Politics are always a hot topic, but even more so right now, since 2020 is an election year. You know the havoc political battles can wreak on your workforce, and you’re not interested in it.
It’s almost inevitable that your employees don’t all share the same viewpoints and will not be voting for the same candidates. Therefore, you’re eager to create a plan that bans politics in the office. Here’s some advice to help make this happen.
5 Tips to Create a Political-Free Work Environment
Create a Policy
Formalize your stance on no politics at work by turning it into a policy. Clearly define exactly what employees aren’t allowed to do — i.e., no talking about politics, wearing political attire, hanging political signs, etc. — so there’s no room for misinterpretation. Spell out the consequences for violating this policy, add it to your employee handbook, and announce it to your team.
Explain Why Politics and Work Don’t Mix
Help employees understand the need to keep politics out of the workplace by highlighting the problems they can cause. In the short-term, politically-fueled fights are a major hit to productivity, but that’s not all. Political differences can permanently divide employees, making it difficult for people to continue working together.
Encourage Caution With Social Media
You can’t tell employees what they can and can’t post on their personal social media accounts. However, you can explain why posting their political preferences on public social media accounts can cause controversy in the office. This might cause them to think twice before posting or set their accounts to private.
Lead By Example
No doubt, you have your own political preferences. As the election gets closer, it can be difficult to keep politics out of your conversations at work — especially with people you know share your viewpoints — but you must. If employees hear you talking politics, they’ll assume it’s okay for them to do the same.
Make It Okay to Disagree
Despite your best efforts, it’s very possible politics will infiltrate your office at some point. If this happens, help employees resolve their differences by explaining everyone has a right to their own opinion. Nip the issue in the bud quickly, enforce any repercussions from your policy against politics, then move on.
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