“From organizations’ support for voting to potential retaliation for those with differing views, the results of our survey found real implications that stretch beyond the election itself,” Dr. Wells said.
Almost seven in 10 workers in the past year have engaged with colleagues on the most salient issues of the day. But while some workers will try to convince their peers to change political allegiances, others just end up disagreeing with their colleagues (40%).
And it gets even more complicated when managers start to openly endorse a specific candidate or party. “The effect of this depends on whether their employees share similar beliefs,” the study said.
Employers and employees who hold similar beliefs are more likely to actively share their views at work (75%) than those who aren’t aligned on political matters (31%).
Political discussions at work can also have a ripple effect on employee well-being. Workers who tend to agree with their boss on ideology feel supported by their leaders when it comes to their health and well-being (86% vs. 60%). They also feel cared for as a person, compared with those who don’t see eye to eye with their boss (85% vs. 69%).
“A key takeaway from this data,” Dr. Wells said, “should be the power [organisations] have to collectively increase voter turnout by providing opportunities and encouragement for their workforce to get to the polls.”
“Beyond this support, however, discussing specific political beliefs should be discouraged, which 57% of those surveyed believe, as individuals already feel ostracised and real implications for career progression could be tampered.”