Ahead of the midterm elections, political talk in the office has heated up to the point where many workers are feeling uncomfortable. This puts peace-seeking human resources (HR) managers in a difficult situation, but there is one solution to help employees healthily express their political leanings and avoid controversy: paid time off to vote. By designating time off for employees to exercise their civic duties, HR can help politically active workers translate their opinions into action in the voting booth. This is especially wise as companies increasingly face pressure to be vocal about certain beliefs. Advocating for voting accessibility could go a long way for employers seeking a careful balance regarding political speech. More than 240 organizations awarded workers time to vote during the 2018 midterm elections through an organization called ElectionDay.org, which gives executives tools and support to implement time off. Furthermore, a new O.C. Tanner study revealed a connection between allowing employees time off to vote and providing them with the flexibility that reinforces their well-being and engagement at work. While HR cannot do much about the heated nature of today’s politics, it can encourage a culture of respect and engagement without entering the fray.
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