Managing Employees In Relationships

October 7, 2015 | 2,015 views

Managing Employees In Relationships

Managing Employees In Relationships

No matter what the policy is in your workplace, it’s almost impossible to prevent. At some point, two of your employees will start to date.


This can bring up a host of problems.


1.  Could this new relationship make others feel like there is favoritism in the workplace?


2. Will productivity take a steep decline?


3. What happens to your service levels during a lover’s quarrel?


4. Is there a risk of some of your best employees quitting if there is a breakup?


Employees in relationships aren’t always difficult. Still, they come with their fair share of risks. Knowing how to manage these employees to minimize risk and maximize productivity is key to your business’s success. Here are a few tips to help.


Make it a Non-Issue


Your employees might be doing their best to make their relationship a non-issue in the workplace. You should do the same thing.


Treat each employee in the same way as you did before you knew they were an item. Don’t give preferential treatment or address any potential problems in front of the rest of the team. Do so behind closed doors to minimize the gossip.


Listen to Employee Complaints


Just because a couple is making their relationship a non-issue around you doesn’t mean they’re doing the same around other employees. Keep an open door policy. Encourage team members to speak up if they have any questions or concerns about anything. Don’t single out the office couple.


When a person comes to you, listen carefully to her complaint. Is she jealous of the relationship? Or is she feeling held back in her job because of it? There’s a subtle, but important difference.


Schedule Wisely


You’re in charge of the schedule. As soon as you hear about the new couple, look at the shifts they’re scheduled to work. Are they scheduled to work together? If you’re concerned about inappropriate or unproductive behavior, you might want to make some adjustments.


As you schedule the lovebirds on different shifts or different days, be cognizant of potential changes. Watch your online scheduling app for shift change requests. The couple might convince fellow co-workers to change shifts just so they can work together. This won’t always be the case. Watch for any new patterns before you bring it up.


Keep an Eye Out


As the relationship progresses, watch how the team works together. Has the relationship caused any behavioral problems in either the employees who are dating or their fellow colleagues? If so, address it privately, but immediately, to avoid it escalating.


Have you ever had employees date in your office? Tell us about your experience in the comments.


Author Profile

Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

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