- Peakon, a people analytics and employee engagement software firm, asked 5,000 U.S. workers if they were comfortable talking about politics at work. Of the respondents polled, 34% said they were afraid to discuss politics in the office.
- Democrats were the least intimidated about talking politics at work, with 68% in agreement, compared to 65% of Republicans and 64% of unaffiliated voters. Democratic women (69%) said they felt least intimidated to express their political views at work, and Democrats from former 'Blue Wall' states were the most politically outspoken.
- Women (62%) who supported President Donald Trump during his campaign were the most intimidated about talking politics in the office.
HR executives who are concerned about the divisive tone of American politics playing out at work can get out in front of the problem with the policies and enforcement procedures they already have in place.
Employers must be careful not to prohibit political discourse at work to avoid violating employees’ rights to free speech. But employers can discourage politically charged speech, which can intimidate workers and ultimately create a hostile or otherwise stressful environment.
Managers might want to avoid discussing their own political views in the office. As organizational leaders and influencers, supervisors, managers and CEOs don’t want any appearance of coercion.