Love is in the air…

Love is in the air, everywhere I look around, love is in the air, every sight and every sound
and I don’t know if I’m being foolish….

Well, that might be how the song goes but lets stop there.  If you’re managing staff you could well be being foolish if you think love is going to be running smoothly in the workplace this Valentines Day!

Although for many, Valentines Day is a day to celebrate romance and relationships, its not always hearts and flowers for managers!

We often see an increase in sexual harassment claims at work.  Sexual harassment can arise when there is unwanted conduct relating to sex, or of a sexual nature, which causes the recipient or any person witnessing the conduct to feel that their dignity has been violated or it has created an intimidating, humiliating, hostile or degrading environment.

So around Valentines Day there is often a risk that traditional Valentine’s Day gestures can lead to feelings of unease and incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace where these are unwanted by employees.

So as a business owner or a manager, what can you do to prevent such issues arising?

Do remind employees of harassment policies. 

Valentine’s Day is a good time to think about your harassment policy and an opportunity to remind employees about expectations and the ‘dos and donts’. 

Make sure the policies are communicated and available to all employees and any issues that do arise are dealt with sensitively and promptly.

Have a relationship at Work Policy.

An appropriate policy, which sets the standards for what is and is not acceptable behaviour and which describes the actions to be taken if problems arise will help to ensure that situations are handled effectively and most importantly; consistently.

A policy is also helpful to line managers in understanding their responsibilities and role in managing any personal relationships within their teams.

Don’t leave anyone out. 

If you wish to acknowledge Valentine’s Day in your workplace, make sure you do something for everyone.  Ensure everybody is able to be involved with no actions that you thought were kind and thoughtful inadvertently being used against you as they’re discriminatory.

How does your office plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Please let me know.

If you find you have a situation that has got out of control this Valentines Day then give me a call and we can work through it together.