It's inevitable--at some point, working closely together will inspire your employees to take things to another level, be it friendship or dating. It's best to create a workplace dating policy before you have to deal with any broken relationships.
Schedule a meeting with the department heads, human resources manager and anyone else who makes company decisions. These are the people who should be involved in creating a workplace dating policy, as they are the ones who work with employees every day.
Discuss recent incidents. If you did not create a workplace dating policy previously, chances are you're creating one now because there has been an issue with two employees dating. Talk about the relationships that went well and those that didn't, and how they affected the employees' work.
Talk to other companies. If you have a partnership with other businesses, ask them about their policies. Speak with their HR managers to find out how they developed those policies and how well they worked.
Set a workplace dating policy. This policy should be reflective of everyone's concerns when it comes to office relationships and include a penalty if someone goes against company policy.
Introduce the policy to employees. Do this during a regular staff meeting, and be sure not to single anyone out. If you do not meet regularly with your staff, send out a memo that everyone must sign.
Allow time for questions. It's best to have the policy go into effect a week after you set it to allow time for concerns to be aired.
- If your workplace dating policy forbids interoffice dating, make a clause for what will happen to current relationships between employees. This will answer many of the questions your coupled employees will have about the policy.
- Create a policy everyone can live by. Some of the more amicable policies allow co-workers in the same position or job level to date. You may find that a policy that allows some workplace dating to be more popular amongst your employees.
- Don't forget to include a clause for what will happen to employees who go against the policy. If you don't include that aspect, your policy won't have teeth and few will follow it.
- If there has only been one instance of workplace dating, that couple will feel as though you are singling them out. This is why it's best to create a policy when your company opens.