This year’s United States presidential election is finally over, but that doesn’t mean that’s the last you’ll hear of politics, not by a long shot. For the next few days or weeks, there’ll be an awkward split between Hillary and Trump supporters. People are shocked by this election and may be hurt for some time.
That’s perfectly fine. You can feel how you want, but what about at work? If the election has tensions flaring, how do you get things back on track before the end of the year? How do you prevent fights (yes, even physical ones) and avoid schisms that could harm workplace morale forever?
Well, if you’re in a position of power at the office, say as an HR manager or CEO, the simplest way to nip the problem in the bud is bar any and all mention of the election or politics in the office. Period. While freedom of speech is important, politics aren’t often a hotbed topic except when election time is near. Employees should have no problem sticking to this rule 99.9 percent of the time.
Okay, what if you’re an employee and you can’t officially make everyone stop talking about the election? Limit your water cooler talk. Don’t hang around in the lounge for coffee breaks, and maybe have lunch at your desk for a bit. If the conversation does turn political, even when in the middle of a project, excuse yourself. You don’t have to say anything you don’t want to at any time.
If you find yourself in a situation where you do want to discuss your side, remember to always be cordial to your colleagues. You can disagree with their point of view, but don’t insult them for their views. You wouldn’t want them to do the same to you, and doing so could land you in hot water with the HR manager.
Overall, just remember that sooner than later, this political talk will die down. If you can just tough it out for a few more weeks, you should be in the clear.