Nix it–Stopping Political Discussions in the Workplace

By Jazzmine Davis

As the 2012 Presidential Election embarks upon the final stages, the polls will be closing around the United States tomorrow, and the discussions will be heavy between colleagues about the final decision of voters on our President for the next four years. I feel that once the decision is made, opinions of the employees will last a week or so. Managers have the responsibility to ensure that no one will be offended by any political views that are not agreed upon. To stop this talk before it escalates into a problem, managers should make sure that these coffee-break discussions are nixed early.

The discussions of political views are strictly prohibited in the workplace, and most companies have a written policy about the specific topic of personal opinions. In Management Communications: A Case Analysis Approach, O’Rourke states in chapter 11 that conflict between and among people within an organization can quickly become counterproductive, divisive, and destructive if not properly managed. In a workplace that honors diversity, every person’s politics, religious beliefs, sexual activities, and opinions about non-work issues, should, for the most part, stay at home.

Here are some things that managers can do to stop Political Discussions:

  • Remind employees about morale and keeping positive vibes between coworkers.
  • Suggest that the Presidential election is something to discuss “off the clock!”
  • If manager hears discussions like this started by a certain employee, the manager should have a private conversation and explain the inappropriate actions.
  • Remind employees about respecting their colleagues’ opinions and views on issues.

To make sure that Political views do not turn into conflict, managers should cut out any side conversations they witness and also give a fair reminder to employees not to discuss any political issues during business hours. Managers have the responsibility to lead, mentor, and enforce policies that have been set forth by the company.

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By mandybowling

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