Employees unlikely to quit over politics — but are split on engaging at work

With a presidential election on the horizon, employees may be particularly wary of talking politics at work this year, according to April 3 HiBob survey results — but that doesn’t mean workers are avoiding discourse entirely.

Fifty-eight percent of said they support “encouraging discourse in the workplace,” up 10 percentage points from last year, despite increased concerns that sharing opinions with managers could risk their job or relationship. Survey-takers also said they’re more hesitant to share their political views with their colleagues this year.

Also notable: Employees are less likely to leave over a company’s political stance this year. Sixty percent of the approximately 1,000 professionals surveyed said they wouldn’t quit a company because its political views oppose their own— up from 46% last year. However, 44% of workers said they would not accept a job offer from a company with views that oppose their own, a number that increased from 39% surveyed last year.

“Although differing political views may not prompt exits, the prevailing sentiment underscores a strong consensus for maintaining neutrality in the workplace,” Ronni Zehavi, CEO of HiBob, said in a statement. “Establishing clear guidelines and fostering respectful dialogue will help promote inclusivity and professional relationships.”

Other surveys seem to share HiBob’s findings that employees are split on whether employers should take a stand on politics at all. While a majority of workers surveyed by Glassdoor and Harris Poll last year said they feel supported when their company makes a political statement on an issue they care about, fewer said that employers should take public stances on issues like abortion, immigration or LGBTQ+ rights, showcasing how thin the line may be for employers trying to navigate it.

Fisher Phillips attorneys reminded employers in recent guidance to be consistent in how they approach political discussions, dress code and appearance policies, particularly regarding candidate support. Promoting civility is also key, the law firm said. HR may want to designate someone in their department or on the legal team who managers can call with questions when issues come up, attorneys added.