Roy Gilbert

A Workforce Divided: Survey Finds Alarming Rise of Politics at Work

“What Does Inclusion Look Like?” Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., Keynote Speech)

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“What Does Inclusion Look Like?” Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., Keynote Speech) SHRM Politics at Work Survey (Oct. 2019) ALEXANDRIA, Va.–( BUSINESS WIRE )–For decades, conventional business wisdom has held that employees should check their political opinions at the door. A new SHRM survey , however, shows that not only are political conversations occurring at work, they’re on the rise—and causing conflicts. The findings suggest that political topics—like race, sex and gender—are a dimension of diversity that workplace cultures should include and embrace by facilitating civil conversations. “Companies can’t, and shouldn’t try to, quash these conversations because—contrary to popular belief—they’re already happening. But what they can do is create inclusive cultures of civility where difference isn’t a disruption.” Tweet this (Infographic: The Alarming Rise of Politics at Work )

The Politics at Work survey, fielded October 7-14, follows SHRM’s 2019 culture report , which found nearly 1 in 5 Americans have quit a job in the past five years due to toxic workplace culture—costing U.S. companies $223 billion in turnover. Taken together SHRM’s research suggests that the rise of political conflicts in the workplace could drive disengagement and intensify toxicity: 42 percent of U.S. employees have personally experienced political disagreements in the workplace.

A majority (56 percent) say politics, and the discussion of political issues, has become more common in the past four years.

More than one-third (34 percent) say their workplace is not inclusive of differing political perspectives.

12 percent have personally experienced political affiliation bias.

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