HR Experts Offer Tips on Balancing Politics and Productivity at Work
Feb 14, 2017 03:30 AM EST
Talk of politics has already been found to influence personal relationships and online discussions; more recently, however, it has also been to have a direct impact on the workplace and is decreasing employee productivity. Based on a new survey, HR experts are offering productivity and politics advice on how offices can be kept peaceful yet fruitful despite a rough political climate.
According to the survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management prior to the 2016 presidential election, over half of the participating HR professionals noted an increased level of “political volatility” in their workplace. Although the election has long been concluded, the issue on politics and productivity is yet to be resolved.
Even a new survey from BetterWorks, a company that providers performance management technology, found that discussions on politics are causing commotions in workplaces all over the U.S. It could also be expected that the concern over politics and productivity in the workplace will become a normal tendency for some time.
Rosemary Haefner, chief officer for human resources for CareerBuilder.com, opened up about managing these political distractions in the workplace. "At work, just as in life, distractions are par for the course. The key is how well you manage them," Haefner remarked. A number of HR experts have also put forward tips on balancing politics and productivity at work. According to BetterWorks CEO Kris Duggan, the first step is to accept and acknowledge the distraction. By doing so, one will be able to stop the behavior before it destroys workplace relationships or even his or her ability to carry out the work.
Social media also plays a big role in politics and productivity. While numerous social media site users take to these websites to post, browse and take a break from stress during the day, this habit can also trigger negative feelings. As noted by BetterWorks, people typically spend two hours daily reading about politics through social media, while 22 percent use up at least three hours getting distracted by political comments on Facebook, Twitter and other similar platforms.
Furthermore, it is crucial that one recognizes the difference between being able to freely express oneself and pushing forward a potential trigger for conflict. While it is acceptable to state personal views, it is not right to force co-workers to share such opinions. As politics and productivity do not always go in hand, it is only diplomatic that people disconnect themselves from an exhausting conversation and steer the topic towards something work-related.
Finally, group volunteer activities may mediate the issue between politics and productivity in the workplace. These tasks can help direct employees’ emotions towards something positive that is not related to politics at all. These activities allow employees to contribute in tangible ways to their communities while also building a sense of teamwork and company support,” Jim Strain, HR director for DKS Associates, said.