3 Reasons to Use Polls at Work

There is no doubt that social intranets have proven to be efficient and invaluable in helping organizations to improve communications and collaboration between their employees and to break up the silos within departments. They are a virtual necessity.
A social intranet has collaborative tools to get people engaged and thus, it makes them more productive and efficient. Today, I would like to elaborate on the power of Polls as collaboration tool.


1. Get to know what people want

Email overload is a daily pain for organizations. Gathering data or information by email can take longer than expected. You have to hope that people will take the time to open and answer it. If your goal is to get quick feedback, using a poll in your social intranet will limit the number of steps for people to provide the answers you need, allowing you to reach people more easily.
Indeed, polling directly to the right audience, without hesitation, saves time in gathering the information you need to make better decisions. You will progressively acquire a better understanding of the people for aligning your decisions and you can measure the effectiveness of your internal platform.
Example of a use case: As a member of a HR team, you have the opportunity and the budget to organize training programs on various topics for your management team. By posting a poll and asking people which topics they are interested in, you will refine the choice and increase employee satisfaction.
Get to know what people want

2. Involve people

People always appreciate being asked their opinion. However, if you want people to respond, then you need to ask questions! A one-question poll is easy and quick to answer.
Polls are a streamlined way to get consensus and feedback without organizing a long formal meeting.
Casual conversations are a form of collaboration and often spark ideas. Polling is an excellent way to discuss these ideas and get feedback on a concept to see if it is something worth pursuing further. Generally, people love to see what others have to say too, so it attracts excitement.
Moreover, a social intranet can help in managing remote employees; we know how painful it can be to communicate remotely. Polls can simply attenuate the feeling of disengagement and they show that we value others’ opinion.
Example of a use case: As a director of an insurance company that operates all over the world, you have decided to use a social intranet to improve collaboration between the employees. As a good way to start to engage and involve people, you ask them to think of a name for the intranet through a poll. Since people love to see what their colleagues have to say too, you will also stimulate excitement.
Involve people

3. Leverage a poll to generate content

Polls have another big advantage: content generation. By using a poll, you provide two sources of content: the poll itself and the results.

When you ask for feedback or the opinion of your users, you will positively generate content that you can reuse and collect, such as metrics and use cases. You will gain valuable information to consider in your marketing and business strategies.

Example of a use case: As a marketing manager, you have to write a white paper on electronic measurement systems to promote your products and to show how they solve the issues of potential customers.
By running a poll in your social intranet, you can target specific people and ask them to name their favorite feature. You could highlight these top features in your document. The poll will generate data or content, such as, feedback that could be reused.
Leverage a poll to generate content

4. Make the most of polls

Polls are quick to prepare and easy to use, but to elicit the best answers and make sure they are effective, you need to:
  • Ask a clear question using simple language
  • Make it easy to answer
  • Keep it brief – it should take no longer than 30 seconds to read and answer
  • Place it in a prominent place, visible to the people you want to reach
  • Run polls weekly or monthly to get feedback with one question at a time
People will always appreciate being asked their opinion. Participants are likely to come back to find out about the results and take part in another poll. This creates an opportunity to engage and guide them to your intranet. A poll is also very specific and persuasive for decision-making.
After discovering the advantages of using polls at work I am sure you would like to give a shot and explore it for yourself. Please download and experience the power of polling with eXo Platform.
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I am the Chief Executive Officer of eXo Platform (the open source digital workplace platform), a company that I co-founded while in college and that I came back to after several years in the banking and consulting industry. I blog about modern work, about open-source and sovereignty issues. Occasionally, I also blog about my personal areas of interest, such as personal development, work–life balance, sustainability and gender equality.
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