5 Reasons To Start Your Company Town Hall With a Poll
February 23, 2023
Are you tired of dull and unengaging town hall meetings? Using polls can transform your events into dynamic experiences. In this article, we'll share 5 compelling reasons why starting with a poll is worth the effort, from gathering feedback to increasing audience participation.
A poll is a way of asking a group of people a question and giving them choices to answer. Polls can be done online or in person and are used to find out what people really think about a topic or to get feedback. You might see polls during political campaigns or at town hall meetings. Polls are helpful because they allow people to participate and share their opinions.
In a town hall meeting for a higher education institution, for example, a poll can be used to gather feedback from employees on the most effective ways to improve campus culture and community. The results of the poll can inform the institution's approach to creating a positive and inclusive campus culture, while also giving employees a chance to participate in the decision-making process and feel valued for their insights.
Why should you care about polls?
Having a Q&A section is a typical feature of town hall meetings, but have you considered flipping the script? Instead of answering questions from employees, try asking them questions at the start of the meeting.
In our experience helping multinational companies with their town hall operations, we've found that beginning with a poll can lead to higher employee engagement.
With Pigeonhole Live, you have a choice of starting with many types of online polls: multiple choice, rating, open-ended, word cloud, quiz, open-ended, and even assessment!
Questions are a potent tool in the hands of organizations, so why not leverage them to make your town hall meetings more interactive and dynamic? According to Harvard Business Review:
Questioning is a uniquely powerful tool for unlocking value in organizations: It spurs learning and the exchange of ideas, it fuels innovation and performance improvement, and it builds rapport and trust among team members. And it can mitigate business risk by uncovering unforeseen pitfalls and hazards.
Still not sure if starting your town hall meetings with a poll is the way to go? Here are five compelling reasons why it's worth considering:
1. It's a simple and familiar icebreaker
Even if your meeting is casual, a speech from upper management can create a serious atmosphere. That's why starting with an icebreaker can be helpful. An icebreaker at the beginning of a corporate town hall meeting can help people feel comfortable, promoting engagement and open-mindedness.
As an example, asking a poll question as straightforward as "What did you have for breakfast?" can be enjoyable when presented in a word cloud!
Who eats sushi for breakfast?!
2. Helps to establish a common understanding
While corporate town hall meetings are often one-sided, their purpose is to align the company and address employee concerns. Starting with a question can show that employee input is valued and help challenge assumptions and clarify misunderstandings.
In a town hall meeting for a manufacturing company, for example, a poll can be used to establish a common understanding of cost-cutting measures. By using multiple-choice questions, such as asking where to cut costs, the focus can be maintained while providing a clear understanding of the company's priorities and goals.
The results of the poll can inform the company's approach to reducing costs while also demonstrating that employee concerns are being considered. This can encourage collaboration and understanding of different perspectives, leading to a more effective and aligned approach to cost-cutting.
3. Helps employees become comfortable with the technology
If you're using a tool like Pigeonhole Live to host your town hall meetings, beginning with a basic poll can help employees in getting familiar with the app. This approach provides an opportunity to demonstrate how to access the Audience Web App and allows them to explore the features.
Having your employees log into the app at the start of the town hall meeting will enable them to ask questions right away, ensuring that you'll have plenty of inquiries when it's time for the Q&A session!
4. Eases tension, especially in challenging situations
We don't recommend asking light-hearted questions if you expect the tone of the conversation to be serious. When dealing with a potentially challenging town hall meeting, it's crucial to take note of the mood in the room. People may feel scared or upset, particularly if their livelihood seems to be at risk.
Polls can help ease the tension by providing everyone with an opportunity to express themselves. A set of multiple-choice questions can be an effective way to address a topic in a controlled manner, promoting a respectful conversational tone while ensuring that everyone's voice is heard.
5. Changes the dialogue mode from collaborative to inquisitive
Beginning with a question can promote additional inquiries throughout the meeting. By posing questions, you inspire others to do likewise when it's their opportunity to speak, potentially leading to a more productive meeting. Consider the following two statements as an example:
A: Management made these changes without consulting the team!
B: Why did management make these changes without consulting the team?
Both statements convey the same information, that changes were made without consulting the team. However, phrasing it as a question comes across as less accusatory and more curious. This approach fosters a more collaborative dialogue rather than a defensive one, opening the doors for more productive conversations.
During corporate town hall meetings, an "us-against-them" mentality can be detrimental. By taking the initiative to understand the company's perspective, management demonstrates care and empathy, encouraging everyone else to do the same.
This approach reduces the likelihood of miscommunication and begins the process of realignment within the team.
Start with polls for better town hall meetings
Online polls can transform your town hall meetings into interactive and engaging experiences. By starting with a poll, you can gather feedback, increase participation, and create a more dynamic environment. With today's technology, it's easier than ever to include polls in your events. So, give it a try and take your town halls to the next level!
Ready to make your town hall meetings more engaging and interactive?