On April 27, 2022, we held the 6th episode of the #ASKConversations in Twitter spaces. We talked about how some HR professionals are active in endorsing presidential candidates
Using one’s clout “as an HR professional” to campaign for a presidential candidate is not the same as expressing personal support. However, the distinction between the two can be hazy.
Is it appropriate for HR professionals to endorse a political candidate?
We attempted to strike a balance between those who agree and those who disagree, and this was the gist of the conversation.
Dru Salazar, who is an HR Director and an aspiring entrepreneur has been transparent about his presidential choice. He believes in an era where information is accessible, it is important for opinion leaders like HR professionals to express support so as to guide people on what they perceive as right, politics included.
He acknowledges, however, that there is a thin line between openly supporting a political candidate versus actively campaigning for them – with the latter especially discouraged if the opinion leader uses their position to involuntarily agree with their choice.
But Joyce Alosbanos, also an HR practitioner, has a different stand. Because of her experience in the 1986 snap elections, she opted to be politically agnostic ever since. Blind fanaticism has led to the loss of basic decency deep division in family and abandonment of friendships, which she claimed to have experienced.
Ederic Eder, tech blogger and journalist, pointed out a scenario that reflects the dilemma of HR professionals.
An acquaintance in HR publicly supports a politician who represents unity but has a questionable history. Employees who are endorsing the opposing candidate are questioning his moral superiority to lead HR because of his political choice.
On the other hand, he asserted, some people look up to HR professionals because of their skill to endorse the qualified presidential candidate(s).
After sharing this on Facebook, other HR pros shared their thoughts too. Republish it here with their permission.
Tina Khoe Ang, Entrepreneur
HRs can always say who they are voting for. They can discuss the options cheerily and share why they love their candidate. Like any employee, it’s okay to stand for their own values and beliefs.
However, I do believe:
1. HR should NOT discriminate against somebody because of who they are voting for.
2. HR should NOT make an employee a favored employee just because they’re voting for the same candidate.
3. HR does NOT dictate to employees who they should be voting for, or threaten an employee with sanctions if they don’t follow the lead of the HR.
We live in a DEMOCRACY, with everyone having one vote. And our leaders are elected based on plurality, meaning whoever has the most votes win.
My people have been there for years with me working hard together throughout a pandemic, and if they are still there, a joy to work with. They are BEYOND their choice of candidate, a decision which is well within their Constitutional rights as Filipino citizens. And I will not judge them for their political choices and punish them for it.
I will not think they are stupid or ignorant or easily meddled by fake news just because they’re voting for a candidate I don’t like. If they’re stupid, then who is stupider? Me! Because I employ them.
I will also not get pissed if they vote for a different candidate than me. I will ask them why and will sincerely listen, but will never pout or get angry when they choose the people they choose.
And most importantly, I will never tell them, “I thought you were smarter than this. Why are you voting for XYZ?”
That’s called respect. And I hope in the days leading up to the elections, everyone can remember those good people are made not because you chose a particular candidate in this cycle of elections. Good people for me are made when you MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES EVERYDAY, even before, during, and after the elections.
A choice of candidate does not make a man. And anyone who believes that a good choice of candidate is the BIGGEST INDICATOR of goodness and morality should really check their biases because remember, we are there to serve our people and work together within the company. Once we start dictating, who exactly are we serving now? Our candidates who care nary for us, or ourselves?
A few more days till this is over. Vote wisely!
Mike Javate, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner
I guess, one can be vocal in terms of expressing individual/personal preference but not use authority/ influence to have others vote the same. As an HR, we should advocate a non-partisan voter information program to help guide employees to practice their sovereign rights to choose candidates who they believe are aligned with & help advocate their personal beliefs/ values.
Jef Menguin, President- BITD
Kapag may strategic planning, tiningnan yung PESTEL. Political yung P. HR professionals must help shape the political environment. It is dangerous to leave what will impact our family, our businesses, and our country to politicians. Proactive and approach. Hindi tayo patay na isda na tinatangay lamang ng agos.
Gian Carlo Ureta, HR Manager
For the longest time, most HR is apolitical. Similarly, as time progresses HR evolved in a way that shaped the Organization progressively. In the same context, HR can endorse candidates based on non-negotiables putting into practice the principles of recruiting a candidate. After all, bad hires affect productivity.
Mortel Ferdinand, HR Manager
Should or should not it doesn’t matter..just vote wisely. There are pros and cons of endorsing your candidate
PROS- you can stand up what you believe in even if your standing alone
CONS – people will judge you according to the candidate you endorse because of stereotyping
Edwin Ebreo, President- ExeQserve
There are no “shoulds” or “should-nots” here. There is no ethical or moral code that says HR should be political or apolitical. It all boils down to a person’s belief system. If an HR feels that he/she should not share insights on the implications of one’s political choices, then it is well within one’s right not to share. The same is true the other way. If the HR practitioner is merely sharing ideas or even if he/she is trying to persuade people because of the implication of their votes (platform affecting the industry, etc), for as long as the boundaries are clear and there is no violation of any rights, then I believe it is well within bounds.
Every Filipino should have a political stand, including HR professionals. But whether to make it public or to actively campaign for one is best left to the person concerned. But as an HR myself, I think I can best help in this political exercise by helping people think critically to make an informed choice. Spoonfeeding my preference is an insult to their intelligence.
What are your thoughts?