In an age of electronic voting, employers have the option of offering employees the choice of voting online, via SMS voting or phone voting (or any combination of these three options).

I am often asked which is the most effective channel. In the past 6 months over 3000 employees have participated in a CIVS triple channel votes. Triple channel votes give your employees the option of voting online or via SMS or by phone.

The overwhelming majority of these employees (70%) voted via SMS, online voting was the next most popular selection (28%) with phone voting the least utilised channel.

Data indicates the people expect to a respond to a work related SMS within an hour of receiving the message. At CIVS we often see up to a third of the workforce voting on their enterprise agreement within 30 minutes of the vote opening. Considering we often cater for workforces distributed across Australia’s multiple time zones and workforces on 24-hour rosters the effectiveness of this form of voting is clearly demonstrated.

Advantage of SMS Voting

SMS voting gives employers the option of opening their enterprise agreement votes for periods of time considerably shorter than seen with attendance paper based voting or torturously extended ballot openings experienced with snail mail. The majority of Cirrena IVS’s clients open their votes for 1 – 3 days with SMS votes opening for 12 – 18 hours becoming more common.

Nothing in life is simple and unfortunately SMS voting isn’t the solution to every voting challenge employers face. In fear of stating the obvious, if you don’t have an accurate list of employee mobile phone numbers you may have to support the SMS channel with online and/or phone options. If your workforce is located in regions without mobile phone coverage SMS voting isn’t for you. My final words of advice for those considering SMS voting is you must make sure you are certain which employees are carrying which company mobile phones to ensure the database provided to CIVS is accurate.

If you would like to discuss SMS voting in greater detail or have an enterprise agreement vote approaching, please contact CIVS via