How to create an effective office romance policy

office romance, lipstick on collar

You can’t prevent love from blossoming at work, but you can manage how it affects your business. Here are five elements of a good office romance policy.

Every love story is different, but there is one thing office romances have in common: From inappropriate displays of affection to concerns about sexual harassment, they can be a headache for employers.

But banning romantic relationships could be more trouble than it’s worth – and ineffective, too, says workplace expert Di Ann Sanchez, founder of Hurst, Texas-based DAS HR Consulting, LLC. “You used to be able to just say ‘No office romances’ but today, they’ll just go underground. Then, if you find out, you’re forced to fire them because they violated your no-romance policy,” she says. Instead, she advocates implementing an effective office romance policy, which includes these five essential elements.

1. Require disclosure.
When it becomes clear that a romance is blossoming, those involved need to come clean to their supervisors, Sanchez says. That way, the employer can get involved in solving any potentially problematic issues, such as a supervisor dating someone who is a direct or indirect report.

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