Employees can make the Difference

  • By: President/CEO of the Fresno Chamber – Al Smith

I ran into some interesting statistics the other day.  A survey put out by the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) noted that when it comes to supporting government issues or political candidates, our employees find our opinions about what and who to support more credible than any other group (see chart below).

Chart: Which organizations provide the more credible information on political issues and elections that affect your job, company or industry?

  • Your employer – 35%
  • Media/News – 16%
  • Political Parties – 12% 
  • Self/Own research – 9%
  • Labor Unions – 1%

Wow.  That is a heavy number from people we work with every day.

Business continually complains of over-regulation; unsympathetic or unlearned politicians and a lack of business friendliness.  Could it be that part of the solution is working side by side with us each and every day?

When your start dealing with numbers, it can become complicated, so try to follow the bouncing ball.  The BIPAC statistics pointed out that 73% of private sector employees are registered to vote and they vote at a high level (86%).  But, a sizable amount is not registered – equating to 40 million potential voters nationwide.

If those 40 million supported business-friendly issues and candidates at the same 86% level – think of the difference it could make in most elections!

Another number to consider: 59% of employees said they would listen to the employer for political and policy information BUT ONLY 12% remember ever hearing anything from their company.  Conversely, by a three to one ratio, employees are hearing more from unions.

To the degree that the law allows, companies have the ability to share with its employees information that impacts their lives, their jobs and the success of the company for which they work.

On the Chamber’s website, under Programs and Governmental Affairs, you will find posted information regarding Chamber positions we have taken – plus a Report Card on state and local officials voting records regarding their support of free-enterprise.  Many of these issues may have a direct impact on your company. We are continuing to expand capabilities on this site so visit it often.

Sharing this information with your employees and encouraging their involvement can help preserve your company’s health and their employment.  I know one Chamber member that simply forwards this information via e-mail to all of his employees – a quick way to disseminate important information.

Additionally, many companies are putting in place opportunities for their employees to register to vote and then giving time to cast their vote (preferably early) – all important components to making a positive influence on the future business landscape.

So Employees can Make the Difference if workers join with owners – working together in election education and turn out at the voting place, It can alter the current anti-business direction of government.

In today’s hostile environment, it looks like we must respond in making government influence as big a part of the organization’s business plan as product perfection and customer service.  It’s a shame. But it’s a fact.


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