Benefits People Matter Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Your Voice Matters: Supporting Your Employees in Using Their Voting Rights

July 20, 2022 · 7 min read

Chief of Staff, Legal and Compliance, TriNet

At TriNet, PEOPLE MATTER is more than a campaign—it’s a call to action. In the inaugural TriNet Environmental, Social and Governance Report, we focused on empowering people and creating opportunities to allow them to make a difference.  One way to empower individuals is by encouraging them use their voice.

Today, due to a combination of enabling technology, hybrid-work environments and the fast flow of information, we are bombarded with the issues of the world during work hours, family time and even when we’re trying to unwind.  For many of us, this means news alerts pop-up on our phones, tablets, laptops, in our cars and on our smartwatches at all hours of the day. We can’t escape the often grim realities of the world in public, in our work environments and, these days, not even in our own bedrooms.

Moreover, it’s incredibly hard to untangle the social issues all around us from politics—even if one believes these issues inherently should not be perceived as “political issues.”

Humans are naturally inclined to try to make sense out of the world around them and that naturally leads to forming opinions and stances on issues big and small. One of the amazing things about our country is that everyone has the right to free thinking and free will based on their opinions.

As employers, one way we can show our employees that they matter is by encouraging them to exercise their freedom of expression and take a stand for their beliefs through voting.

TriNet puts a priority on encouraging our employees to use their voice through the voting process. At TriNet, our internal “get-out-to-vote” (“GOTV”) program is called TriNet Votes. GOTV programs can be made up of a variety of tactical activities centered around providing individuals with access to information and materials that educate, promote, and excite them about performing their civic duty—voting.

Companies employing GOTV programs often see many benefits, including improved company culture, increased brand awareness, improved stakeholder relationships and—to the benefit of everyonehigher voter turnout.

If you are interested in developing a GOTV program at your company, the next national election is on November 8, so the time to act is now.  Here are a few things you may want to consider:


Keep it inclusive. The idea is to encourage employees to take advantage of their freedom to vote, not to sway how they vote. TriNet Votes, for example, focuses on non-partisan activities and our GOTV programming does not endorse any specific issue or candidate. The focus is always on civic engagement and participation.

 

Engage employees. Create a dedicated team devoted to building out the GOTV efforts for your organization. TriNet Votes has a cross-functional team led by our Regulatory Affairs leader.  This dedicated team should coordinate efforts to encourage employees to vote, set timelines, adhere to deadlines, and build what your GOTV program will look like. 

 

Have unified messaging. Leadership buy-in and communication that the organization cares about employee civic engagement is important.  Consider a company-wide notification (e.g., during an internal company-wide meeting or via company-wide email), as well as messaging about the importance of voting (without any political leaning) coming from executive leadership.  TriNet President and CEO Burton M. Goldfield frequently shares his support of GOTV programs both internally and externally: How Businesses Can Support Their Employees During Election Season 

 

Communicate clearly. Create an intranet page or other hub that is accessible by your employees for the information and resources you may want to include as part of your GOTV program. People consume information in different ways, so consider that when developing content about your GOTV program. An article on the importance of voting in the upcoming mid-term elections or how to have respectful conversations at your workplace might be helpful.  Consider highlighting voter registration laws and deadlines where your employees reside or creating snazzy short video montages that encourage viewers to go out to vote.  The more ways you are able to share information, the more likely you are to capture the attention of everyone on your team.   

 

Have some fun with it!  Everyone loves to wear their “I Voted” sticker to work but remote employees can still show off their voting spirit.  Consider creating a “Vote 2022” or “I Voted” background for your virtual meetings on voting day.  Enabling a countdown clock to November 8 can give your employees a target date to accomplish certain things (like registering to vote, develop a voting plan, etc.).  If your organization has a more playful culture, consider ‘gamifying’ aspects of your GOTV program. Just remember to keep it issue-free and bipartisan!

 

Leverage available resources.  There are many websites you can share with your team that provide information on how to register to vote, where to go to vote and polling volunteer information.  Here are just a few:

o   U.S. Election Commission: Register and Vote in Your State

o   U.S. Election Commission: Become a poll worker

o   Power the Polls.org

o   Rock the Vote.org

 

Make voting accessible. Consider whether providing time-off to vote, beyond any legally required minimum, makes sense for your organization. TriNet’s current voting time off policy provides paid voting leave of up to four hours to support civic engagement for all colleagues and interns, which includes time off to register to vote, vote early or on Election Day, and to complete and drop off an absentee ballot. This leave can be used in combination with TriNet’s paid volunteer time off policy.  You may also consider whether you have volunteer-time-off in place and, if so, you may want to remind employees of that time should they want to use it to work at polling centers.  Check out Make Time to Vote for some ideas. You may also implement a “No Meeting Day” on November 8 to make scheduling time easier for your people to either vote or volunteer at voting centers.  

As the fabric of our work and personal lives continue to interweave, employers are in a good position to remind their employees of the power they have in casting their vote.  Promoting civic engagement among your employees is worth considering at any time, but especially in an election year.  As with any workplace initiative, if you are considering building a GOTV program and are either going to develop new policies or refresh existing ones, please make sure to connect with your legal or HR professional for the appropriate guidance.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such web sites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on TriNet.com does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.

By Mathew Thomas

Chief of Staff, Legal and Compliance, TriNet