- More than two-thirds of workers in a recent survey said their employer encourages employees to vote, according to Perceptyx's Oct. 21 results. The survey also found links between encouraging voting and retention.
- Companies that encourage employees to vote had a higher percentage of workers who would recommend the company as a good place to work (86% vs. 59%) and had a higher percentage of employees who said they intend to stay at the company for at least the next 12 months (83% vs. 63%).
- Politics can be divisive at work as well, the survey found, as 40% of respondents said they have had both a political disagreement at work and that a co-worker has tried to persuade them to change their political party. Forty-eight percent of employees said it is important that most people at work share their own political beliefs and attitudes, but 42% have considered looking for a new job because of the political beliefs of co-workers.
Employers' political actions have gained a lot of attention recently. On Friday, Expensify’s CEO sent a letter to the company's customers urging them to vote for Joe Biden in the presidential election — a move that drew a mixed response. On the other hand, the CEO of Coinbase announced a move toward an apolitical culture that led to the eventual departure of at least 5% of the cryptocurrency company’s employees.
Employers are supporting and encouraging employees to vote in various ways: they're offering paid time off, arranging for travel to the polls, and even paying employees to volunteer or work at the polls on Election Day, as Old Navy and Gap Inc. have done. Many adopted these policies, among others, in response to the national movement calling for action against racial inequality.
Younger employees are especially interested in working for an organization that shares their political views, according to a 2019 survey from Clutch. Gartner’s head of HR research Brian Kropp previously told HR Dive that the newer entrants into the workforce "are more aware than ever and expect employers to notice and take action on societal issues."
But political behavior remains a controversial aspect of workplace culture due to the potential for conflict among employees, as the Perceptyx survey showed. A February Gartner survey found that 36% of employees say they avoid certain co-workers because of political disagreements. Politics can also be a distraction. A study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. found that last year’s impeachment hearings may have cost employers billions of dollars in lost productivity.