Using Quick Polls

How Can We Help?

Q: We have Quick Poll facility on our intranet – any advice on using these effectively?

My main advice about quick polls that appear on your intranet home page or your external web site is how to interpret your results. The main thing to realize is that these surveys are not based on a representative sample of your total audience. Not all employees either have access to the intranet or have jobs where they need to use the intranet on a regular basis. Similarly, not all external audience members are as likely to spend a lot of time online. When you present your quick poll results, they have to be couched in terms like, “__% of our heavy online users say…” not “__% of our employees/customers say….” When you repeat a question later, you present improvements in the same terms–that there is an improvement among that subgroup that spends more time online.

Depending on the type of question you’re asking, you might let people see how others have responded as soon as they answer the question themselves. I particularly like to use quick polls for knowledge questions with right and wrong answers. You can have someone choose what they think is the right answer. Next they see the poll results for how many of their peers chose each response option and which one is actually correct. In that same results view, you give them a link to elsewhere online for more information on the topic they misunderstand–at the very moment they suddenly realize they have that information need.