Dealing with workplace relationships

February 11, 2016

As St. Valentines draws in, we look at the potential problems workplace romances can cause and the best way to manage relationships within the workplace.

Excited and surprised businesswoman receiving red roses - Valentine's day, Birthday or Anniversary

Quite a few of us meet our partners at work which is understandable. You can end up spending nearly 40 hours a week or more with your colleagues, for some of us, this can be more time that we spend with our friends and family a week! Granted time with our colleagues is focused on work activities however it is unsurprising that deeper relationships can form which a study completed by Index Approve confirmed.

However for organisations the topic of “workplace relationships” is seen as rather fluffy. The task of managing workplace relationships can become quite complex. Employers have a delicate line to follow in respecting their employees’ privacy but also ensuring that any relationships don’t have a damaging impact on their business.

There are differing views on how organisations should handle workplace relationships however here are our top tips:

Review your organisational culture: By looking into your organisational culture and work environment you can assess and develop an appropriate Relationship policy. Ask yourself are there certain romantic situations you want to prohibit or, at least, have a policy in place for addressing?
Provide Training about Work Romances: Provide training for supervisors and managers about how to discreetly address overt sexual behaviour in the workplace.
Broadcast Your Sexual Harassment Policy: Train all employees that the company has zero tolerance for sexual harassment. Provide information about the consequences of such behaviour on their continued employment.
Ensure employees in relationships behave in the correct manner: Try to promote that any employees that are in a relationship with a fellow employee behave professionally and discreetly in the workplace.

If you would like any guidance or help to ensure your relationship policy is aligned with your company culture please contact HR180 on 0845 458 5881.

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

Why not join our mailing list...




  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.