TORONTO, February 14, 2012 – What happens when one of your senior executives is romantically involved with a junior employee? Or when two employees approach you to declare that their romantic relationship will not impact their workplace professional relationship? Companies are forced to deal with workplace romance issues all of the time.
According to Stacy Parker, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Randstad Canada, workplace romances are not surprising or uncommon. “A recent CareerBuilder study found that thirty per cent of workers surveyed across Canada said they have dated a co-worker at least once over the course of their career. It is not a surprise. People working together tend to have similar backgrounds, talents, and goals. In fact, there have been numerous interoffice relationships within our own organization, the couples met right here in the workplace and are now happily married,” she says.
Parker acknowledges however, that office romances are not without their share of difficulties. “Relationships between co-workers can also end in break ups, and can lead to a volatile workplace atmosphere. Workplace romances can and do have an impact on organizational dynamics which in turn affect outcomes – productivity, morale, efficiency. That’s why it’s important for employers to focus on properly managing employees when they begin dating at work,” she adds.
According to Parker, by following the tips below, employers can begin to establish processes for managing the delicate nature of office romances.
Encourage transparency - Employees should be encouraged to inform their supervisors when they begin romantic relationships with fellow workers and be assured that the information will be kept confidential.
Have a policy in place - As with all other policies governing employee conduct, employers should put their workplace romance policies in writing. Workplace romance policies should apply to all employees in the company, including senior management.
Discourage displays of affection in the workplace - Employees must be made aware that romantic behavior is not acceptable at work. Employees must be made aware that simply because their employer permits romantic relationships between co-workers does not mean that the company also permits romantic displays between them in the workplace.
About Randstad Canada: Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, we understand the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of recruitment experts, we are shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit randstad.ca