What has love in the workplace really “got to do with it”?

With Valentine’s Day almost here, this week we are shifting the topic to (the often controversial) love at work. So, what has love got to do with it? Well, to answer the proverbial question posed by Tina Turner, potentially a lot.

This subject can be a tough one, especially in the policy department, and there are a number of things for businesses to consider.


  • It is only reasonable to consider the potential implications of dating in the workplace, such as losing an employee should the relationship end, workplace disharmony or reduced productivity. But remember, you walk a fine line and you don’t want to venture into the territory of interfering in the private lives of your staff.
  • Training can be a valuable tool. Consider upskilling your managers and supervisors so they feel comfortable discreetly addressing overtly sexual behaviour and managing workplace relationships.
  • To discourage the gossip floodgates from opening in the office, talk to your leadership team about how to identify damaging behaviours, what actions to take and the importance of taking immediate action where sexual harassment arises.
  • Make sure you have a Sexual Harassment Policy and your staff understand what is not appropriate or tolerated in the workplace. Also, ensure that they understand the difference between consensual and non-consensual.
  • Relationships between colleagues where direct reporting lies can be more problematic than other relationships. Consider how to approach this in your policy.
  • Make sure you clearly articulate what you expect from staff and what romantic or sexual behaviours are and are not permitted. Spell out the consequences where a relationship negatively impacts the workplace.


Need some HR help? Contact Lisa on (07) 4638 3599 for your free, one hour, no obligation business consultation.