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The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 28, 2020 • Issue 20:09:02


Let your intelligence guide you

Our society could learn from the example set by payments industry leaders. Why? Because they base their decisions on what will protect their companies and enable them to proper. Practicality, not politics wins the day. This is the case no matter which party is in power in Washington or whether the economy is bustling or limping. And now is a good time to remember how helpful it is to your business to leave politics at the door. If you don't do this, you could create a toxic work environment and all the difficulties that arise from that, including inability to attract and retain top talent. You could also alienate critical partners, vendors and sales staff.

If you own a company, you might think it's fine to throw your weight around a bit and voice your opinions about hot-button topics. There is no one to stop you from doing this, after all. The thing to remember, though, is that as the boss, your word has extra weight, and people might feel pressured to agree with your views even if that is not your intent. It's critical to distinguish between what your employees do on their jobs, for which you do have control, and what they believe, for which you should have zero control.

A 2019 Public Religion Research Institute study revealed that 82 percent of Republicans believe the Democratic Party has been taken over by socialists, and 80 percent of Democrats believe the Republican Party is being controlled by racists. Another PRRI study revealed that 35 percent of Republicans wouldn't be pleased if their child married a Democrat, and 45 percent of Democrats wouldn't be happy if their child married a Republican. And this was before all the uncertainty, disruption and loss brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foster a productive environment

It might feel good to sound off about issues you feel passionate about, but it makes good business sense to be vigilant about letting your intelligence guide your actions in the workplace. To that end, many resources offer tips and insights on how to create a safe work environment, free of political pressure and discord. One such resource is, surprisingly, the UPS Store blog, which offers tips in "5 Ways to Keep Political Views Out of Your Business" as follows:

  1. Avoid posting political signage. A sign in your window, bumper sticker on a company car or political post on social media could cost you a client.
  2. Change the channel. Avoid broadcasting news channels if you have TV in your waiting room or elsewhere on your premises. Customers may see some stations as biased.
  3. Keep conversations neutral. While we all have a right to our own opinions, getting into heated political discussions isn't worth the risk of alienation.
  4. Watch where you advertise. Choosing to run ads on certain TV or radio stations or websites may suggest that you support a particular party or candidate, thus creating a grudge among some customers.
  5. Maintain the peace. Help your employees maintain encouraging, supportive working relationships. Not doing so could be dangerous for your bottom line.

None of this means I am advocating that we all think alike. As Mark Twain once said, "It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races." end of article

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