By Michaela Caione | Marketing Specialist HR Human Resource Services

Love is in the air this Valentine’s day and as an employer, you often can’t stop office romances from blossoming, but you can manage them.

Managing the staff in your business is challenging, especially when you need to deal with ramifications of inter-office relationship breakdowns. If office romances turn sour, then you risk losing valued employees or an unhealthy culture. Here are some tips to managing relationships in your workplace:

Make Sure You Have the Right Policies in Place

Having the right policies in place ensures that your staff understand what you expect of them and their behaviour in the workplace.

Such policies you may want to make sure you have are:

  • Code of Conduct i.e. Outlining what is acceptable and unacceptable in the workplace
  • Discrimination & Harassment policies i.e. Sexual Harassment
  • Bullying Policy
  • Relationship Policy
  • Conflict of Interest Policy

Claims can often occur from office-romances gone wrong and employers need to respond quickly and appropriately. Having a strong policy in place to handle such circumstances is vital in providing a safe working environment for staff and save your business from any risks.

Speak to Your Staff at the Outset

It’s important that office romances are disclosed as soon as suspicions arise so you can put systems in place, allowing you to manage the situation to the best of your ability. Although it may be uncomfortable bringing this up with a staff member, it’s necessary to ensure high-productivity and high staff moral are not affected by the relationships in the workplace.

Be Aware of the Risks

Breaches

If senior employees or management are seen to be in a relationship with a co-worker, they may be in breach of the company’s policies and procedures if they don’t disclose the relationship. This conflict of interest can cause ramifications if not handled properly. If employees do not comply with these policies, then disciplinary action with the potential for termination of employment may occur. If this is the case in your business, contact one of our HR experts today so we can provide you with advice on how to effectively handle this situation.

Create a Safe Working Environment

As a business owner it’s your responsibility to create a safe working environment for all staff. This includes ensuring that other staff members who work with or near the two ‘lovebirds’ are not affected by the relationship and can continue to do their assigned work without feeling awkward or uncomfortable.

Office romances are quite common as you share most of your day with your work colleagues than you do anyone else and so, business owners need to ensure they are aware of the risks to their business so you can develop a strategy to handle such situations.

At Key Business Advisors, our HR experts can provide you with instant advice on how to mitigate the risks in your organisation and can help you outline effective procedures and policies to ensure your business is prepared once cupid has come and gone this Valentine’s Day. Contact us today!

About The Author

Michaela Caione

Currently working part-time at Key Business Advisors, Michaela is completing her degree at Swinburne University.

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