You are developing well within your company when romance surprises you around the corner of a cubicle… Are you uneasy about reporting this relationship to your employer? If the answer is yes, rest assured, you are not alone!
A new study by ADP Canada reveals the necessity to clarify policies about romantic relationships in the Workplace.
Here are some highlights: nearly half (45%) of respondents who had a romantic relationship at work hid it from at least one person, while 27% hid it from all their colleagues. Unsurprisingly, it is especially when facing management or human resources that the culture of silence becomes more insistent. “If something is being hidden, it’s because it does not feel well, there is the impression of doing something wrong,” notes Pierre Colangelo, vice-president of sales at ADP Canada for the Quebec region. “But a romantic relationship is ultimately good news.” He explains that the goal of the study was to assess employees’ knowledge of codes of conduct relating to romantic relationships in the workplace.
The finding is clear: employees feel somewhat in the dark. For example, about half of respondents (49%) say their company has no official policy about romantic relationships at work. In Quebec, this number rises to 65%. “Whether there really isn’t one or whether employees just do not know about it, the result is the same,” says Pierre Colangelo. “There needs to be policies and they need to be clear,” he continues. “Support also needs to be provided to employees and to make sure that they know the procedures to follow, the procedures in the event of romantic relationships at work.” And if these policies already exist, it is the duty of managers to refresh employees’ memory by putting the necessary tools in place.
Why is it important for companies to make sure that information on the subject of romantic relationships is properly transmitted? Contrary to what might be thought, it is not with a goal of repressing it or imposing sanctions. Romantic relationships are rarely prohibited. It would rather be to dispel the uneasiness in the employees themselves. “Ultimately, an employee who feels good about his workplace will be more loyal and more productive. It’s win-win,” concludes the vice-president of sales for ADP Canada.