‘Just for fun’: Employees flock to intranet poll

Communicators at National Semiconductor get about 600 responses a week to an intranet poll question. What’s their secret? They ask interesting questions, out of their own curiosity, and they do it “just for fun.”

Communicators at National Semiconductor get about 600 responses a week to an intranet poll question. What’s their secret? They ask interesting questions, out of their own curiosity, and they do it “just for fun.”

What kinds of questions are these? The kinds that National Semiconductor communicator Ray Hosler posts every week on the company’s intranet site, to draw employees to the occasionally funny and always interesting results.

Hosler has been running this intranet poll, which he calls the Ballot Box, for a little more than a year. During that time, the number of responses he gets each week has risen from about 200 to between 500 and 700, depending on the question. Hosler estimates that about 25 percent of the visitors of the intranet site answer the question.

What’s his secret? As you can see from the mix of sample questions we’ve included here, Hosler keeps a 50-50 mix of business and non-business questions. And even his business questions seem as if the answers are personally interesting to him.

There’s not a whiff of management wanting crucial information from employees; rather, the site has the feel of a corporate community getting to know itself, and the result is employees getting to know each other.

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