Business Strategy: Politics, Voting, and the Workplace
Regardless of where you, your company, and your staff fall on the political spectrum, we can all agree voting this year is vital. It’s the elephant – or donkey – in the room that we simply can’t ignore. As the old saying goes, “the personal is political,” and since your team is made up of individuals with distinct personalities, they shouldn’t be denied their right to participate in the political process. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to create an atmosphere that welcomes both questions about politics and voting in the workplace.
Clarify Your Corporate Values from the Outset
2020 has caused politics to spill over into all aspects of our lives, and rightfully so. Politics have such a profound impact on our lives that it’s impossible to keep it out of the workplace. Since your business inevitably has its innate ethics and values, it’s crucial you incorporate such discussions into your hiring process. For instance, at Vision Advertising, we’re open about our status as a feminist company, with corporate values based on gender equality. Providing such information ensures your team is made of individuals sharing like values. It also helps to have an open-door HR policy to help anyone lost in the mix.
Provide Education About Politics and Voting
Whether you’re aware or not, your business contributes to the political and voting mentalities of your team. Even small efforts to encourage participation in the election are meaningful to your staff. To aid the cultural shift toward higher voter turnout, there are a few steps you can take:
- Give Information About Voting: Distribute handouts or emails about when, where, and how to vote, along with helpful resources, such as a link to registering online.
- Host a Registration Event: Make voting a part of your company’s culture by turning voter registration into a cause for celebration. Make registering to vote an office-wide activity.
- Send Reminders to Vote: Send company-wide emails reminding people to vote leading up to the election. Inform them when early voting happens and when their mail-in ballots are due.
Leadership comes with several obligations not listed in the original job description. Addressing politics and voting in the workplace increases employee wellbeing, the cornerstone of leadership. Yet, the most important step you can take is granting your team time to vote.
Allow Your Team the Opportunity to Vote
While you provide information about voting – including early voting, mail-in ballots, and polls – it will all be for naught if you don’t allow your team to vote. Often a hotly contested question that pops up every election cycle is giving your staff time off to vote. At Vision Advertising, we strongly encourage voting. We discuss it with all levels of staff, including interns, but we never talk about it in terms of who to vote for. If you approach voting with as much import as we do, you could offer your team some time during the day to vote; it would give people of all economic statuses a voice.
Setting expectations about politics and voting in the workplace is essential to maintaining a cohesive atmosphere. Avoid silencing your team, and instead, harbor a supportive environment where they know their voices are being heard. Now, before this soapbox collapses beneath us, let us say that this is an election we cannot ignore. Vision Advertising urges our staff and interns to vote, and you can show respect for your team by doing the same. If you wish to discuss office policies or brand management concerning politics, contact us today.