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  • 09.05.2019
  • by Mikaran

How to Handle Dating in the Workplace . Zenefits

Office Romances

What's love got to do with it? Quite a lot, actually. To answer Tina Turner's proverbial question, current research on workplace romance was reviewed. If it's just about sex, a dalliance, an extramarital affair, or a relationship to move an individual up the career ladder, co-workers and companies tend to frown on love relationships in the office. If a couple is genuinely serious about dating and building a relationship, popular opinion is more favorable.

People who work together also tend to live within a reasonable dating distance, and they see each other on a daily basis. So should romance be discouraged? In a SHRM survey, 57 percent of individuals responding said they engaged in a romantic relationship at work.

In other surveys, 55 percent of the HR professionals who responded said that marriage is the most likely outcome of the office romances they experienced.

And yet, an SHRM workplace romance survey found that only 42 percent of companies have developed a formal, written, workplace romance policy. The low percentage of policies and regulations that are in place are likely due to the unwillingness of employers to police workers and their relationships in the office.

According to Dana Wilkie, an online SHRM editor, periodic surveys by SHRM show that 99 percent of employers with romance policies in place indicate that love matches between supervisors and staff members are not allowed. That percentage is up significantly over the last fifteen years.

Many organizations forbid intimate relationships even outside supervisory relationships. The SHRM research also found that some companies forbid hookups between their employees and clients or customers, and 11 percent forbid romances between their employees and employees of their competitors. Respondents to the SHRM surveys who discouraged or forbade dating in the workplace cited concerns with potential sexual harassment claims, retaliationclaims that a relationship was not consensual, civil suits and workplace disharmony if the relationship should end.

Depending on the discretion of the dating couple, gossip in the workplace can become rampant and disruptive. They also worry about losing valuable employees who might seek employment elsewhere if the relationship ends.

Organizations walk a fine line between ensuring employee productivity and interfering in the private affairs of their employees.

Powell, in the cited study, states, "that policymakers in most organizations believe that workplace romances cannot be legislated away and should be ignored unless they present a threat to the individual, group, or organizational effectiveness. Provide training for supervisors and managers about how to discreetly address overt sexual behavior in the workplace.

You will also want the supervisors comfortable coaching the dating couple if the relationship results in lowered morale and productivity for themselves or co-workers. Additionally, Powell's study of the literature found that workplace romances are particularly "hazardous for gay and lesbian employees due to negative reactions to homosexual relationships in general. As a result, comprehensive training is recommended.

Office relationships are often the focus of intense gossipso supervisors need to know how to keep their ears open for damaging behaviors.

Employees dating in the workplace

Supervisors should understand the appropriate disciplinary actions they should take if a romance derails and disrupts the workplace as a result. As a result, comprehensive training should be implemented.

How to Deal With Dating, Sex, and Romance at Work To answer Tina Turner's proverbial question, current research on workplace romance was reviewed. Customize this workplace romance policy based on your company's attitude toward employee dating. Add or delete parts to communicate applicable rules. Every company needs to consider a policy on workplace dating. forbade managers from a romantic relationship with any hourly employee, as long as it was.

One SHRM study found that only 12 percent of the surveyed organizations provided training to managers and supervisors regarding how to manage workplace romances. A good first step would be to advise supervisors and managers as to how they might discreetly address overt sexual behavior in the workplace.

7 common questions about workplace romance - The Way We Work, a TED series

Train all employees that the company has zero tolerance for sexual harassment. Provide information about the consequences of such behavior on their continued employment.

At the same time, employees need to understand that it is OK to ask a co-worker out on a date. Harassment occurs when the employee indicates no interest and the unwanted attention continues. All employees need to understand where the line occurs.

Most organizations ask employees to sign a document indicating they understand and will abide by the sexual harassment policy. An example is a fraternization policy which you may want to consider. Make sure that your employees are aware of all the rules and policies regarding workplace romances.

A policy that prohibits dating, sex, and romance entirely is not recommended. Any policy that is seen as overreaching or intrusive may encourage stealth dating.

You might consider a policy that prohibits supervisors from dating any employee who reports directly to him or her. The policy may also state that you expect staff members to behave in a professional manner while dating. Let your employees know that you expect that office romances, relationships, or affairs will be kept separate from the work environment.

Facts and figures about employee fraternization Workplace fraternization is very common all across the United States, and, of course, a large number of people reading this article may have met their significant other in the workplace or have had a relationship with a colleague in the past. On the flip side, 41 percent of both male and female respondents have actively avoided getting romantically involved with a colleague at some point.

Five tips for establishing a healthy employee dating policy Establishing a blanket ban on employee fraternization is highly unlikely to prove effective after all, you cannot police who your employees fall in love or lust with. Here are five tips for executing a healthy, functional employee fraternization and dating policy: Establish a clear and fair employee dating policy and mandate it as part of your company's employee fraternization framework.

Does Your Company Need an Employee Dating Policy?

Ensure that all employees are aware of the policy and know where to go to find out more about the rules. Educate your employees including supervisors and managers on your company's sexual harassment policy. Ensure your team understands the difference between sexual harassment and consensual romantic relationships, and the line between the two. Provide training for supervisors and managers on how to handle employee dating in the workplace.

Encourage a culture of transparency for employee relationships in order to eliminate gossip and mitigate the potential impact of two employees dating. Make the process for the reporting of inappropriate activities in the workplace such as sexual harassment, problems between participants in a relationship, and any issues that one couple's relationship may cause for other team members simple and accessible. Where to get professional advice on employee fraternization If you need help establishing or actioning an employee fraternization and dating policy for your company, or if you require advice on how to handle employee relationships and how to prevent any problems that might arise as a result of themcontact an HR professional or a specialist employment law attorney.

Justin O. See Justin O. Walker's Profile.

Workplace romances tend to be the stuff of legend either because a comfortable atmosphere, an employee dating policy can help your company avoid these. For many, the workplace is a prime opportunity to meet someone you may Many employers see the idea of employees dating one another as. Objective. [Company Name] strongly believes that a work environment where employees maintain clear boundaries between employee personal and business .

Justin Walker of Walker Law is a top-tier employment law and business litigation attorney located in downtown San Diego. His knowledge, expertise and commitment to every case are what set Justin apart from the crowd.

Like the article?

Having a healthy employee dating policy in place to provide a framework for acceptable behavior and to protect the company (and its. For HR professionals, dating in the workplace can be a tricky topic. It's a problematic intersection between protecting employees from sexual. As a result, many people are questioning whether you should date in the workplace today, and if you do, what rules should be followed.

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