestingly enough, even without
the usual fanfare and follow up of our stan-
dard surveys, we received a comparable
rate of 45% in just 2 weeks and the vast
majority of those came in during the first
few days of administration. Reflecting on
the process, despite the shorter adminis-
tration window, the decision to take a cen-
sus approach was beneficial. Employees
wanted to voice their opinion on this par-
ticular topic and appreciated being asked.
In fact, based on an open-response ques-
tion included at the end of the survey (“Tell
us a positive story or contribution you have
recently experienced at PepsiCo to best
manage the current situation”), employ-
ees shared a strong positive narrative of
leading the way and helping each other
adapt to remote work. The survey sent a
clear message of inclusion, and with more
employees participating results were read-
ily accepted by senior stakeholders (pulse
surveys based on samples often get criti-
cized for not being accurate even if they are
based on representative samples). Table 2
(next page) provides sample feedback from
employees about the survey itself and their
appreciation for the timeliness and content.
In the end, after only a two-week
administration window, results based on
13,658 employee responses were delivered
to senior leaders within two days of the
survey closing. The results of the survey
were communicated almost immediately
in multiple forums and outlets includ-
ing presentation and discussion with the
senior executive team, review with the top
200 executives, action planning with the
top 60 HR executives, discussion at the
Board of Directors level, and a report out to
the broader employee base during a global
Town Hall hosted by the CEO.
In addition, results were shared and
used by local business leaders and func-
tional SVPs to engage their employees and
align to the common set of messages and
findings. Finally, the results also helped
shape the organization’s new (and signifi-
cant cultural departure) approach to flex-
ible working, as well as inform the shifting
Diversity & Engagement strategy in sup-
port of a new leader in that space. In fact,
the impact of the survey was so positive
that within 2 weeks the Business CEOs
asked to expand the same survey design to
their frontline supervisors.
Key Learnings
Large-scale employee surveys are one of
the most impactful methods for creating a
need for or supporting change and generat-
ing key insights and actions to improve the
workplace (Church & Waclawski, 2020).
However, based on our experience with
. Employee Sentiment and Energy across PepsiCo Sectors
Note. Across outcomes, energy (being internally focused) was consistently higher
compared to sentiment (encompassing both internal and external contexts).
the Take Care Pulse Survey at Pepsi Co, we
have seen the potential impact that a seem-
ingly simple, yet strategic and agile pulse
survey approach can have on senior lead-
ership and the organization. While we
certainly endorse an annual large-scale
census driven survey program for deep
diagnostics and local action planning,
we now also have an excellent example
of another more agile form of pulse sur-
veys for change. Listed below are a few
key implications for OD practitioners to
consider for increasing the strategic value
of their (or their clients’) survey initiatives
and interventions during both the cur-
rent crisis and for future implementations
as well:
»Pulse surveys can communicate what
matters to the organization. Although
many practitioners consider pulse sur-
veys to be simplistic tools they can
be used to signal and communicate
change just as well as larger surveys if
executed in the appropriate timing and
with the right communications support.
»Pulse surveys can be highly inclusive
and engaging. Apart from their abil-
ity to track trends, when extended to all
employees they also send key messages
about inclusion and engagement.
»Pulse surveys can drive organizational
change through storytelling. Collect-
ing survey feedback is always the easy
part. The real challenge, in effectively
leveraging survey data for change, is the
ability to tell a meaningful story to cre-
ate action (Church & Waclawski, 2001;
2020). Connecting results to the orga-
nization and larger context, to create a
simple and compelling narrative, can
help guide the conversation toward key
insights rather than enabling “analy-
sis paralysis” that can occur. This helps
ensure ownership and accountability
over the results.
»During a crisis, timing and content are
equally critical. We recommend taking
an agile mindset to both when surveys
are launched (and how) as well as what
is measured (e.g., bespoke items vs.
standard tools from large benchmark-
ing firms who do survey work but offer
little flexibility). Balancing speed with
alignment is the key challenge which is
where having expertise in survey design
can help move a process quickly.
While many professionals throughout the
world are continuing to adjust to work-
ing remotely, the new normal of not being
in the office, extensive virtual meetings,
and merging of personal and work life
has many leaders, managers, and employ-
ees questioning how others are feeling
and adjusting. Given this curiosity, there
is an abundance of anecdotes and quick-
fix solutions readily available. The role of
the OD professional, however, in part, is to
help support the needs of both employees
(managers) and senior leadership through
evidence-based approaches to data-driven
change. Taking a short and targeted survey
approach, we encourage OD practitioners
(both internal and external) going forward
to seriously consider item design, survey
purpose, and reporting of results when
conducting their survey programs. Pulse
surveys provide the needed flexibility in a
larger survey agenda or in times of crisis
but require care to ensure their success to
set strategic direction and inform organiza-
tional change.
Burke, W.W. (2018). Organization change:
Theory and practice, 5th Ed. Thousand
Oaks, CA: Sage.
Burke, W. W., Coruzzi, C. A., & Church, A.
H. (1996). The organizational survey
as an intervention for change. In A. I.
Kraut (Ed.), Organizational surveys: Tools
for assessment and change, 41–66. San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Burke, W. W., & Litwin, G. H. (1992). A
causal model of organizational perfor-
mance and change. Journal of Manage-
ment, 18(3), 523–545.
Church, A. H., & Ezama, S. (2020). Pepsi-
Co’s formula for leadership potential.
TD, 74(4), 34–39.
Church, A. H., Golay, L. M., Rotolo, C. T.,
Tuller, M. D., Shull, A. C., & Desrosiers,
E. I. (2012). Without effort there can be
no change: Reexamining the impact of
survey feedback and action planning
on employee attitudes. In A. B. Shani,
W. A. Pasmore, and R. W. Woodman
(Eds.), Research in organizational change
Table 2. Sample Employee Feedback on the Survey
“I am very impressed with our leadership and the steps they have taken to
ensure their employees’ transition. This survey alone is a great stride in ensuring
our feedback is heard. I hope the feedback turns into actions.”
“Thank you for this survey and asking these questions, I feel that the company
cares about what I need to do my job well.”
“I think the company and leadership have done a great job of communicating
at all levels throughout this current crisis. I’m proud of what we have done to
support our people and customers, as well as our communities.”
“This survey is a great example of knowing that you care about us and are
working to make the situation better.”
“I think PepsiCo is doing a great job communicating. I love being informed about
how our company is helping the community. I feel like PepsiCo is doing what
they can and are making the right moves to keep us informed. Proud to work for
PepsiCo in a time of uncertainty.”
“I feel great about work and how PepsiCo is managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am very grateful for the understanding, compassion, and community support
from our company.”
“Pepsi has done a great job managing this. I feel that senior leadership is being
very transparent about the situation. I feel secure during a turbulent time.”
NOTE: Employee comments are from an open-response survey question
included in the Take Care pulse survey asking for a positive story
or contribution experienced during the current situation.
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Julian B. Allen, PhD, is an HR Associate Manager as part of the Global Talent
Management team at PepsiCo. In his current role, Julian supports the execu-
tion and design of PepsiCo’s external selection system and senior leader
assessments. His research centers on the impact of leadership on individual,
team, and organizational effectiveness. He has contributed several chapters
and research articles to the leadership field. He can be reached at Julian.
Sachin Jain, Director Talent Management. Sachin is currently responsible
for setting and driving the strategic talent agenda globally as it relates to
organizational culture, employee engagement, measurement, recognition,
onboarding for PepsiCo globally. Over the last 16 years at PepsiCo, he has vast
experience in employee relations, learning, HRBP and Organization Develop-
ment across different international geographies. He has a Masters in Human
Resources and graduation in engineering. He can be reached at Sachin.Jain@
Allan H. Church, PhD, is Senior Vice President of Global Talent Management
at PepsiCo. Over the past 20 years he has held a variety of roles in organiza-
tion development and talent management in the company. Previously he was
with Warner Burke Associates for almost a decade, and before that at IBM. He
is currently on the Board of Directors of HRPS, the Conference Board’s Coun-
cil of Talent Management, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and
Associate Editor of JABS. He has been a former Chair of the Mayflower Group.
Church received his PhD in Organizational Psychology from Columbia Univer-
sity, and is a Fellow of SIOP, APA and APS. He can be reached at Allan.Church@
Full-text available
Employee surveys are often used to support organizational development (OD), and particularly the follow-up process after surveys, including action planning, is important. Nevertheless, this process is oftentimes neglected in practice, and research on it is limited as well. In this article, we first define the employee survey follow-up process and differentiate it from other common feedback practices. Second, we develop a comprehensive conceptual framework that integrates the relevant variables of this process. Third, we describe the methods and results of a systematic review that synthesizes the literature on the follow-up process based on the conceptual framework with the purpose of discussing remaining research gaps. Overall, this paper contributes to a better understanding of the organizational and human factors that affect this process. This is useful for practitioners, as it provides guidance for the successful implementation of this human resource practice. For example, research suggests that it is important to enable managers as change agents and to provide them with sufficient resources.
Full-text available
Employee surveys are an important tool for communicating messages to employees, measuring cultural and behavioral indicators, and driving organization development and change in the workplace. This chapter expands upon prior research in this area by presenting longitudinal trends in survey action planning efforts over an 11-year period and the impact on employee attitudes at a multinational consumer products company. Results from the Survey Outcome Matrix are analyzed over time, by level, and by content area. Comments from employees are used to explore reasons why action does not occur from surveys in some contexts. The chapter concludes with implications for practice.
Full-text available
Regardless of changes in an organization's environment, its mission, structure or culture, employee satisfaction and quality of worklife remain significant concerns for most organizational change and development efforts. While morale and motivation are not often the impetus for such change programmes, they are almost always tied inextricably to the problems that have manifested themselves. One of the most effective tools a practitioner has for understanding and diagnosing the issues involved, as well as for highlighting key levers for change, is the organizational survey. Describes an applied example of how survey feedback was used in conjunction with an organizational change effort in an international pharmaceuticals company to explore the relationships between managerial and work-group member behaviours and employee outcomes (e.g. feelings of satisfaction, contribution and team spirit). After an overview of the consulting project leading up to the diagnosis, presents and highlights key findings of a survey of 1,428 employees. Discusses the results in terms both of the implications of these data for the organization involved in the consulting engagement and of the utility of survey-based feedback and modelling techniques as tools for organizational development and change practitioners.
Full-text available
The literature on the impact of telecommuting on work-family conflict has been equivocal, asserting that telecommuting enhances work-life balance and reduces conflict, or countering that it increases conflict as more time and emotional energy are allocated to family. Surveying 454 professional-level employees who split their work time between an office and home, the authors examined how extensively working in this mode impacts work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict, as well as the contextual impact of job autonomy, scheduling flexibility, and household size. As hypothesized, the findings suggest that telecommuting has a differential impact on work-family conflict, such that the more extensively individuals work in this mode, the lower their work-to-family conflict, but the higher their family-to-work conflict. Additionally, job autonomy and scheduling flexibility were found to positively moderate telecommuting's impact on work-to-family conflict, but household size was found to negatively moderate telecommuting's impact on family-to-work conflict, suggesting that contextual factors may be domain specific.
Organizational leaders recognize how shifts in employee attitudes and behaviors can have a notable impact on a variety of customer and business outcomes, and the collection of timely people insights has become a critical tool to help organizations shape and inform actions and decisions. These efforts are aided by technological advances that allow for more frequent and diverse ways to assess employee perceptions and preferences. However, these methods come with inherent risks and opportunities. This chapter is designed to help organizations better understand and implement pulsing and continuous listening approaches. The authors outline considerations for successful programs and propose a taxonomy to define the surveys that may be used. The taxonomy joins two continua—action focus (action-tracking or action-driving) and formality (formal or informal). With the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for listening programs, the authors encourage careful consideration and program design that acknowledges organizational strategies, culture, and business need.
To provide a model of organizational performance and change, at least two lines of theorizing need to be explored-organizationalfunctioning and organizational change. The authors go beyond description and suggest causal linkages that hypothesize how performance is affected and how effective change occurs. Change is depicted in terms of both process and content, with particular emphasis on transformational as compared with transactional factors. Transformational change occurs as a response to the external environment and directly affects organizational mission and strategy, the organization 's leadership, and culture. In turn, the transactionalfactors are affected-structure, systems, management practices, and climate. These transformational and transactional factors together affect motivation, which, in turn, affects performance. In support of the model's potential validity, theory and research as well as practice are cited.