The dating or fraternization policy adopted by an organization reflects the culture of the organization.
Employee oriented, forward thinking workplaces recognize that one of the places that employees meet their eventual spouse or partner is at work.
Workplace friendships flow naturally into personal lives.
These relationships make sense because the commonalities that coworkers share such as proximity, shared interests, age, children, and similar incomes, encourage friendships.
These friendships and romances affect the workplace positively adding to the sense of teamwork and camaraderie.
Yes, relationships can also go awry and result in friction and conflict at work.
As with any policy, develop the policy for the good of the working relationships in a whole group of employees.
Don't put a policy in place to control the behavior of a few employees whose behavior is out of line.
Consequently, fraternization policies that prohibit friendships and association outside of the workplace cause employees to deceive and cover up.
They also encourage gossip, dissatisfaction, drama, and gaming.
An employer of choice does not place employees in untenable positions.
For example, in an email, sent by a reader, a woman worried that she could no longer participate in friendships that she had developed over several years if she accepted a promotion.
Her company had a strict fraternization policy that affected managers and supervisors that allowed no relationships with coworkers outside of the workplace.
As a person of integrity who had no intention of dumping her friends, she felt that her only option was to leave the company to seek promotional opportunities elsewhere.