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How to address a claim that a supervisor is dating an employee
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This dating policy prohibits certain co-worker relationships
Jake and Amy, Jim and Pam, are examples of cute office romances blessed by their companies, albeit on television. But real-world workplace romances can be more complicated and dating a coworker can be frowned upon in a lot of companies.
How then can HR develop policy to keep things balanced at work? Should you perhaps ban workplace romances all together? And is that ethical?
Banning may be harsh. Compliance around workplace relationships can be tricky to manage. In the MeToo erait can be difficult to separate an honest relationship from a case of open sexual harassment.
This is where strong non-fraternization policies can become the norm, where direct reports and supervisors are prohibited from engaging in relationships. Some workers even admitted that they had lost their jobs because they reported incidents of sexual harassment by their managers. HR may determine, depending on the workplace structure, to move one employee in the relationship to another department or to another position to avoid issues like favoritism.
It would be wise to limit the use of tech to effectively communicate policies around dating coworkers and having office romances.
Monitoring conversations between coworkers can be a violation of employee data privacy and lead to compliance violations. However, video may be an aspect to be considered.
In cases of harassment or workplace violence, for example, an employer could review video recordings during an investigation. Also, some employers have electronic monitoring policies related to computer and business phone use and could potentially review communications on company equipment during an investigation.
And monitoring should be limited up to that point. This is particularly true if employees have ed an explicit contract declaring their relationship.
Could allowing dating a coworker be an indirect route to employee retention? Or could it be the road to turnover as a result of failed romances? Would that turnover be good for your businessconsidering that a failed romance can affect productivity? This may be a good time to collect data on the state of your employee relationships, whether employees are dating coworkers, and use people analytics to correlate it with data on retention and turnover.
Policies about workplace dating
Always keep in mind, though, that workplace romances are human relationships, and managing them requires a human touch. Draconian policies can be misunderstood and undermine employee morale. It is best, in such situations, to enable romances within the purview of a considerate policy and allow them to flourish.
Maybe you could take credit for enabling the next Jake and Amy or Jim and Pam! What are your thoughts on employees dating a coworker? Hi there!
Dating a coworker: hr policy best practices for office romances
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