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Industry Insights

How to cure employee post-election stress syndrome

By ,
Tom Sullivan, CEO of Princeton Partners.
Tom Sullivan, CEO of Princeton Partners.

The election is over, and so is the most divisive political campaign in modern history, leaving many employees suffering from "post-election stress syndrome" that can have a profound effect on morale, performance and productivity. A sense of lingering unhappiness, concern and helplessness about what this election revealed about the division of the political and world views of Americans and what the future holds for our country.

The question becomes, how do businesses deal with this palpable anxiety and feeling of powerlessness? It's the perfect time for positive team bonding through local community outreach. Take your mind off Washington and look to your own backyard, where employees can make immediate and visible change. 

A simple five-point process can serve as a basic blueprint for mobilization:

  1. Find a favorite issue: Identify the intersection of the issues you collectively care most about, and your ability to make a commitment to an ongoing contribution at the local level.
  2. Identify a common cause: Pinpoint one cause that your team can get behind and research the best existing organizations you can work with to multiply positive impact.
  3. Share ideas: Hold a brainstorming session to get everyone’s thoughts and ideas before jumping in. Not doing so will threaten your ability to sustain your efforts over time.
  4. Take the first step: This can be scary, because inertia is hard to overcome. You can overcome that inertia if you have a strong team willing to take that first step together.
  5. Be humble: Be gracious and helpful when you engage with others who are already engaged in the cause you seek to assist. Ask questions, offer assistance and recognize that you will be more effective if your primary strategy is to build trusting relationships.

Over the years, Princeton Partners has sought out ways to use our small company as an agent of change as part of our ongoing culture. We’ve focused on organizations including Special Olympics New Jersey, Homefront, The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness, The Boys and Girls Club, and Activity Works.

Let’s focus on the positive messages we have heard from President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and President-elect Donald Trump over the post-election weeks. Rather than turning inward, companies of all sizes can turn outward and connect with others to contribute.  We are not powerless in shaping our future; after all, we are Americans.

Tom Sullivan is the CEO of Princeton Partners, an integrated brand marketing agency based in Princeton.  

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