Keeping the political divide from dividing employees
Source | icubem.com
What can HR do to help corporations promote a culture of mutual respect and inclusion? It all starts with an organization’s core values and focus on diversity and inclusion.
As a saying from the late-1960s women’s movement goes, “The personal is political.” What comes around goes around, and it’s fair to say that we’re once again living in a time in which the lines between personal beliefs and values and politics have blurred. The current environment and political debate in many parts of the world have politicized individual preferences. People are highly polarized, and these differences have a way of creeping into the workplace. No matter how much leaders may try to stop these conversations in the workplace, they happen. Corporate leaders in general and human resources professionals in particular need to understand how to manage potentially tense discussions and situations between employees while also supporting those who might struggle to process the ramifications of political events.
There’s a lot at stake around this aspect of governance and management. Corporate reputations are on the line; recent experiences at companies such as Google and Goodyear offer some cautionary tales around the ease with which seemingly straightforward policies on political expression can be misapplied or misconstrued.
So, what can HR do to help corporations promote a culture of mutual respect and inclusion? Based on our experience and research, it all starts with an organization’s core values and focus on diversity and inclusion. Quite simply, high-functioning organizations are showing respect for diverse views, which makes employees feel comfortable bringing their true selves into the workplace. To bring this into practice, we suggest organizations put the following five ideas into place—not just for the short term but as part of a broader focus on building an inclusive workplace: