By Christy Stabber
As we enter the late stages of the current election, the dynamics of our workplace are becoming more and more intertwined with our daily lives. Few can recall a more contentious and widely-watched election. Even fewer have experienced an election during a national emergency, let alone a worldwide pandemic.
As an understandable result, anxiety and tensions are at an all-time high. In a survey by Reflektive of 1,000 U.S. employees—conducted earlier this year—54% of participants said that if their candidate loses this election, it will impact their performance at work. Another 29% felt that politics would make it difficult to go to work the day after the election.
Now, more than ever, it is vital to support one another – to connect, communicate, and engage with one another, and commit to creating an inclusive and safe environment for all to thrive in.
- Start with heart. Speak from your own experiences. Leaders can set the example by being authentic on how they are feeling and coping, and showing empathy when listening to the perspectives of others.
- Commit to mutual respect. Stay in dialogue by sympathizing and empathizing with one another. Can you identify what is genuinely important for each other?
- Provide channels for discussion. As the Society for Human Resource Management recommends, providing guidelines for discussions helps foster a more inclusive environment; “underscore everyone’s individual responsibility for their own statements and actions, and the potential impact they may have on their fellow employees.”
- Follow-through with flexibility. After acknowledging the realities of the situation, and encouraging each other to maintain health and wellness, commit to flexibility in how you support your team and adapt to new challenges. Everyone manages stress differently and may respond or compartmentalize in different ways.
All efforts are meaningful. We can recognize the impact of the moment, give opportunities to ourselves and those around us to live and experience it, and support each other through it all.