As inauguration draws near, has your organization begun planning ways to support your population? We’ve broken down a few areas to focus on in order to nurture and empower your teams through a challenging election season.
Maximize your resources
Does your company have any programs in place for the mental and emotional well-being of employees? Your existing EAPs, therapy sessions, and mindfulness tools will be especially critical in times of increased stress around an election—and a low-effort, self-directed solution to supporting your teams’ mental health. If not already created, explore putting together a list of resources for employees to access. If you do have programs in place, remind employees of what’s available and encourage them to take care of their own mental health.
Plan communications ahead of time
Regardless of political stance, it’s important to be in communication with your population about events that impact day-to-day life. Draft your communication plan and make it visible for employees. The more awareness and empathy you can provide, the more supported your workforce will feel. This milestone in America’s history is likely to affect all employees in some way, so make sure to lead through principles of transparency and compassion. When you do speak about political events, be conscious of doing so with inclusion and respect of all political parties top of mind.
Equip your managers
Your employees may have specific (and challenging) questions pertaining to their opinions, beliefs, and those of the company. Ensure managers and leaders have access to training and resources to have these types of conversations. Offer insights from the leadership team about your company’s stance widely, and offer managers the chance to role play, access FAQs, have access to ‘talking points’ or have further discussions with executives so they feel ready to handle whatever conversations arise from direct reports. Ensure your leaders are aligned in the guiding principles of how to manage these conversations—including awareness of the impact these events might have on productivity, compassion for these impacts, and empathy for the needs of their teams.
Think ahead when scheduling
Could any existing campaigns, projects, deals, response times, etc. be impacted by upcoming nation-wide events Might the team be distracted during these events? Putting some thought into shifting meetings where needed.
Count on community
Your workforce is diverse. Some employees may prefer to process stress or election-related challenges privately, while others will be looking for a community to connect with. For those who want to discuss and share thoughts with colleagues, make space for safe conversations—for example through forums, company town hall meetings, or ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions with leaders of the company. Enlist the help of employee resource groups to rally communities within your workplace to encourage respectful discussions.
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