What Elections Mean for Business

Posted by Dan Golden on September 7, 2016

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We’re cancelling all meetings and closing the office on November 8th to encourage 100% voter participation amongst our employees.  We hope you’ll join us in actively encouraging civic participation amongst employees by joining www.EmployersForVTO.org. Here’s why we think this is so important.

First off, I want to make it clear that I’m not talking about companies getting politically involved. There’s plenty of news about corporate influence and big money in politics. Most of it’s not good and we’re not in any way advocating for companies to tell employees who to vote for.

Instead, I’m talking about companies fostering employee empowerment. Involved and empowered employees bring big benefits to businesses. And elections create easy opportunities for businesses to establish a foundation that naturally fosters those benefits. Let’s take a look at the benefits and opportunities.

Opportunity #1. Show Employees You Care

The biggest reason people give for not voting is time. An article published at Fortune.com reports this goes for both high and low wage earners. Let’s face it, work and family obligations can be difficult and the minimum voter laws in most states still do not give adequate incentives and opportunities for people to vote.

When you give employees the day off to vote  – and clearly explain why you are doing it, you will show you care with your actions, not just words. Your action tells them you want to empower them. You also tell them you want them to be involved in their communities and they can make a difference.

A single day off shows you care and tells your employees you respect and appreciate them.

Opportunity #2. Align Employee Goals with Your Business Goals

Show employees you care about them as individuals and they’ll return the favor. In our experience, this includes greater productivity and consistent high quality work. Build the relationship with your employees and they’ll start to look out for the company too.

At BFO, we’ve found employees regularly come up with ideas to improve our products and customer service, all aligned with our company goals.  Wait, you’re saying this comes from taking a day off for election day? Well, yes. Or at the very least, it’s an easy way to start. We also offer Paid Volunteer Time Off so employees can get involved with causes close to their hearts too.

There are a lot of ways to show employees you care. When you do, it will mean a lot for your business.

Opportunity #3. Promote Liberty

As a business owner or executive, should you care about liberty? Now, I’m not talking about policy. Sure, policies affect your business, but policies and their implementation is a topic for another time. Right now, I’m talking about liberty and what it means to business.

Consider this…since the United States Constitution officially came into effect in 1789, we have gone from using horses to get around to flying to the moon. The economic juggernaut the U.S. has become and all its advances in medicine, technology, science and more come from liberty - the ability of men and women to invent, produce and promote ideas, products and services.

Great things happen when people work together and have the freedom to think and create. Liberty then encourages entrepreneurial thinking and opportunity. But individuals, not businesses protect liberty? Ah, but active, involved voters are typically less likely to accept the loss of liberty. So by encouraging employees to vote - and making it possible, you promote liberty, an essential factor in the potential for your business.

What to Do?

Give employees time off to vote this November. At BFO, we’re closing our offices on Election Day, November 8, 2016. If you can’t afford a full day off, consider offering half days, work from home days or flexible shifts to make sure employers know you are actively encouraging participation and not just allowing the bare minimums required by law.

To encourage broader participation, we’ve joined with companies around the U.S. to form Employers for VTO (Voting Time Off). We believe empowered employees make good decisions for themselves, for the companies they work for and for the country they live in. Every election means everything to every business. Empower your employees and watch the rewards stack up for your business.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Leadership, Business, Politics, Benefits

About Dan Golden

Dan Golden teamed with fellow Northwestern graduate, Steve Krull, to found BFO (Be Found Online) in 2009. As Co-Founder, President & Chief Search Artist at BFO, Dan has led the team from its roots as a search shop to a full-service performance digital media agency; optimizing paid and organic media across search, display, social, and mobile platforms. Voted one of the best places to work in Chicago, BFO is one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies in the Midwest, with 4 consecutive years on the Inc. 5000 list.

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