The workplace is no exception to the ubiquity of romance and human affection. Workplace dating has the potential to blossom into meaningful relationships including marriage, yet can also cripple a business if those relationships end. A successful approach to deciding whether to adopt a policy on workplace dating will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages with the company's overall goals in mind. Ultimately, company profits, employee happiness, and propriety should all weigh heavily into deciding whether to adopt a policy on workplace dating.
Allowing dating in the workplace can lead to breaches in confidentiality. If a superior begins dating a subordinate, the potential exists for him to mistakenly or purposely reveal sensitive information to his subordinate that she could leak. Many employers keep certain information confidential to their employees as a protection from fraud, unfair competition, and low morale. Also, if salary information become common knowledge, lower-paid employees may become disgruntled, disillusioned or quit altogether.
Workplace dating can cause favoritism, especially among employees who have different levels of position at a company. Even if the superior shows no favoritism to the subordinate, other employees may still suspect that favoritism is occurring. Dating superiors draws the ire of other employees making them feel that they have an unfair shake at advancing within the company. It can also spark bitter jealousy that can be detrimental to a productive work environment.
Adopting a policy on dating in the workplace would help thwart the possibility of sexual harassment suits arising against both your employees and business. Because sexual harassment can include a wide array of behaviors including non-physical actions such as flirtations, the logic behind enacting a dating policy at your business is compelling. Enacting a dating policy is a measure that can save your business a lot of stress, money and embarrassment.
Allowing dating in the workplace will make your company more open and liberal. Many people do not want to work in a place that imposes stringent rules on its employees. If employees feel that you treat them as an adult by allowing them certain freedoms, they are more likely to reciprocate through diligent work. Also, employees who date may develop an even stronger bond and affinity for the company because the relationship is partly connected through the company.
Allowing dating in the workplace can boost employee morale and make employees happier. Letting employees satiate their own desires can create more focused, driven employees. Also, allowing employees to date each other can make work more a more positive experience, which may increase production and profitability for your company. Besides improving employee attitudes, allowing employees to date each other can help build a support framework that makes your company stronger. Dating employees can resolve their work problems by counseling themselves together or they can brainstorm ideas to make the company better. Beware the possibility of opposite effects between employees if a relationship ends -- especially if it does not end amicably. Communication may become strained and one or both parties of a failed relationship may suffer a drop in productivity. The stress from having to see a former dating partner everyday may alter an employee's focus from his work.