With midterm elections in the United States just a short ways away, a new study commissioned by Insight Global revealed that 85% of employees prefer no politics at work.
With regards to the 2022 midterms, 74% of employees said they fear conversations about them can lead to more tension at work. That is one of the reasons most employees prefer politics are left out of their day-to-day discussions in the workplace.
Among over the 1,000 employees surveyed, 35% said they’ve considered initiating a talk with human resources, leadership or with their managers because of a discussion of politics at work. However, among Gen Z and Millennial employees, almost half (45%) said they are “inclined” to engage in workplace conversations surrounding politics.
“With election season here, we know emotions can be high. I can’t stress enough the importance of thinking ahead and providing clear, deliberate leadership that sets the tone for the entire organization,” said Bert Bean, CEO of Insight Global.
“As business leaders, it’s our job – and more than that, our responsibility – to understand employee concerns and provide the leadership necessary to unite them around an organizations’ missions and values. That means stepping up and having a good handle on how to successfully navigate political issues in the workplace – all which can be key to retaining your talent.”
Bean recommends the following for your organization regarding politics at work:
- Work to build a value-based culture. All companies should be guided by their shared values, not individual political preferences. Create an environment where people feel safe, valued and protected.
- Focus on inclusion and collaboration. People are not going to always agree, especially when it comes to employees discussing politics at work. It’s important to accept that, be empathic and remember that inclusivity and acceptance holds a lot of weight as you navigate workplace tension.
- Work with your employee resource groups to identify ways to advocate for those they represent in ways that reduce tensions that election season can generate.
- Remind professionals to be just that: professional. We recognize that policy can be an important part of business. I don’t discourage employees from having discussions, but I do encourage them to keep shared values top of mind when having emotionally charged conversations. It’s important as a business leader to put this into practice and lead by example.
Insight Global and Approach Marketing commissioned Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of 1,002 adults employed full-time throughout the United States. Survey participants worked in professions within primarily white-collar industries.
The margin of error fell within +/- 3 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. The fieldwork for the online survey took place between August 30 and September 6 of 2022. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency.