Workplace romances can be tricky, at best. Many people meet their significant other through work, but addressing a budding office romance from a manager’s perspective can be difficult to navigate. If your organization needs help with addressing a workplace romance, keep reading for a helpful list of do’s and don’ts from the team at Prescott HR.
DO Address Office Romances in Your Employee Handbook
Many companies choose to prohibit coworkers and colleagues from dating one another. If you are willing to allow office romances at your organization, then we highly suggest addressing the topic in your employee handbook or office policy document. Be sure to write in a language that is specific and clear, so there is no room for ambiguity or confusion among your staff. If your organization does not allow employees to date vendors or clients, you must explicitly state that in the handbook or office policy document, too.
DON’T Forget to Lay Out the Rules
When handling an office romance, there’s no room to be vague. To address future potential problems, you want to clearly lay out the ground rules of how your organization expects its employees to handle dating co-workers, should the occasion arise. Here are some examples of rules that your office could implement if an employee starts to date a coworker, vendor, or client:
- All interoffice relationships must immediately be disclosed to human resources and documented
- Supervisors may not date their subordinates
- Employees may not show signs of physical displays of affection (PDA) while on company property
- Employees cannot trade romantic favors for organizational advantages or goods
- Employees may only ask a coworker on a date once. If the coworker’s response is “no,” then no further romantic pursuit may happen.
DO Encourage Transparency
The last thing you want as a manager is for your coworkers to date in secret and then have the rest of the office find out through the grapevine. If you are going to allow interoffice dating, then you must stress to your team that transparency is paramount. Be sure to thoroughly explain expectations for office romances during your employee onboarding process.
DON’T Ignore the Repercussions
So how will your organization handle an employee relationship that was not disclosed? Or what will you do if you find out that one of your superiors is dating a subordinate? Or worse, what happens when a workplace romance ends poorly and your employees now feel divided? These are all important considerations to keep in mind when determining if your office will allow workplace relationships.
Work with Prescott HR
Does your organization need help to navigate a workplace romance? We are here to help! Prescott HR offers a wide range of services that can help your organization evaluate your current workplace policies and incorporate new ones, as needed. Our unintimated HR practices allow us to be focused and effective, providing your business with precisely what you need. Give us a call today at 443-351-8818 or contact us online.