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 --

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 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.

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

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, Hay Group and Futurestep divisions. Visit kornferry.com for more information.

Korn Ferry
Tracy Kurschner, 612.309.3957

Source: Korn Ferry