Okay, He’s President, Now What?

Tim Sackett Culture, Organizational Development

I’m writing this on Monday, November 2nd. At this point I know one thing, an elderly white dude will be my President either today or someday in the near future. We encouraged our employees to vote. Many did, some didn’t, and still, the sun came up today.

I like to think of HR like we are Switzerland.

No matter who we voted for, we can’t really show our allegiance. We have to remain neutral. Some of our employees will be super happy. Some will be sad and angry. We support all of them, equally. Well, at least, theoretically, that’s what our HR textbooks told us to do!

It’s our job to be Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along”, but with some authority to kind of force us all to get along! All sides fought for their man, one man won, and now it’s our patriotic duty to support each other in continuing the process of making our country the best place it can be for all those who have been given the privilege to live here.

How the hell can we fix this?

That’s really the big question, right? How the heck, after all this unrest, can we get our teams to start truly supporting each other?

More in Common is a non-partisan group of researchers who created the study The Perception Gap. Want to know what they found? You probably actually already know! The vast majority of Americans actually think pretty similarly on almost all issues. About 7% of extreme liberals and extreme conservatives are the outliers, which drive most of the media content and social media shares.

If can ignore what we believe to be the narrative that mass media is pitching, and focus on most of us think about the same, we have a chance to bring our workforce together. Focus on similarities, not differences. But, what DEI says we need to embrace our differences!?!

Ugh, see why this is super difficult!?

Yes, we have to embrace our similarities and our differences! These are mutually exclusive. We can have many things the same, a few things different, and not hate each other! We can also have 99.9% of things the same but have .01% different and it is a deal-breaker!

One of our problems, currently, is we are only focusing on differences and not similarities. Within a work culture, we focus on norms, the things that make us unique in a similar way. So, this shouldn’t be new to us. We all hated Rachel when she broke Ross’s heart! Let’s find common stuff to support – like maybe, making our organizations great!?

I choose to work for “Company A” because of a number of reasons, but one of those primary reasons was that I wanted to be part of something successful. Turns out, every other employee I work with, deep down in a place they might have forgotten, made the same choice. It’s our job to help them find it!

We will have a new President or the same President, either way, we have to get back to work and get focused. During the pandemic, our organizations need us to be here now, more than ever!