Most of us grew up with the addage – never discuss politics or religion at work. The reason for this is very simple – both are very personal. Both, mostly, are passed down from our parents and are philosophies we grew up with.
If you have ever disagreed with someone about their politics you know first hand how heated the discussion can get. In fact, in this recent US Presidential election, opinions have been very strong on both sides of the aisle. So why would anyone discuss it at work?
Let’s face it, if we know someone has similar views to us, it’s a safe conversation. However I read an article about a CEO who sent an emailÂ to his employees which went viral (read it here) and may cost him revenue and profits. Why would he do this? Only he knows for sure.
So if a CEO would do it, what are your employees doing? If you have noticed talk of the election and the results, is it affecting the team? Are employees being boisterous about their beliefs? Are others avoided certain people? While politics is not a protected class in the laws, it can damage your business and people if they feel they are being harassed about their views.
What can you do?
Have an open discussion not necessarily about politics but about respecting different views. Remind them you are a team and need to work together regardless of who occupies the White House. Remind them the company will respond by being ethical and legally compliant with any new laws or regulations are passed. Remind them we are all human and together we will work, play and enjoy life.
The political landscape is getting more divisive and heated with each passing year, don’t let yourself or your people bring it to work. Whether you are happy or angry about the results, this country is resilient and will survive as it always has.