November 4 is fast approaching — here’s how to keep staffers’ political views from torpedoing productivity (or worse).
“Obama’s not ready to lead this country!”
“You really want four more years of what we have now?”
“Bleeding heart liberal!”
It’s easy to see how things can escalate when politics are involved.
And while you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have an opinion about the upcoming election, managing those views becomes the real challenge for managers now.
Not only can endless political debate drain productivity, if taken to the extreme, they can land your company in legal hot water.
Drawing the line
You could impose a full-on ban on all political talk. But that’s probably not the most realistic solution. Here are some other options:
- Set some limits. If Bill wants to put an Obama sticker up in his cubicle that’s OK. But make it clear that no sentiments that attack a differing point of view are allowed.
- Encourage sensitivity. You can tell staffers that the election isn’t a taboo topic but to keep in mind that political issues are often very emotional ones for some people. So remind everyone to treat all viewpoints with respect.
- Be prepared to step in. If you don’t see that respect being given to every member of your department, you’ll have to be ready to jump in and redirect the conversation to a less heated topic.