Why Romance in the Workplace is not always a Good Thing
In many cases a personal relationship between staff will not interfere with work. However, sometimes a personal relationship will be or can become problematic because it adversely impacts on other colleagues or negatively affects business efficiency. Personal relationships can be particularly awkward where they involve members of the same team or are between a supervisor or manager and subordinate.
Potentially personal relationships are a legitimate management concern. A policy governing personal relationships in the workplace is often a useful resource to refer to if problems were to arise. This policy would seek to address a number of issues which may occur including the following:
- Risks to the confidentiality of business information
- Legal risks regarding discrimination and harassment
- Potential conflicts of interest to those involved in personal relationships
- Actual or perceived bias regarding recruitment, promotion, annual leave allocation, appraisals, discipline and grievance and other operational matters where staff in a personal relationship are also in a direct reporting or subordinate relationship
- Fear of favouritism by other colleagues
- General adverse impact on team dynamics and reduction in team morale
- Outputs may be disrupted in the event of relationship breakdown
- Impact on HR department or management resources
- Increased legal risks in the event of relationship breakdown
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