June 4, 2019

Keep Politics Out Of Your Business

By Paul Bieber

Just everybody has an opinion on politics in our country. Forty-two percent believe this and 45% believe that. And you agree with neither of those two groups on a national level. It is hard to do, but while you are at work, keep this to yourself.

Nothing will ruin your business faster than taking a political position and putting that decision on your trucks with bumper stickers. You will immediately lose some business and what you might gain will not make up for it. This may not have been the case in past election seasons, but we are now living in tumultuous political times and people will change their purchasing decisions based on what your positions are.

No banners in your windows or signs on your door. Do not allow candidates to politic in your store without offering equal time to the other side. Publicly, don’t show who you support. Privately, I do encourage all people to be involved. Place that bumper sticker on your personal car and make call-outs supporting your favorite candidates. How about a local referendum to spend money on improved sewers in your community? Go ahead and support that. You are supporting an issue and not a political party or candidate.

What do you do with an employee who wears a political button to work? This depends on your employee handbook and whether political buttons are allowed or not. Many companies do not allow political buttons; some companies allow them up to a certain size, say 1 inch. While it is hard to stop, encourage your employees and co-workers not to discuss politics as this will cause some tensions, no matter which side you may be on. If you do allow political buttons is there a quantity limit? Sounds silly, but to have a worker with ten buttons on the shirt or safety apron will cause negative discourse throughout.

I have always been a political person and I take great pride in this comment. That being said, very few people at work knew my political positions. It is the best way to run a business.