Emotions are running high this election season – here are some guidelines for getting through it in the workplace.
With the election season winding up, politics talk is rampant everywhere, including, obviously, in offices. And that’s completely normal. The morning after a hot debate, for instance, it makes sense that employees would bring it up at work, just as they would any huge televised event.
As an employer, your job isn’t to squash that talk, of course. Unless it gets disruptive. Monitor and take seriously any reports of exchanges that are anything less than friendly, and if this becomes a widespread problem, send a communication out reminding people to be respectful. In most cases, this isn’t needed… politics doesn’t go far beyond water cooler conversation. But unfortunately things can escalate and get personal, and you need to be on guard for that.
As an employer, it’s critical that you don’t add any fuel to the fire when it comes to politics. When it comes to talking politics, the mantra should be “The less, the better” — and you should aim for zero. Managers — anyone with direct reports — should refrain from any politics talk, especially as it can make employees uncomfortable (if you’re advocating for a particular candidate, the person who reports to you might feel they have to do the same in order to stay in your good graces – and that’s just a bad situation).
So, those were some don’ts, but here are some do’s: things you can do to acknowledge the election season without being biased or inappropriate:
– DO recognize that people will be talking politics. Sending out a harsh note telling people not to ever mention it will only make people feel chastised. Let normal conversations be. Just don’t add to them, especially if you’re in a management role.
– DO reassure people of your company’s security and ways it cares for employees. What does this have to do with elections? Well, financial worry is rampant during election season. People might worry: Will my taxes go up? What will happen to my health care? etc. That’s what makes this a great time to reiterate the strength of your benefit packages and other perks for employees. A lot of concerns that people have during elections just have to do with the fact that they feel they will be abandoned financially. Reassure them so that they know that, no matter who wins the election, the company is there to help them flourish, career-wise and financially.
– DO encourage people to vote, and make it painless for them to do so. Go beyond your state’s laws that require you to give people a certain amount of time off on Election Day. For instance, note very specifically that you’re aware voting lines can be extremely long, and encourage employees that they shouldn’t be the least bit apprehensive about waiting in line. Going a bit above and beyond to reassure people that they should take all the time the need to do vote on election day — in the morning, lunch break, or evening, whatever works best depending on someone’s individual circumstances — shows that you value employees who take their civic duty seriously, no matter how they vote.
At MJ Morgan Group, we can’t tell you who to vote for, but if you are “ready to leave office” ~ we can help you find you next dream job. One thing we can all agree on; life is better when you love your job. Contact us today!