Unless you’ve been living in a cave recently, you know that it’s an election year and that this election has stirred up a lot of controversy. People seem to be particularly passionate about their political positions this time around. Maybe it’s because it’s expected to be a close race, maybe it’s because of the issues involved, or that people are super frustrated with the partisan bickering.
While we’re certainly interested and are watching what happens, the question HR people and business owners should be asking is: “How is this election impacting our employees and our work environment?”
Here are some things that you should do to minimize the impact of politics on your workforce:
- Keep campaign materials and signs out of the workplace: Want to put out a sign? That’s why you have a front yard.
- Discourage political debates: As a leader, you can (and should) re-direct political conversations that occur when you are around.
- Keep your political views to yourself: Chances are your staff already knows what you think. Why make them any more uncomfortable if they don’t agree? The chances of you or anyone else converting a voter to your point of view at this point are slim to none.
- Allow time to vote: There’s no law in Michigan requiring employers to provide time off for voting. The polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. so there should be time before or after work, but this would not be a day that I would recommend scheduling a large overtime project.
Politics make for fascinating discussions and some exciting debates. They can even be fun in the right venue, but at the end of the day, you will want your employees to be able to work together after Election Day. Help make that a reality.