Cupid and the Company Dating Policy
Are office romances on the rise?
Last year for Valentine’s Day, we brought you “The 10 Greatest Office Romances of the Big & Small Screen”. That was a fun look at fictional stories of dating in the workplace. This year, we turn to nonfictional scenarios. To do so, we checked out the interesting findings of the Workplace Romance Survey published last September by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The results include statistics from a poll of HR professionals from a randomly selected sample of SHRM’s membership.
Some of the survey’s eye-openers included:
- Forty-three percent of HR professionals reported romances in their workplaces
- Twice as many employers have a written or verbal policy on workplace romances now than did in 2005
- Of organizations that have workplace romance policies, 99 percent do not permit a romance between a supervisor and a subordinate
- 67 percent of suspicions about workplace romance are generally revealed through office gossip
- More than 50 percent of HR professionals reported that employees got married or became long-term partners as a result of romances in their workplaces
Office romances, however you may feel about them, are not going away. Neither are concerns about favoritism, sexual harassment claims, retaliation, poor morale and reduced job satisfaction. So what’s an employer to do?
Does your company have an office dating policy?
Policies on dating are helpful to have because being unprepared for this type of scenario makes responding to them a more risky endeavor. “Although not always intentional, the workplace is often where people end up meeting their mate. You share common interests, you may spend a significant amount of time together and get to know each other pretty well,” says Tina Hamilton, PHR, president of myHR Partner, Inc. “And lets face it, the laws of attraction cannot be stopped by a policy. They have their own agenda.”
“That said, these situations can sometimes get sticky,” she adds. “The issues of jealousy, affairs, breakups and so on leave supervisors and HR with messy situations that cause headaches, wasted time, the loss of valuable employees and the potential for emotional chaos. Because of this, we do recommend a policy that allows you to be prepared for these types of situations.”
Interested in checking your company’s policies and documentation to make sure they meet your business’s HR needs? email us or call us at 610-443-0119 to discuss how myHR DirectLink services can help.