Politics at Work

Posted on December 12, 2018 in Consulting

On election night, Weycer Kaplan celebrated our partner Tanya Garrison’s victory as the new judge of the 157th Harris County District Court.   Tanya joined the firm out of law school and has been a tremendous advocate and leader for 18 years. We know she will serve our community well, but the firm will sorely miss her.

It was easy for our firm to rally around Tanya, I mean, the Honorable Judge Garrison.  But this was a rare example when political discussion was cohesive and unified around our colleague and friend.  Most often, however, political discussion creates disruption which leads to tension in the workplace.   Here are some easy tips for employers who want to avoid politics contaminating the workplace.

Avoid Television News at Work

Years ago we installed a television in the firm lobby.  We debated what news station would be broadcast: Fox or CNN.  We quickly settled on Bloomberg News thinking – at the time — it was unbiased or at least less obviously lopsided.  Fortunately, our receptionist settled the matter and now permanently plays HGTV.  It was a smart decision. Remodeling and gardening spark no meaningful controversy.

Limit the Political Signage

During the election, we had too much political material in offices and cubicles.   Campaign shirts, political signs, or election buttons should stay away from the office.  Our firm like any other workplace has its progressives, conservatives, and even some moderates.  Each of them is entitled to their opinion without being confronted with a barrage of reminders that their views might not be shared by others.

Respect other Views

Remember, your co-workers’ political party affiliation is unlikely to have any bearing on their ability to perform their job.      Try not to judge colleagues based on opinions that will not impact the workplace.


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