Microsoft Teams is, without a shadow of a doubt, a great platform to collaborate for organizations. It eliminates the constraints of not being in the same physical space and acts as an office away from the office for countless organizations allowing team members to work in perfect harmony.
It is a pretty good app in itself, but there’s another hidden tool you could add to your arsenal in Microsoft Teams that’ll spice up the way you interact with your teammates. What we’re talking about is polls in Microsoft Teams. Polls are a great way to engage your team’s attention and albeit there is no direct feature to create polls in Microsoft Teams, you can create them using integrated apps in Microsoft Teams.
Create a Poll using Microsoft Forms
Microsoft Forms is available as an integrated app in Microsoft Teams, and it has to be the easiest and the most convenient way to create polls in Teams.
Note: Microsoft Forms is only available to Microsoft Teams users with a Microsoft 365 Business subscription. Teams Free users do not have access to it.
To create an instant, real-time poll, open the channel or chat you want to have the poll in and go to the ‘New Post’ text box. Then, click on the ‘Messaging Extensions’ (three dots) option.
Now, select ‘Forms’ from the window that opens. Search for it if it is not available in suggestions.
The ‘Form’ window will open. Add your question and options. Initially, the question will have two options to add. Click on ‘Add option’ to add more choices for the poll. To allow people to select multiple answers, turn on the toggle for ‘Multiple Choice’. After creating the poll, click on ‘Next’.
It will show a preview of how the poll will appear. If you are not satisfied, click on ‘Edit’, otherwise click on the ‘Send’ button to post the poll to the channel or chat.
The post for the Poll will have two parts. The first part will have the question with the options from where the team members can submit their answers. The second part will show the result percentage in real-time to all team members.
The Polls created using Microsoft Forms do not show the names of people in results in real-time to other users. But the person who created the Poll can see the detailed results by going to Microsoft Forms website.
Viewing responses by name
To view responses by name and other details, go to forms.microsoft.com, sign in with your Microsoft account, and then select the Poll you created in Microsoft Teams under the ‘My forms’ section.
After opening the poll, click on the ‘Responses’ tab to see a detailed overview of responses.
To further breakdown and see responses by individual people, click on the ‘Review answers’, ‘View results’ button on the responses tab.
You could even export the responses to the poll to Microsoft Excel, by clicking the ‘Open in Excel’ option.
Create a Collaborative Poll with Microsoft Forms
Using Microsoft Forms, you can also create Polls with your whole team. Collaborative Polls come handy when you want to poll not just team members, but all organization members, or outsiders (like customers), and the whole team should be able to contribute the questions for the Poll.
To create a Collaborative Poll, go to the channel you want to collaborate on the poll with. Click on the ‘Add tab’ option (+ icon) next to the existing tabs.
Then add ‘Forms’ from the ‘Add a Tab’ window.
You can either ‘Create a new form’ or ‘Add an existing form’ that everyone can edit.
Name your form if you are creating a new form, and then click on ‘Save’.
Or to collaborate on an existing form, select the form from the drop-down menu after selecting the radio button for the ‘Add an existing form’. Then, select ‘Collaborate’ from the drop-down menu and click on ‘Save’. If you select ‘Collect responses’ or ‘Show results’, the poll cannot be edited and only used to collect information.
Every time you want to collaborate on a new form, it can be added as a tab in the channel.
After adding the form, click on ‘Add new’ to add questions to the form under the ‘Questions’ section. It saves the questions automatically as you make changes.
After adding all the questions, click on the ‘Share’ button to share the poll and collect responses.
Click on the drop-down menu to select who can vote in the Poll. There will be two options: ‘Only people in my organization can respond’, or ‘Anyone with the link can respond’. Share the link for the Poll so that people can vote.
The results for the Poll are available in the ‘Response’ section in the Poll tab and every one in the channel can see them.
Create a Poll using the Polly app
Microsoft Forms is only available in accounts with a Microsoft Business subscription, so Microsoft Teams Free users cannot use it to create Polls in Teams. But worry not, there is another integrated app in Microsoft Teams that can be used by Microsoft Teams Free and subscription users alike. Polly is a nice alternative to Microsoft Forms for creating Polls.
It can be used by either adding as a tab to the channel or directly from the ‘New Post’. Adding it as a tab will allow the whole team to use it and manage their polls in one place. No matter how you choose to create the poll, after the initial adding process, the process to create the poll will remain the same.
Note: Polly is not collaborative so adding it as a tab only allows all channel members to use the app. But you cannot collaborate on Polls with other members in a channel.
Go to the Channel where you want to have the poll. Then, click on the ‘Messaging Extensions’ (three dots) option under the Post text box.
Search for Polly and click on the ‘Add’ button. Doing so would add the app for you in all channels in your Teams account. It’ll install for you only, not all team members.
To make it accessible to all team members, you can add it as a tab to a specific channel. Go to the channel you want to add the tab to and click on the ‘+’ icon next to the existing tabs.
The window for adding a tab will open. Search for ‘Polly’ from the search box and click on the ‘Add’ button. Clicking the ‘Add’ button will install the app. To successfully add it as a tab, click on ‘Save’ in the subsequent window.
Once you’ve added Polly, whether as a Tab or an app, you will need to sign in with your Microsoft account in Polly and give it needed permissions. If you are the organization owner, you can also give consent on behalf of your organization and other users won’t be required to review the permissions.
Now, if you added it as a tab, go to the tab and click on the ‘Create’ button to create a new poll.
If you added it as an app, the icon for Polly would be added to the New Post section along with the other apps. Click on it.
The window for creating a poll will open and it will be exactly the same in both the instances. Enter the Question and at least two choices for answers. You can add more choices by clicking on the ‘Add Choice’ button.
You can also change the settings for results and choose from the three options available: ‘Results available after poll closes’, ‘Show results in real-time’, and ‘Don’t share result with audience’. Similarly, choose whether the poll will be ‘Anonymous’ or ‘Non-anonymous’. Then, click on the ‘Preview’ button.
A preview of how the Poll card will appear once you send it out will appear. Click on ‘Edit’ if it needs to be changed, otherwise hit the ‘Send’ button.
The Poll will be available in the channel. And based on if you configured it to show results while creating the Poll, your team members will also be able to see the results in real-time.
Although Microsoft Teams does not have the feature to create Polls directly, you can have them using the integrated apps for either Microsoft Forms or Polly. Microsoft Forms lets you have individual as well as collaborative polls in Teams and has to be the most convenient method to have Polls in Microsoft Teams. But Polly is also a good alternative, especially for Microsoft Teams Free users, considering that Forms is only available to Microsoft 365 Business subscribers.