Even though some of these negative conditions exist even with romance policies, rules and regulations make employees think twice before engaging in such behavior.
According to "Workforce" magazine, problems arise when supervisors date subordinates and other employees claim favoritism.
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Workplace romances tend to be the stuff of legend – either because a department (or entire company) got dragged into the drama, or the couple lives happily ever after. For that reason, many companies discourage interoffice dating. Yes, it may feel weird to try and control someone’s love life, but your job as a leader is to ensure a fair and equitable workplace.
However, sometimes the crazy creeps in and that’s when a workplace romance policy can protect your company. Download our free e-book, 7 Most Frequent HR Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.
Q: My business partner is dating one of his direct reports.
Just a few of the real-world difficulties caused by workplace romance that I’ve seen during my career include: Interestingly, the Society for Human Resource Management reports that while HR professionals aren’t reporting more workplace romances, the number of companies that have adopted formal romance policies has sharply increased. Can a policy protect your company from charges of sexual harassment or favoritism, conflict or morale problems?
While it can make some managers uncomfortable to tell employees what to do on their off time, the purpose of a formal policy is to keep employees effective and productive.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this site is not legal advice, but general information on human resources issues commonly encountered.
Lest you feel hard-hearted for discouraging workplace lovebirds, consider the turmoil and drop in productivity that can be caused by gossip, poor morale, and accusations of favoritism or sexual harassment charges.
How much jurisdiction does a business leader really have over employees’ off-time?
However, you do have to act immediately if productivity is affected, if you get complaints from employees, or gossip and conflict are tearing a department apart. Some conversation starters might include: Should employees get involved, some companies have the partners sign a “love contract.” Such documents specify that the relationship is consensual, that the pair will behave professionally, won’t engage in favoritism nor will take legal action against the employer, or each other, if the relationship ends.
Yes, workplace romance can be managed if two people really care about one another, keep their relationship as quiet as possible and act like professionals at work.