Your organization thrives when you encourage people to speak up and provide valuable feedback. That’s why many teams like to ask for real-time, pressure-free input through Slack surveys and polls.
Polling apps, which often offer Slack integrations, offer users key benefits: regular feedback that lead to better company decisions and highly engaged teams who know their points of view are taken seriously.
A moment spent sending a simple poll can lead to a world of helpful insights. So here, we’ll help you understand a few nuances around creating polls and surveys.
This article will describe the key differences between a Slack poll and a survey and show you how to prepare them.
The benefits of Slack surveys and polls
With remote and hybrid work as our new norm (almost 70% of full-time American employees worked from home in 2020), it’s so important to find ways to maintain rapport with your teams beyond adding more virtual meetings. Too many of these can lead to Zoom fatigue.
Slack surveys and polls help you know what team members think of different policies, meetings, and beyond. That feedback can help you make decisions that make sense for the whole team.
Teams who use Slack are already used to direct messages and notifications, which is why Slack surveys feel so comfortable, low-pressure, and easy to respond to.
Here are some simple reasons why Slack surveys and polls work:
- They're easy to create, share, and complete.
- They increase engagement: Since transitioning from regular surveys to sending surveys with Polly, our customers have seen 10 times the response rates.
- Results can become instant visuals or exported to a CSV and shared.
- They provide an engaging way to collect data on everything from day-to-day objectives to more in-depth feedback. Plus, Polly analyzes this data for you to help provide insight and context behind the collected responses.
- It helps managers engage with employees and learn about how to improve policies and processes.
When to use a Slack poll
A Slack poll is a one-question Slack message with a more straightforward use case than a survey.
Create polls for quick check-ins like:
- What time should we kick off the morning meeting?
- Which of these areas do you want to focus on at the professional development conference?
- What was your energy level like after the morning meeting today?
You can also run polls for fun questions, Hot Takes, or Would-You-Rathers to drum up employee engagement like:
- Who was your least favorite member of the Backstreet Boys?
- Would you rather eat only pizza for the rest of your life or never be able to eat it again?
- Which Harry Potter house would you join if you got to pick?
When to use a Slack survey
Make polls to gather answers to single questions that have reasonably low stakes, but use Slack surveys when you want more in-depth team feedback.
Here are sample questions to use for a Slack survey:
- Every item covered in the team meeting was relevant and timely. (Agree/Disagree)
- I was engaged by the quality of discussion among team members in today's standup. (1-10 ranking)
- If we could rethink ________ it would simplify our workflow. (Multiple choice)
How to send a multi-question survey
A multi-question survey serves a similar function as a survey, but it’s more specific, engaging and immediate.
Whether you have a free or paid plan, you can create a polly in the Slack app or the web dashboard.
The web dashboard provides several advanced features to track responses, view upcoming scheduled pollys, and create a polly with a template.
These functions are all equally helpful for planning future polls and Slack surveys. The web app also displays a history and analysis of results and trends.
Why it’s a smart move to send pulse surveys
A consistent pulse survey of 2-4 questions helps everyone get into the habit of sending and answering these questions. The result? More specific feedback throughout the year and a team that’s comfortable telling you what they think!
You might even replace or augment an annual survey with regular pulse surveys. You’ll learn about potential pain points sooner, and you’ll get your team into a regular habit of contributing valuable feedback.
Tips for creating a successful Slack survey
Use these helpful hints as a guide to get the best results from your survey questions:
- Keep it short and sweet: Limit each survey to 2-4 questions to maximize engagement. There is such a thing as survey fatigue, and shorter surveys help keep response rates high.
- Automate regular surveys: Schedule regular pulse surveys to help everyone make it a habit. With automation features, you don’t have to remember to send your weekly survey. Polly can also automatically push survey response data to your visualization tool or database, giving you an up-to-the-minute picture of trends at all times. One less thing on the to-do list is always a great thing.
- Choose the timing wisely: The likelihood of getting survey responses on a Friday afternoon or over the weekend is slim to none. According to our research, surveys sent Tuesday through Thursday, between 10 am and 3 pm, are more likely to get a response.
- Set a couple of reminders: Unlike regular Slack notifications, you’ll only get notifications about a polly if a team member is waiting on your response. You can set reminders in the web app when you make a polly and send reminders in Slack using the command /polly remind from the Polly tab. Enter the command in the text box and simply select the relevant polly from the pop-up list.
- Provide a logical survey period: Since surveys are a bit longer and may require more thought than a quick, anonymous poll, give people a few days to a week to respond. However, if you give more time than this, it’s possible your team could forget about or put off answering it. Use your best judgment, and track engagement within the dashboard.
- Offer anonymity: Slack prides itself on a culture of open communication, which makes it a favorite engagement app. That said, surveys that could prompt sensitive or controversial information should be anonymized to protect participants' privacy. (Polly offers this option!) Sharing survey results can help teams grow, but take great care with the information.
Introduce the team to Polly
Polly's minimalistic design is optimized for instant feedback so you can easily solve complex problems.
No longer do you need to send lengthy annual surveys no one actually completes. By sending regular, shorter surveys, you can get feedback early, often, and easily.
When answering surveys becomes second nature, this low-maintenance activity can change the way managers and team members view workplace feedback. If team members see that their contributions are taken seriously and have their voices heard, it strengthens engagement and helps you make well-informed decisions.
Get started by sending your first polly; it's easier than you think and free for Slack. Use regular surveys to strike the right team balance with transparency and discretion.
Remote work is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and staying curious will continue to lead us to work well together, even when physically apart.
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Written by Briana Biancolin
As a nomadic freelance writer, story lover, and professional snacker from Toronto, Canada, Briana's love of writing (and entrepreneurship) started as a kid when she would take the proceeds from her lemonade stand to buy notebooks and pens. After 5 years in creative recruitment, she took the plunge into freelance life, moved to Europe, and began writing full-time on topics like start-ups, wellness, design, travel, and tech.