3 tips to avoid mishandling employee activism

As employee activism rises, mishandling it can be damaging for business leaders and companies. While many companies navigate how to respond, experts gave guidelines on what to avoid in a Feb. 26 article published in Harvard Business Review.

Employee activism has many forms. It can include employees pushing to unionize, requests to move toward more humane practices or protests for better working conditions. Mismanaging employee demands can have huge repercussions, including high turnover rates, increased negative media attention and consumer pushback.

Three things to avoid:
1. The optimism bubble

Optimistic business leaders underestimate the severity of internal unrest and dismiss it as disruptive behavior. Doing so leaves business leaders unprepared for repercussions.

2. Believing being apolitical is possible

CEOs may believe that appearing apolitical appears neutral, but neutrality can be perceived as a political statement itself.

3. Over-promising and under-delivering

Many companies have received backlash for releasing statements in support of Black Lives Matter without a plan to create meaningful change. To avoid this, experts suggest discussing political approaches as part of your strategic plan.

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