5 High Methods to Hold Office Morale Excessive By means of Election Week
In the current environment, discussions about politics in the workplace may be inevitable. How can HR and leadership foster jobs that keep conversations positive and ensure employees feel mentally safe?
Research by Reflektiv suggests that politics is paramount for many employees. Significantly more men (67 percent) than women (46 percent) have political conversations at work, and perhaps this is why more men (56 percent) than women (43 percent) say the current political volatility in the US affects them at work .
More than a quarter (26 percent) of Americans say they can’t discuss politics with their employees without the conversation getting hot, and even more don’t think they have the tools (38 percent) or the skills ( 27 percent) have) resolve a conflict at work about US politics – or some other emotionally charged issue.
“It is up to the HR, leadership and management teams to lead these meetings over the next week,” said Greg Brown, CEO of Reflektiv. “We have a responsibility to shape the work culture in such a way that it supports different teams, different ideas and a challenging mindset. To drive innovation, we must be able to come together and work together, regardless of our political or ideological differences.”
Strategies for productive conversations
HR, leadership and management also have the opportunity to help employees understand the parameters of political conversation and provide them with the tools to strengthen shared engagement for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Specific ideas are:
- Setting a good example: Remind managers of their responsibility to model your company’s culture and behavior, even when they are stressed out. Bring your DEI philosophy at the center and why it is central to creating a safe and inclusive environment regardless of an individual’s political views.
- Choose curiosity about conflict: In an HBR article, author Joseph Grenny emphasized the need to ask questions in order to make the conversation “if you want to share your political views, I’ll be all ears”. When you genuinely inquire into the experiences of others, you can hear different perspectives that improve understanding and increase inclusivity.
- Depersonalization of the political discussions: Acting impartially and objectively means sharing only how you feel, not your political stance. This approach means removing the “you” from the conversation and focusing on ideas and facts instead.
- Active listening: This approach is characterized by having others speak first, showing empathy, and repeating what others are saying to reinforce their message and help you focus on them, not your position. The DEI consulting firm ReadySet recommends creating a virtual discussion room the day after the election, in which everyone can safely reflect on their feelings.
- Recognize difficulties: Realizing this is a difficult time for everyone, being vulnerable, and sharing your own experiences can help build authentic leadership in your company. This can help make your employees feel more empowered to share their opinions as well.
We know politics doesn’t make ideal conversations in the workplace, but we also know that employees naturally have current affairs conversations. When employees are already struggling with their mental well-being, staff, leaders, and managers can reduce their employees’ stress by taking steps that aid the voting process and encourage healthy conversations at work.
The opinions expressed by Inc.com columnists here are their own, not those of Inc.com.