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How to do a poll on Slack to question the hive mind

"Do you like to slack off on Slack doing polls?"

Published onJanuary 18, 2023

No matter what the topic is, everybody loves being asked for their opinion. People love to feel that their viewpoints are being seriously listened to. If you’re an employer, asking your employees for their views on the company can be extremely beneficial. Here is how to do a poll on Slack to question the hive mind. We’ll cover simple and quick emoji-based polls. Then we’ll move onto a Slack app that gives more options.

Read more: How to add custom emojis to Slack


Slack does not have a built-in poll functionality. Instead, you can use the block formatting option in a comment to assign emojis to certain poll replies and ask respondents to reply with the relevant emoji. If you want something a bit more advanced, there are plugins in the Slack app directory. A really nice one is called Polly.


How to do a simple poll in Slack

If you want to do a simple poll in Slack, you need to do a bit of a workaround since there is no integrated poll function in Slack. Write your poll question in a channel, then click the Block quote icon. This keeps everything nicely formatted.

slack emoji poll question

Search for an emoji that accurately represents each poll reply option. You can access the emoji box by clicking the smiley face icon in the message box. Once you find a good emoji, click to insert it into your message.

slack poll add emoji

Type the poll reply options next to each emoji. Use Shift + Enter to move to the next line to type the next poll option. Merely pressing Enter will send your message before you are ready to send it.

Once the poll is ready, press Enter to send the message.

slack poll typing replies

When people want to vote, they just have to move their cursor to the top-right of the message and select the emoji option. This is a smiley face with a + in the corner. From there, they can find and select the emoji you designated for a particular option.

slack poll emoji vote

As each person votes, the emoji and the number of people who selected it will appear underneath in real-time. If you decide to change your vote later, click the one you previously chose to cancel it. Then vote again.

slack poll votes

How to do a more detailed poll in Slack

The previous method was for a quick poll asking a basic question. But if you need to ask a question more advanced than “what will we have at the meeting? Donuts or bagels?,” you need to use something from the Slack app directory. A good free poll app is Polly.

After installing it, begin the poll by typing /polly and your question. Then press Enter.

slack poll polly type question

Next, choose the question type. We’re going for multiple-choice here. Write the choices into the box provided, one on each line.

slack poll multiple choice polly

Next, choose the Slack channel where the poll will appear. Also, decide whether or not it should be sent as a direct message. Then click Settings to tweak some more options.

slack poll polly other options

Decide whether or not the responses should be anonymous or not. I’m not sure what the difference is between Anonymous and Confidential. Confidential from whom? The person asking the poll question? The other poll recipients? That’s rather unclear.

slack poll polly other settings anonymity

Now decide how the results should be shown. In real-time? After the poll has closed? Or perhaps you don’t want anyone to see the results? You decide.

slack poll polly settings show results

Then decide when it should be sent. You can either send it immediately, or you can schedule it for a future date. One nice feature is being able to send it out on a recurring basis at a set date and time.

slack poll polly edit schedule

One other interesting feature is generating a public link. This way, anyone outside your Slack workspace can also vote. Although, complete strangers may not care if you want pizza or sushi for lunch.

slack poll polly make public link

Once you have hit the Submit button, the poll goes out. Then voters just need to click the button for the one they want. They can also leave comments which will be anonymous comments if you have set the poll to anonymous.

slack poll polly final poll voting

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