It's a shame that, for HR and employers, that often means grievances of harassment and disciplinaries ahoy!
⠀I know - we're no fun us HR lot. But seriously...office romances are not always sunshine and roses 🌞🌹
Remember that the definition of harassment is "unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which: violates your dignity, makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated, creates a hostile or offensive environment."
Regardless of the intent behind the behaviour, where it is unwanted, it could constitute harassment. That means that the employee who thinks she's being cute by sending her crush a valentines gift, could actually just be harassing them.
Even if the conduct is wanted if the parties are engaging in a relationship - it doesn't make it acceptable at work. We've all heard the stories of employees doing things on Board Room tables other than making notes and eating biscuits...
So either way - valentines day can spell D-R-A-M-A for employers. Here are my 3 super simple steps to help you avoid drama this V-Day 👇⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1️⃣ Set those boundaries sharpish 🙌 ⠀⠀⠀⠀
You don't want to put a ban on love, but if we can keep the PDAs to outside of work time, that's one way to avoid potential harassment claims at work! It's also important to set boundaries around employees in romantic relationships working together. For example, you probably wouldn't want a wife managing her husband or signing off his holiday purely because it leaves processes very open to abuse.
2️⃣ Communicate what behaviour equals harassment and where you stand on it ⛔
Most people don't understand what harassment looks like because they think you have to be a creep to qualify. When, in reality, it's simply unwanted behaviour. It's really important to educate your staff on what harassment is and be clear on:
how to report harassment and the procedure that will be followed
how founded allegations of harassment will be managed.⠀⠀⠀⠀
3️⃣ Have a set procedure for handling personal relationships at work
I 💜 love - who doesn't!? But let's keep it professional at work, shall we? With a personal relationships at work policy, you can effectively manage employees who are in a relationship with or related to other employees to avoid conflicts of interest and harassment claims.
"Where do I get one of those?" I hear you ask...
As per, your HR Warrior Princess has your back 💁♀️
For the whole month of February you can get your hands on a FREE Personal Relationships at Work Policy to implement in your business.
You're welcome 💜