Unlike other workplace practices, workplace romance is one subject that the organization or human resources department know is an issue but would prefer to leave it to the discretion of individuals that are involved, this is aptly captioned by Taub, S. 2002 “ A fine Romance, but no policies”.
However, when you consider the legal implications and effects of accusation of negligent that could result from sexual harassment cases, sexual violence and impairment on productivity then it becomes important that proper attention be paid to workplace romances as an important aspect of organizational duty to manage and regulate instead of leaving it to individuals discretion and sense of judgment.
Since HR is entrusted with the responsibility of workforce management, it, therefore, suffice to say that policies and code of conduct be put in place aimed at managing such occurrences. However, care must be taken in drafting such policies so as not to impinge on the workers’ right and an accusation of discrimination.
POLICY CONTROL. It has been noted that organizations are becoming stricter in controlling workplace romances, in fact, it is prohibited in some industries such as banking, insurance, and financial institutions, for example, the bank does not expect two staff of the same branch who are married to remain in the same location, in some instance, one of the parties might be transferred to a different department that does not have any relationship with the partner or may outrightly be advised to resign from the employment of the bank.
TRAINING AND ENLIGHTENMENT. An Organization should undertake intentional training as part of staff onboarding strategy to educate the workers on the position of the organization on workplace romance and its implications.
DISCLOSURE. It is recommended that workers should be encouraged to display their relationship status before it comes to other workers knowledge. Such disclosure will enable HR to give proper advice and counsel in line with the company’s policy.
DISCIPLINE. It must be ensured that violation of laid policies is dealt with in accordance with the prescription of the organization with favoritism or bias. It should be demonstrated that violation of company’s rules on romance will be implemented to the latter irrespective of who is concerned. This will send the right signal to those who are likely contemplating committing the same act.
NO PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION AT WORKPLACE. Whether there is a written or an unwritten policy, it is reasonable to understand that a workplace is a social setting primarily established for corporate purposes. It is expected that those objects must be promoted and nothing should be done to distract people from the pursuit of such objectives. It a popular saying that “Couple in a workplace are co-workers and not partners”
Workplace romance is one of the realities of the 21st-century organization; it is with us and has come to stay. This writer has painstakingly considered the advantages and disadvantages of such relationships both from the angle of the individuals and the organization. However, because the workplace is strictly for work it is recommended that policy guidelines are put in place by organization depending on their orientation on the issue. However, in the best interest of both the “ love birds” and the organization it is better to look for love elsewhere or better still one of those in such a relationship could resign while the other remains.
Read full article from: RELATIONSHIP AND ROMANCE AT WORKPLACE
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