With less than 30 days until the general election, let’s face it, the political climate in 2020 makes Game of Thrones intrigue seem tame, regardless of your leanings. Not to mention everything else that makes 2020…unique!
It’s a stressful climate for most of us and there’s no time like the present to remind employees about the types of behaviors that are best kept away from your next virtual meeting or team email. Here are three things to consider leading up to Tuesday, November 3:
Take a look at your Political Activities policy.
Has this been gathering dust? Do people know it exists? What does it say about lobbying, political contributions and personal conduct? Ask yourself because while many of us are still working in remote environments, it doesn’t mean we’re immune to potential policy violations.
Remind employees about their responsibility as a respectful co-worker.
The next few weeks are prime time for employees to find themselves in uncomfortable situations with a colleague who chooses to express controversial personal beliefs, be it on a video-conference call, social media or the many avenues that global interconnectedness provides us. Don’t just stick to policy speak, make sure you share examples of appropriate and acceptable conduct and how to speak up.
Point back to your values.
Your code starts with something like “Our mission is…” and “Our values are…”. Take the time to drive employees back to the values that makes your organization a great place to work. And no, that doesn’t mean employees need to change their beliefs to align with the company’s. Rather, they need to know why their behavior needs to align with the company amongst their colleagues, even outside the 9-5.
If you haven’t done any of the above, consider adding it now. There are several modalities here, but keep it short and sweet, values-based, and include things like a link back to the policy and a resource to contact with questions or concerns (whether the Helpline or another internal resource). Engage a leader to deliver the message if possible. A few quick-hit ideas include:
- A job aid deployed through managers that can be distributed to employees at a team meeting
- A concise email template that managers can deploy to their teams reminding them of policy and expected behavior
- A microlearning moment deployed through a campaign to quickly remind employees of policy
Keep in mind, you may need to do this outreach twice, pre- and post-election, as there will be a winning and a losing side. Every employee will process their emotions differently…even sometimes publicly. We have to be prepared for that and keep driving a culture where employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work and have the tools and resources to do their jobs ethically and respectfully.