Talking politics at work can lead to trouble.

  • People are passionate about their politics, but arguments can be distracting and unproductive, even hostile
  • You can create a policy, but it’s unrealistic to think that no one will discuss politics during an election cycle
  • Remind employees that everyone should feel safe, welcomed, respected, and included at work
  • You can limit discussions that aren’t work-related, but you cannot limit the employees’ right to discuss work conditions (pay, safety, etc.)
  • You can ban clothing with graphics or slogans, but you can’t prohibit employees from wearing union buttons
  • Don’t try to influence employees’ votes, ask them whom they’re voting for, or intimidate/retaliate around politics
  • Reinforce social media, dress code, anti-harassment,  diversity/inclusion, and non-solicitation policies
  • If you need to address disruptions at work, address the disruption, not the political affiliation
  • Get ahead of this by reminding your team of your core values and your expectation of professionalism
  • Treat offenders of both parties consistently
  • Let employees know that they can walk away if a co-worker is confronting them with political challenges