With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought it was only appropriate to address the topic of workplace romances this week. Relationships, dating and hooking up seem more common than bad candidates these days and we wanted to share our advice from both the employee and the employer viewpoint. Today we are tackling how to handle them as an employer!
According to the survey, produced by job site Vault.com, 58% of employees have engaged in a romantic relationship with a colleague which is a pretty high percentage. It’s natural for employees who spend six to eight hours a day with each out to form relationships both social and romantic. So how should you handle it when you have some employee romances in your workplace?
What is Impact on Business
You always want to think about how the relationship might impact your business, employee relations and workplace culture. Your employees are observant of everything so what is the perception of the relationship in the workplace. You want to ask yourself the following questions:
How will my employees perceive this relationship?
Is there a reporting relationship that exists between these two people?
Have these employees traditionally had professional demeanor while at work?
Is this a potential ethics concern?
Make Sure that You Have a Clear Policy and You Enforce It
Whatever policy you have regarding workplace relationships, you need to follow it. If you don’t have one, you need to get one NOW. We don’t recommend having a blanket policy that prohibits personal relationships but rather a specific policy that details the types of relationships that are not permitted and when they need to be disclosed.
Don’t Shame or Embarass Your Employees
Did you read that statistic up above? It essentially says that more than half of your employees will form some sort of relationship with each other. The absolutely LAST thing you want to do is shame your employees. Don’t make them feel guilty or bad or embarrassed for finding themselves in a relationship. As much as your employees need to maintain professionalism, you also need to maintain professionalism. The same expectation should be placed on your managers and leadership, don’t allow any of your leaders to participate in gossip regarding the employee relationship.
Remember to always view things from a professional business standpoint. Don’t let drama or relationship conflict get in the way of productivity. Nip it in the bud.