Korn Ferry Workplace Survey: Mum's the Word When It Comes to Politics in the Office


-- Nearly One-Quarter Say Political Environment Interferes with their Job Performance –
-- Nearly One-Fifth Say Their Company Has Lost Business for Taking Political Stand --

Editor’s Note: Survey Responses at End of News Release

Los Angeles, April 25, 2017 – Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY), the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm, today released survey results that show the majority of executives believe they should not bring their personal political viewpoints to work.

Fifty-six percent of respondents say that disclosing their political affiliation in the workplace could negatively impact their career, and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) say the current political environment interferes with their job performance.

“While politics in many parts of the globe is an incredibly divisive issue, corporations would do well to encourage constructive dialogue across this divide,” said Andrés Tapia, Korn Ferry senior client partner and solutions leader, Workforce Performance, Inclusion and Diversity Practice. “Political diversity is a new frontier in the work of inclusion. While no one seems to be listening to one another out in the public square, corporations who already are nurturing inclusive environments have a unique opportunity to foster non-polarizing conversations that lead to new understandings of political positions difficult to comprehend.”

While the survey shows the majority of executives would prefer to not share their personal political viewpoints at their place of employment, most (54 percent) say they are comfortable with politics being discussed at work, and nearly two-thirds (61 percent) are comfortable with their company taking on political issues.

While one quarter of respondents say their organization has already taken on a political issue, 17 percent say their company has lost business as a result.

“When it comes to taking a stand, no one can dispute that doing so carries financial risks. But so could not taking a stand,” said Tapia. “Further, there are those companies that felt they could not be silent based on their values and what’s important to their employees. Many of these companies have emerged with enhanced reputations and, in various cases, have been rewarded in the marketplace.”

About the Survey

There were 742 executive responses to the Korn Ferry survey, which took place in March 2017.

Survey Results

Do you feel that disclosing your political affiliations in the workplace could negatively impact your career?

Yes     56 percent
No     44 percent

Are you comfortable with politics being discussed in the workplace?

Yes     54 percent
No     46 percent

Does the political environment ever interfere with your personal job performance?

Yes     23 percent
No     77 percent

Has your company taken a position on any political issue?

Yes     25 percent
No     75 percent

Are you comfortable with your company taking on political issues?

Yes     61 percent
No     39 percent

Has your company lost any business as a result of taking a political stance?

Yes     17 percent
No     83 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations, and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our nearly 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Korn Ferry and Korn Ferry divisions.

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