How Do You Set Up a Poll in a Meeting?

June 24, 2022

Whether you are at work or belong to a casual hobby or social club, meetings are part of life. Oftentimes at meetings, various updates, ideas, and proposals are shared among the participants. While some hiking group meetings may take place at the summit of a mountain, most meetings we attend will take place at either someone’s home, a business, a co-working or event space, or in the office.

Invariably, when discussing ideas such as what book to read for next month’s book club or examining advertising proposals for this month’s newest ad campaign, a poll or vote will have to be taken. But how do you take the poll to ensure that the results are comprehensive and fair? Let’s examine the ways to conduct a poll in a meeting to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and a clear consensus can be reached.

Polls During In-Person Meetings

Taking a poll or vote during personal meetings can be relatively simple–or difficult. For example, asking for a show of hands on which of the two books the club will read next month is fairly straightforward and uncontroversial: if six out of ten people want to read The Great Gatsby, it is easily decided.

However, if the meeting is in the workplace and the vote is about a new policy that some may disagree with, people may be reluctant to share their true feelings, especially on sensitive issues. If the poll is openly held and everyone’s votes are known, they may also hesitate to vote one way or another if they feel there may be retaliation if they do not vote as the boss or others would prefer. 

One way to vote on a controversial subject is to opt for survey tools for meetings through online platforms like ElectionBuddy or to print ballots with the choices, allow employees to check the option they wish to vote for, and then place the ballots into a box to anonymize the voters. 

Polls During Online Meetings

In today’s work-from-home world, more and more meetings are being held online–not just workplace meetings, but gaming clubs and other hobbyists the world over may have regular Zoom meetings or they may gather on forum-like sites such as Discord to discuss their ideas. 

Using the example of gaming or hobbyist, members could simply type in which option they want to vote for, and anyone who is the group’s chairman or leader can count and announce the results publicly without fear, as people are mostly there just to socialize and have fun. 

However, there can be a lot of difficulty at workplace meetings. In Zoom meetings, you could ask people to choose the option they want to vote for. In scenarios like determining which restaurant the team should go to for the next personal company event, the vote is relatively uncontroversial. On the other hand, asking employees to rate their boss’ performance on a scale of one to ten is a more awkward poll, especially if the boss is in the Zoom meeting. Sending emails cannot necessarily be anonymized either, and even if they are sent to a third-party, who is to say the third-party is truly neutral?

We similarly encounter this problem in corporate or high-level shareholder meetings–most people do not want to publicly declare they are against something that the majority thinks is a good idea, and doing so may cause issues at work. So, how do we fix this issue?

The Online Survey, Voting, and Polling Solution

Clearly, when it comes to voting or polling on sensitive topics, the best way forward is anonymous online surveys. Voters are given access to a voting portal, where they can choose the options they are the most comfortable with. Whether it is voting for the next group leader or providing a corporation with honest feedback regarding co-worker and managerial performance, online survey tools for meetings, such as those offered by ElectionBuddy, are the simplest way to gather information and give voters a sense of ease. ElectionBuddy can teach you how to create professional surveys for your meetings. Knowing that the security of the system will protect their opinions from being seen by others will give them the confidence to vote openly and honestly and create more transparency, trust, and accountability in the workplace.

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