Politics affects all facets of people’s lives. The policies created by political leaders largely influence the lives that people lead. For example, the cost of foodstuff, fuel, and the amount of taxes are largely influenced by politics. Hence, a majority of workers are becoming politically active, taking part in active political discourses and activities. As much as that may be democratic choices, political activities at the workplace might run the risk of political polarization. Hence, as a human resource manager, you need to understand how you can handle politics and keep the workplace safe from any politically-motivated fallouts. Here are tips that will certainly help.
Formulate and implement policies to promote mutual respect
People at the workplace will always have and express different political opinions. This is based on whether their interests are served or not. However, this should be done respectfully without anyone forcing others to follow their political leanings. As the HR, it is crucial to formulate policies that promote mutual respect among your workforce. You may also organize training sessions for the employees to learn how to handle political discourses without affecting their relationships with each other.
Clarify what amounts to opinions and harassment
Expressing one’s opinions openly and with honesty is crucial. However, there should be clear boundaries between what amounts to an innocent opinion and what amounts to harassment. For example, it is one thing when an employee expresses their support for their preferred political candidates, and a different thing when they force others to show some support. Others even threaten their colleagues if they do not follow a certain political course. That is why it is important to make it clear what amounts to personal opinion and what amounts to harassment while discouraging the latter.
Set a good example
A good leader leads from the front, by setting an example that others will be confident to follow. When you openly express your partial political views or bias, this may influence others in the workplace to do the same and may create chaos. You need to set an example of being impartial in your conversations at the workplace. This will minimize any possibilities of political explosions, making the workplace productive.
Limit political visual displays
There are workers who, in a show of support for their preferred political candidates may opt to wear their merchandise to work. They may don t-shirts bearing names and images of the political leaders, caps, and other merchandise. However, the affectionate and open display of political bias may create a bad environment for work. Hence, limiting visual displays by encouraging official dressing will help reduce any form of political polarization.
Switch off political programs
Political talk shows play a crucial role in building a political following and political messaging. This has a ripple effect on how the narratives take shape in the workplace and elsewhere. One way to reduce the political impact at the workplace is by switching off the programs. Instead, opt for healthy shows where viewers can learn and benefit without political influence.
In a nutshell
Politics affect many facets of people’s lives. These include the salaries that people earn and the taxes they remit. As such, workers have become more involved in political discourses and activities. If not checked, political involvement in extreme may be polarizing. That is why you need to take decisive actions to ensure political discourses at the workplace remain respectful and within acceptable boundaries.
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