Is politics bad for company culture?

Political views doesn’t seem to add any value to the employee experience

Is politics bad for company culture?

Only one in four (24%) of employees think it’s important to work at a company that aligns with their political views, according to a new report.

In fact, 60% of employees either don’t know or can’t tell if their political views align with their coworkers.

The study suggests that politics add no value to the employee experience.

Many employees don’t like it when company leaders take political stances, according to research by Clutch. Nearly 40% of employees disagree that company leadership should take stances on political issues related to their industry.

For many employees, their place of work is tied to their identity. When leaders express political opinions, those views are often imposed on employees.

“People judge people based off where they work,” said Laura Friedman, director of communications at Workforce Opportunity Services. “I don’t think people want to be attached to the views of the company’s leaders.”

READ MORE: Google doesn’t want staff debating politics at work anymore

Ultimately, political discussion at work doesn’t impact most employees’ day-to-day. More than half of employees (55%) disagree that political conversations decrease productivity at their company.

Many employees, though, don’t think sharing political opinions adds any value to a company’s culture.

Nearly half (48%) disagree that differing political viewpoints at work create a healthy exchange of ideas, compared to fewer than one-third (32%) who agree.

In reality, political discussion is bound to occur at work. When it does, experts warn that a cultural standard can develop at the office.

“What usually happens is that like-minded workers become closer, usually for a short time, and discuss politics in small groups,” said Ellen Mullarkey, vice president at Messina Staffing.

When a singular mindset develops at work, it may isolate employees who don’t share the dominant group’s viewpoints.

Very few employees, however, report feeling discomfort or isolation at work because of politics:

  • 9% agree that they’ve felt uncomfortable in the past week as a result of political expression at work
  • 8% agree that they’ve felt singled out or discriminated against because of their political views at work in the past year

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