When this employee recruitment expert talks to potential candidates about jobs I’m looking to fill for client organizations, one of the questions I automatically ask is, “Why would you think about leaving your current organization?” The responses I get are all over the board but include some of the following:
- My boss is a micromanager
- The organization does not appreciate my contributions
- I want to shorten my commute
- The organization does not communicate with employees
I hear these all the time. These are among the myriad of reasons I hear. This past week, I heard an answer for the first time, one I never had before. The potential candidate said, “politics.” Not office politics but politics. As I probed deeper the candidate indicated he was constantly bullied by co-workers about his political leanings. It has gotten to the point where he dreads showing up for work. Wow!
This employee retention trainer got me thinking back to when I was an HR Leader. Frankly, we never talked politics at work. Our attitude was that a person’s political beliefs are their own and they have that right to keep them private. In fact, it was considered inappropriate to asked people about their political beliefs. We never had “bullying” policies to cover all the things we now cover under our current policies, yet our work environment was far more civil than it was today. We just didn’t talk politics and we got along fine with each other.
My client will definitely interview this candidate. Assuming they like him, I’m positive he will jump ship. I’m of the firm belief organizations should tell people to leave their politics at home. They are at work to do a job! Most organizations have enough to deal with in the business and don’t need these types of distractions. Besides, it’s clear to me that politics at work can drive employee turnover and it is not good for employee retention strategies and disrupts the business from running smoothly. It’s my thought that enough is enough. We have plenty to worry about just running the business. Let’s leave the politics at home!