“You likely have a divided workplace when it comes to political opinions, which is heightened and maybe even exposed during the political season,” said Stephen Paskoff, CEO of Employment Learning Innovations in Atlanta. Though discouraged, over 80% of workers admit to having political discussions in the workplace and the evasion of such conversation is seemingly out of employers’ control. In this blog, we will discuss steps for both pre-and post-election to intentionally maintain a harmonious work environment.


Getting ahead of the buzz is the name of the game when discussing politics during an election. A person’s workplace is likely to be the first outlet for pent-up emotions at a time of toxic political polarization. Options to consider are as follows:

  • Send an email from the CEO or Human Resources lead acknowledging the arduous days ahead. Encourage employees to commit to a company culture of mutual respect and emphasize the importance of an amicable workplace. Though indirect, in this situation an email serves best to avert a disagreeable conversation.
  • Provide training to employees in a manager-level role on discussion facilitation. This can be done both virtually and in person. Your message of a respectful workplace culture should be reiterated while acknowledging that passions are likely running high at the given time.
  • Encourage everyone to vote. Though New York offers employees the right to vote during work hours, not all states allow the same so addressing this in the email above is recommended.
  • Be mindful of social media. Remind employees that disciplinary actions can and will be taken for abhorrent social media posts.



It cannot be stressed enough to remain nonpartisan and objective in all efforts regarding political views within the workplace. Lead by example in how you expect your employees to carry themselves through a time that can bring both angst and joy. Recommendations for post-election are as follows:

  • Remind employees that they are responsible for their statements and actions and the impact they have on their colleagues. Regardless of the topic at hand, bullying, harassment, and arguments with malicious intent will not be tolerated.
  • Don’t invalidate a worker’s thoughts or experiences as this can be mistaken for choosing sides. Actively listen and discourage people from speaking for others or for an entire group.
  • Model desired behavior. In times of stress, even casual banter that often precedes in-person or virtual meetings will be scrutinized. Leaders finding themselves in a passionate discussion should speak briefly, share the conversation time equitably and emphasize areas of common ground.
  • Do not remain silent. Address the elephant in the room and repurpose this time to reiterate core values within your company.

In a time where a person may be judged solely based on their political views, it’s crucial to keep the workplace impartial and take action to keep your employees feeling safe and respected.

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