The 2016 Presidential Election will be recorded as the most intense and tumultuous election in American history. The American people have been more passionate about this election than ever before. Voters came out in record breaking numbers to support their candidates. Now that it is over and Donald J. Trump has been elected our nation’s 45th president, people around the nation are reacting in many different ways. Some are delighted, some relieved, some are disappointed and some are angry. Depending on how large your companies workforce is, you may be at work today with people that fall under all of the before mentioned categories and more. How do you maintain peace in an office that is reacting to a very unprecedented election?
First, you should know your company policy on Political subjects such as the right to display political propaganda. If there is a rule barring political propaganda from the workplace you should probably be ready to enforce it today. The right to freedom of speech does not mean that a company cannot have rules about what can and cannot be discussed in the office, so be sure to check the rule book and make sure your employees are aware.
Secondly, today is a day to be sensitive. Understand that some people are unhappy with the election results and that their moods may reflect that. Some people may need to use time off in order to cope.
Next, you should be vigilant. Pay attention to what is transpiring between coworkers so that you can be prepared to diffuse any heated discussions. You may wish to address the elephant in the room right away with a brief meeting at the start of the day to remind employees to be respectful and sensitive to each other and to remind them that it is okay to disagree, but that they all have a job to do regardless of who is in the White House.
Lastly, be sure to be careful what you post on social media regarding the election and remind employees to do the same. Social media accounts are being scrutinized harder than ever before and a frivolous politically charged post could cause serious discord among coworkers.