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How to Ease Employee Election Anxiety

The 2020 Presidential Election Season has proven to be even more stressful than past elections, with over 2/3 of Americans reporting it to be significant source of stress in their lives. While many people are eager for November 3rd to pass, stress and tension related to this election will likely permeate for weeks and even months to come as Americans wait for, and then come to terms with the outcomeLeaders should prepare for the possibility of election related stress taking a toll on their workforce and act now to support employees. 

Many companies have found ways to not only encourage their employees to vote but provide resources to help them do so. As a part of the Time to Vote initiative, which is a nonpartisan movement led by the business community to increase voter participation, thousands of companies have pledged to provide their employees with the assistance they need for navigating this year’s election. A few examples of this includes companies like Ben & Jerry’s dedicating a page on their website to encourage and provide information on voting, and E.L.F Cosmetics and Best Buy creating their own internal campaigns encouraging employees to vote. Other companies such as Bank of America, Calvin Klein, Chobani and Etsy have offered employees half day off to vote, including for those who voted earlyOther companies like Benefit Cosmetics, Blue Apron, Blue Cross Blue Shield and J. Crew Group have made November 3rd a company holiday, closing offices and some of their storefronts.  

Regardless of what your company has chosen to do this election day, one of the most impactful things is to simply acknowledge the tension, emotions and what this day might mean for your employees. While remaining neutral, it is important to speak to the significance of the day, rather than appear seemingly unawareAddressing employees directly that the company recognizes this may be a challenging or stressful time can help employees feel supported. To further support employees and mitigate political stress, consider the following resources we’ve compiled. 

 


Harvard Business Review: Don’t Let Election Day Passions Roil Your Workplace 


Despite the outcome of the election, companies face the potential of a roiled workplace for weeks and possibly even months to come. Anxiety, fear, anger, and frustration may boil over in ways managers can’t afford to ignore. This article by Harvard Business Review shares tips on how companies can help employees express themselves while keeping their conversations from going off the rails. Click here to read. 

 

 

SHRM: Mitigating Campaign Season Stress in Your Workforce 


LaSalle Network CHRO, Sirmara Campbell, shares several ways to support employees’ mental health and mitigate stress during the election season. Beyond encouraging employees to vote, another way LaSalle has supported employees is by offering time off to campaign for a candidate of their choosing. Encouraging employees to advocate for a cause they feel strongly about allows them to feel supported. Click here to read. 

 

 

CNBC: Science-Backed Ways to Decrease Anxiety  


A recent study found stress was consistent across political party affiliations with 76% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 64% of Independents reporting feeling election-related stress. This article shares research-backed strategies from the American Psychological Association to cope with political anxiety. Click here to read. 

 

 

The Muse: The Dos and Don’ts of Talking Politics  


While the safer bet may be to avoid political conversations entirely, some sort of political comments among your team may be inevitableThe Muse shares several Do’s and Don'ts to help navigate these sticky situationsClick here to read.  

 


NBC News: Three Ways to Cope with Election Stress 


Families across the U.S. have joined in a pact to pause their social media usage until after the New Year in order to support their mental health and avoid the influx of negative political messaging. This article shares two other major ways to help avoid becoming discouraged this fall. Click here to read. 

 


SHRM: How HR Can Handle Political Conversations at Work 


November 3rd is likely just the start of many political conversations to come. While employees of varying political affiliations may react and be affected differently, it is important to be aware of the nuances of how you address political tension in order to remain neutral. SHRM discusses several challenging situations to be aware of and how to handle them. Click here to read.  

 

For more information on how to support employee mental health, click here.  

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