Whilst many might just see Valentine’s Day as a card maker’s dream – no prizes for guessing where I stand – many see it as an opportunity to show the people they care about how they feel.
Even if they’re a co-worker.
But is this right? Should people be banned from having office romances? American Apparel certainly seems to think so. How about romantic relationships in general?
It’s a difficult issue. But if you think that your staff might be erring on the side of cupid and his pesky arrows then you might want to read on…
First of all, if you want to keep a professional attitude in the workplace but also remain lenient, perhaps take the stance that all personal relationships stay just that – personal. Make sure as far as possible that they don’t bring their issues into the workplace with them. A recent survey of UK businesses found that 20% use dating policies in order to do just this.
It might help to ensure they don’t really work together as well, and definitely that one of them doesn’t work for the other, as other staff members may claim favouritism (or the opposite if things go sour).
Now, we don’t suggest that you ban relationships altogether, it’s human nature after all. But what you don’t want is to have it become a problem for your business.
Therefore you might consider having staff declare if they are in a relationship. Even if – god forbid – it’s with a customer of yours.
Again, this is difficult, as anything to do with personal relationships has the potential to give rise to discrimination or harassment claims – and some may even see it as a breach of their human rights if you make it an issue – so tread very carefully.
Otherwise, we hope that you enjoy your Valentine’s weekend!