Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Election is Over: Reconnecting Red and Blue Employees in the Workplace

The Presidential election may be over but the negative affects of a long and divisive campaign season on workplaces have only just begun. Tensions are running high. Things have been said in anger that can’t be easily forgotten. Respect between colleagues has been diminished. Like the nation itself, it’s time now for companies to begin the healing process to reconnect their red employees with their blue employees.

If there is political animosity in your organization, set a goal to have all rifts healed by inauguration date January 20, 2009.

Here are some tips:
  1. Make sure that all campaign paraphernalia has been removed from each employee’s workspace and all common areas.
  2. Ask employees not to debate their political differences any further and be prepared to deal with disciplinary issues on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Keep employees busy and focused on both individual and departmental goals and the work effort required to reach those goals.
  4. Discuss the importance of coming together as a team and conduct team building exercises if necessary.
  5. Have an executive communication (via corporate-wide meeting, teleconference or email from the CEO) describing a shared vision of the future with employees working and winning together.
  6. Reinforce the common bonds between employees with activities that both blue and red employees can participate in together such as charitable events, sports, etc.
  7. Provide mentoring and peer networking opportunities to help build bridges between employees of diverse backgrounds.
  8. If not already in place, create new policies that limit political debate and political signs, buttons and t-shirts on the work premises.
To borrow from the President Elect, the road ahead may be long and the climb may be steep but if everyone works together we will get there. Yes we can.

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