In one recent survey, nearly half (42%) of workers admit to having had a political disagreement at work. With a major election coming up in November and political polarization at an all-time high, HR and other leaders need to be prepared to set some standards and guidance to keep politics from infecting the workplace, even as many employees are working remotely. Consider a few key steps:
- Establish office policies and hold training sessions about the importance of mutual respect.
- Clarify the difference between expressing an opinion and harassing others.
- Be a role model. Stay mum on politics in the office and elsewhere (e.g., on social media).
- Consider keeping political programs off television sets in offices and break rooms.
- Limit or ban visual displays of political beliefs in the office. This might include campaign buttons, t-shirts, stickers, and posters.
- Brush up on federal and state laws protecting certain types of speech.