Tuesday, February 20, 2018
· In plain terms, no,” says Shital Kakkar Mehra, business etiquette and communication coach. This is a watershed moment for women’s rights at work, and as companies struggle to sensitize employees to sexual harassment, both men and women need to tread carefully. “The #MeToo campaign has highlighted the grey areas in consensual workplace relationships. Employees need to be aware that any move they make can backfire,” says Mehra.
· “Don’t think that if you chase a person they will fall in love with you. That only happens in the movies. At work, if you chase someone, they are going to report you to human resource,”
· “Your character will be called into question, and people will view you very badly as a leader”.
· Disclosure doesn’t actually protect the company from any future workplace issues that may arise between the couple,” explains Upadhyaya. However, it is important to maintain a “Chinese wall” between your personal and professional lives when you are involved. No public demonstrations of affection at the office party or off-site training, or use of office email and inter-office chat to share sweet nothings. Avoid disappearing on long lunches or taking tea breaks together. “Safeguard your career by keeping all the romancing outside the office”.
· How does an HR manager rise to the challenge when an employee declares s/he’s fallen in love with a co-worker? Shital Kakkar Mehra, says start by acknowledging that coming forward was the right move. Share the corporate policy on office romance and sexual harassment guidelines again. Make it clear that you want to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement and invite the other person in as well. If either person has to be transferred, ask for time and request them to keep things as quiet as possible.
· “It’s a complicated triangle, with you (the employer) being the third wheel. But if you project yourself with maturity, the organization will come out of this looking good”.