3 in 10 Employers Have Argued With a Co-Worker Over a Political Candidate

November 7, 2016 Debra Auerbach

political debates

It’s hard to believe this election season is about to come to an end. It’s been contentious, to say the least, with supporters on both sides of the aisle having strong opinions about their own candidate – and the opposition.

It’s not surprising then that political debates have spilled over to the office: 3 in 10 employers (30 percent) and nearly 1 in 5 employees (17 percent) have argued with a co-worker over a particular candidate this election season, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey.

This brings up the overall issue of political correctness in the workplace, with many workers feeling that their freedom of speech is stifled. The survey found that half of workers and nearly 6 in 10 employers believe the workplace has become too politically correct in America, and 33 percent of employees are afraid to voice certain opinions because they feel they may not be considered politically correct.

What Does This Mean For You?

While there will be a new president-elect this week, political discussions – and disagreements – won’t likely disappear any time soon. So, it’s essential to have guidelines in place to keep workplace debates healthy. CareerBuilder’s Chief Human Resources Officer Rosemary Haefner suggests providing respect and dignity behavioral training to all employees, while emphasizing tolerance for different ideas, beliefs and needs. Haefner also says to ensure your harassment policies and harassment complaint system are made publicly available and that employees are trained in the process.

And remember that employees will follow leadership’s lead, so model the right behavior by creating a culture of open dialogue and mutual respect.

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