The Point: We’d all like to love work, but what if you not only love what you do and where you do it, but find that someone special and actually find love in the workplace in the form of a colleague. In this post, we’ll take a look at the growing leadership challenge/trend of workforce love and how to lead effectively with 4 tips… Enjoy!
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue…
With the average employee putting in 60+ hours per week on average, this leads to little personal or private time to pursue love outside of the workplace. With options therefore limited, and the hope/desire for love springing eternal, most look within their own company structure to find love. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, a whopping 40+% of employees admit to having had a romantic relationship with a fellow worker. Additionally, 31% of such co-worker romantic relationships result in marriage (No data exists for divorce rates at this time).
Don’t Crap Where You Eat
A leader at one of the organizations I work with told me several years ago that he recognizes that employees will date, but strongly encouraged them to not “crap where they eat.” The moral of her story was that relationships of the heart can go wrong for a multitude of reasons, and those reasons typically become career limiting. So why limit your career options by searching for love within your current workplace/organization.
But the love equation isn’t as easy as a series of human resource rules carefully developed/laid out in an Employee Manual, annual EEOC/Sexual Harassment compliance training events, or strong encouragement from leaders… The heart wants what the heart wants!
4 Tips for The Leadership Challenge of Love
The following 4 tips should provide guidance/folklore for those looking to overcome the leadership challenge of love in the workplace:
Tip #4 – Right could be Wrong
When in doubt whether or not to date a coworker, recognize that peer on peer relationships might be the best case scenario. If your looking to date the boss, or their peer that probably isn’t going to end well (No matter how great the beginning is!)
Tip #3 – Rules are Rules
If you don’t know the rules regarding co-worker dating, then you had better know the rules before you begin the affair of the heart. Some organizations have very strict rules regarding love in the workplace. Find out what those rules are before you get involved!
Tip #2 – What Could Go Wrong?
Identify the worst case scenario regarding the outcome from your love in the workplace relationship, then multiply it by 100x. This should give you perspective on what could be at stake (and probably will be when things ultimately do go wrong!)
Tip #1 – Business First, Monkey Business Second
Remember that your primary position in the workplace is to conduct just that… work! Important to keep work priorities in place and commitments/deadlines adhered to as you explore your love options.
In this post we’ve taken a look at the leadership challenge of love in the workplace, and provided 4 tips to help individuals/leaders through moments of love. While it’s not the most ideal climate to explore love options, the workplace is unfortunately the realistic option of least resistance most pursue. Leading through such love moments can be difficult, whether you’re leading a team or simply leading yourself. Remember, it can take a lifetime of hard work to create your work persona… All of which can come undone in mere moments of poor decision making!