5 Ways for HR and IC to Get Election Ready

October 27, 2020

If you’re like us, you can feel the temperature rising around the election. Your employees might be talking about it more, getting involved and even asking new questions of you and your peers. 

2020 has been a wild ride and the upcoming election is sure to add fuel to the fire. So, as a communicator or human resources professional, what can you do? And maybe even more confusing, what should you do? Below are five ways to support your people while staying true to your values in a tumultuous time. 

1. Have a position

No, we’re not talking about backing a particular candidate or issue, although it seems like an increasing number of companies and organizations are choosing to break norms and do so (click here and here for recent examples). 

Having a position on the election could be as simple as saying, “Our company knows an election is coming up, and it’s going to be a distracting and difficult time for some of our U.S. population.” It could also mirror Brilliant Ink’s position:

“We’re non-political, but strongly advocate for clear communications around elections and the issues, and encourage everyone – our employees, our clients, and our family and friends – to vote.”

2. Push for clear communications

As communicators, messy, blurry communications should make your skin crawl, and elections are rife with them. It’s possible to direct your people to better sources of information, like Vote.411 or Headcount, without it becoming a partisan issue. Our Voting and Civic Engagement Resource Center has more resources that can also help!

3. Set rules of engagement

Many companies are setting new rules for behavior on internal social media platforms like Slack, Yammer and MS Teams. However, with emotions running high and personal inhibitions running low – thanks to the prolonged stress of the pandemic – it’s important to define what is and isn’t okay in your culture. Forbes has tips for drafting your social media policy and then check out this FastCompany article to learn how to engage with coworkers with different views.

4. Consider a holiday

Join 1,600+ companies, like Brilliant Ink, who have decided to give their employees election day off. In many places, voting takes a considerable amount of time – an issue made even more complicated with the pandemic. Even where early or mail-in voting is possible, people may choose to vote in person for a range of reasons. 

5. Prepare past election day

Experts advise that it may take anywhere from days to weeks to get a final result in the election. That means your communications and support plan must consider pre- and post-election needs. This election guide is chock full of ideas for how to prepare.

Employee voices matter – inside and outside the workplace

As communicators or HR professionals, we can raise awareness and encourage meaningful conversations in the workplace. Let’s take every opportunity we can to show our employees that their voices matter.

For more resources to help you through this election and beyond, visit our Voting and Civic Engagement Resource Center. Oh, and if you want more bite-sized brilliance, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, the Inkwell, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Sara Forner Howland

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