The upcoming election is igniting passions that are threatening workplace harmony. As a manager, what can you do to make sure conversations don’t go off the rails? And how can you help your team navigate the emotional road ahead?
Start by modeling respectful behavior. Consider sending a message to your team acknowledging the gravity of the moment and the anxiety people might be feeling right now — and reinforce a company culture of mutual respect and goodwill.
Be sure to discourage misplaced political comments or banter in meetings, but do so in a way that doesn’t imply that you’re taking sides or censoring your employees’ right to express themselves.
And, if you feel like it’ll be helpful for team cohesion to create space for political discourse, reach out to HR for resources on how to facilitate a productive discussion. Don’t try to hold these conversations without the necessary support. You might want to consider co-facilitating the conversation with another manager or person on your team. Your actions will go a long way towards cultivating a culture of respect, harmony and dignity.
Finally, regardless of your team members’ political ideologies, encourage everyone to vote. You can do it.