Guide to Handling Workplace Relationships
IF you think that alleged affairs or inappropriate conduct is just heard in the news, you are mistaken. These situations are actually vert rampant in the workplace. A systematic plan for dealing with workplace harassment and romantic relationships should be in place at the workplace in order for employers to manage this aspect of employee relationships. IT is not enough just to have a plan; employers need to enforce it.
There is a thin line between inappropriate behavior, romantic relationships, and harassment. If consensual relationships turn sour, the inappropriate behavior follows. Employees can be tempted to think that the ticket to success or advancement is through relationships. There are even cases when employees are threatened that the relationship is a requirement of the job.
Harassment in the workplace should be prevented and corrected to protected employers and employees alike without hindering conduct outside work.
Below are ways that you can deal with this problem.
Having a solid harassment prevention policy can be a good line of defense. This can only be effective it is identifies who is to be protected, what conduct is prohibited, and informing employees where to report problems and get help. IF employees approach supervisors and employers about workplace problems, then they should be able to deal with the situation in the best manner. Copies of the policy should be distributed to all employees and they should know whom to approach for their questions. You are then assured that all your workers know the policy.
Although harassment training is not required by law, having one in your workplace will benefit you with a defense when challenged. There are some states where harassment training is required.
When employees are trained to prevent unlawful harassment and discrimination than your company can avoid or prevent potential damages or litigations. Employees will then realize that this issue is taken seriously by the company.
Relationships can be restricted by employers if there is potential conflict of interest. This can happen between a superior and a subordinate. Business judgment can be affected by this relationship. In many company policies, there is a prohibition of this kind of relationship.
Harassment does not exist in every relationship. A hostile environment is created when relationships change. discipline should be imposed on an employee that exhibits hostile behavior in the workplace. If you don’t want to lose a case when an employee sues you, then you should act quickly to resolve employee complaints.
It is to the protection of all if employees in relationships sign a consensual relationship agreement. In this agreement, both acknowledge that their relationship will not hinder their job performance and reinforce the harassment prevention policies.
The most important duty of an employer is to act on complaints or if he becomes aware of potential violations of its harassment prevention policy. Complaints should be taken seriously by employers because these complaints are difficult for an employee to bring forth.