When your employees spend most of their time at work, it makes sense that in-house romances can occur. According to data from job search platform Comparably, 34 percent of men and 35 percent of women report they have dated a co-worker.
Workplace romances can lead to long-lasting relationships, sometimes even marriage. However, workplace romances can result in uncomfortable situations for the people involved in the relationship if things go sour, as well as for their co-workers. For that reason, it’s important to have policies in place to handle relationships in the workplace.
Below are five tips on handling workplace romances if and when they occur:
Get Legal Advice
It’s never a bad idea to run any policy by legal counsel. An attorney can help draft regulations which will protect everyone involved from sexual harassment, while also avoiding a ban on employee relationships.
Disclosure is Key
Make sure your staff knows you have an open-door policy when it comes to what they can talk to you about. It is better to know about budding work romances in order to take the next steps to protect your business and employees, rather than your staff feel like they should hide it.
Sign on the Dotted Line
Once your employees disclose their relationship to you, have each person sign a contract that spells out expectations of the relationship at the workplace. It should also advise them of your studio’s sexual harassment policies. The contract should also advise them to notify you if they break up, explaining behavioral expectations if that does happen.
While a couple might be in a romantic relationship, at work they are co-workers. Public displays of affection could make other staff members or students uncomfortable, so dissuading them from showing their love for one another physically is something you should go over with them. Make sure to highlight this pertains to all times they are representing your business.
You may be closer to some of your instructors than others, and feel as if you don’t need to follow the same policies with them as you did with other staff members. Wrong. Always make sure to have paperwork in place in case things go sour. Follow your rules put in place for each and every staff relationship, no matter the couple.