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One SHRM study found that only 12 percent of the surveyed organizations provided training to managers and supervisors regarding how to manage workplace romances.A good first step would be to advise supervisors and managers as to how they might discreetly address overt sexual behavior in the workplace.
Regardless of whether your employer has a workplace romance policy in place, you’ll want to keep your relationship off workplace radar as much as possible.
If you and your partner have contact on a regular basis, keep the contact professional. Avoid talking privately in corners or behind closed doors, regularly eating lunch together without other coworkers, and -- above all -- touching.
Almost half these policies – 45 percent – forbid romances between employees of significantly different rank. Many organizations forbid intimate relationships even outside supervisory relationships.
Thirty-three percent of organizations forbid romances between employees who report to the same supervisor, and 12 percent won’t even allow employees in different departments to date.
Her findings indicated that most respondents do not mind seeing a romance develop between two unmarried colleagues.
They do object to relationships in which one or both coworkers are married to someone else, however, and they also object when the relationship is between a supervisor and his or her direct report. Poe, an HR freelance writer, also found in a Society for Human Resource Management white paper that adulterous affairs were a problem in some workplaces.According to Dana Wilkie, an online SHRM editor, periodic surveys by SHRM show that 99 percent of employers with romance policies in place indicate that love matches between supervisors and staff members are not allowed.That’s up from 80 percent in 2005, and from 64 percent in SHRM’s 2001 Workplace Romance survey.The SHRM research also found that some companies forbid hookups between their employees and clients or customers, and 11 percent forbid romances between their employees and employees of their competitors.Respondents to the SHRM surveys who discouraged or forbade dating in the workplace cited concerns with potential sexual harassment claims, retaliation, claims that a relationship was not consensual, civil suits and workplace disharmony if the relationship should end.I don’t recommend a policy that prohibits dating, sex and romance entirely.