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SHRM Survey Findings: Workplace Romance September 24, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "SHRM Survey Findings: Workplace Romance September 24, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 SHRM Survey Findings: Workplace Romance September 24, 2013

2 How common is workplace romance? One out of four (24%) employees reported they have been or are currently involved in a workplace romance. Forty-three percent of HR professionals reported current incidences of workplace romance at their organizations. Do organizations have a policy that addresses workplace romance? Overall, more than one-half (54%) of organizations do not have a written or verbal policy that addresses workplace romance. However, in 2013, twice as many organizations (42%) indicated having a written or verbal policy as in 2005 (20%). What types of workplace romance are not permitted? Among organizations that have workplace romance policies, almost all (99%) indicated that romance between a supervisor and a direct report is not permitted, followed by romance between employees of a significant rank difference (45%) and between employees who report to the same supervisor (35%). Consequences for breaking an organizations workplace romance policy vary depending on the type of workplace romance and the rank of employees. What consequences have been applied to employees involved in a workplace romance? The most frequently reported consequence was a transfer of an employee involved in a workplace romance to another department (34%) and counseling (32%). Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Key Findings

3 Why is workplace romance not permitted? When it comes to workplace romance, organizations are primarily concerned about real or perceived favoritism (84%), potential for claims of sexual harassment (78%), and potential for retaliation (72%). Concerns about potential retaliation increased from 50% in 2005 to 72% in Concerns about lowered productivity and about workplace romances being viewed as unprofessional decreased from 52% and 58% in 2005 to 29% and 29% in In the past five years, 40% of organizations have received complaints of favoritism from co-workers of those involved in a workplace romance; nearly one-fourth (23%) have received claims of sexual harassment, and 22% have received complaints of retaliation. How is workplace romance revealed, and which departments are responsible for taking action? Suspicions about workplace romance are generally revealed through office gossip (67%) or through reports to the HR department (61%). Vast majority of organizations (89%) indicated that the HR department is responsible for taking action when such suspicion or complaint comes to light. What are HR professionals opinions about love contracts*? Only 5% of organizations ask employees involved in a workplace romance to sign a love contract.* Although the majority (81%) of HR professionals agree that love contracts can provide a forum for them to talk to employees about appropriate and inappropriate workplace behavior, 75% view them as ineffective because employees may be more likely to hide their romantic relationships. Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Key Findings *In this survey, a love contract refers to a document affirming that a workplace romantic relationship is consensual, that employees involved will not engage in favoritism, and that neither will take any legal action against the employer or each other if the relationship ends.

4 With workplace romance on the rise, HR professionals may need to prepare for more issues related to managing its impact. For many organizations, the first step is to draft a written policy; more than twice as many organizations in 2013 were in the process of creating a written or verbal policy on workplace romance compared with 2005 (42% in 2013 versus 20% in 2005). In some cases, HR professionals may need to work with their risk management and/or legal team colleagues to identify risks involved with workplace romance. The consequences can include damage to office morale as well as legal claims that result from the relationship in question. Depending on the business, these risks will influence any written policies. Currently, most HR professionals deem a love contracta document that affirms the relationship and is signed by the couple involved in a workplace romanceas ineffective and say that it actually encourages workers to hide the relationship from peers. But this approach may be revisited if the impact of workplace romance is seen as too damaging. Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM What do these findings mean for the HR profession?

5 Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Incidence of Workplace Romance

6 Incidence of workplace romance Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 405 HR professionals: Are you aware of any current incidences of workplace romance at your organization? Employees: Have you ever been or are you currently involved in a workplace romance? Note: n = 5,004 U.S. employees. Employee data were collected from the 2013 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey.

7 In your opinion as an HR professional, have incidences of workplace romance at your organization increased, stayed the same or decreased in the past five years? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 299

8 Which of the following types of workplace romance are most common at your organization? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: n = 522. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. Respondents were allowed to select up to three responses for this question.

9 Which of the following types of workplace romance are most common at your organization? (continued) Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: n = 522. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was developed from open-ended responses. Respondents were allowed to select up to three responses for this question.

10 Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Policies on Workplace Romance

11 Does your organization have a policy that addresses workplace romance? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding.

12 Which of the following types of workplace romance are not permitted at your organization? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. Respondents whose organizations do not have written or verbal policies on workplace romance were excluded from this analysis. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was only provided in the 2013 survey. Types of workplace romance 2013 (n = 209) 2005 (n = 127) 2001 (n = 78) Between a supervisor and a direct report99%80%64% Between employees of a significant rank difference 45%16%12% Between employees who report to the same supervisor 35%13%15% Between an employee and a client/customer31%13%18% Between employees who work on the same projects 25%6%12% Between employees who work in the same department but report to different supervisors 22%24%31% Between an employee and a vendor21%4%6% Between employees in different departments12%** Between an employee of our organization and an employee from a competitor organization 11%4%

13 What consequences do employees face when a supervisor and his or her direct report break your organizations policy and are involved in a workplace romance? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was only provided in relation to supervisors.

14 What consequences do employees face when those of a significant rank difference break your organizations policy and are involved in a workplace romance? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was only provided in relation to higher-ranking employees.

15 What consequences do employees face when those who report to the same supervisor break your organizations policy and are involved in a workplace romance? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: n = 98. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options.

16 In the past five years, which of the following consequences have been applied to any of the employees involved in a workplace romance? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was only included in the 2013 survey. Consequences 2013 (n = 343) 2005 (n = 134) 2001 (n = 108) A transfer to another department within the organization 34%42%55% Counseling32%34%30% A formal written reprimand21%36%31% Termination20%27%35% A move to another position within the department 20% ** A removal from a supervisory position12%7% Suspension8%** Other6%18%11% None of the above34%**

17 Generally, how did employees involved in the romance react to the consequences? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 219

18 Generally, how are suspicions or complaints about workplace romance revealed at your organization? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 392

19 If there is a suspicion or a complaint about a workplace romance between employees at your organization, who is responsible for taking action? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 411

20 If there is a suspicion or a complaint about a possible workplace romance between employees at your organization, what measures are taken? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM

21 Does your organization offer training to employees on how to manage workplace romance? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: n = 389. Percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding.

22 Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM HR Opinions About Workplace Romance

23 Why is workplace romance not permitted at your organization? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was only provided in the 2013 survey.

24 Why is workplace romance not permitted at your organization? (continued) Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was only provided in the 2013 survey.

25 In the past five years, have any of the following occurred at your organization as a result of a workplace romance between employees? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was only provided in the 2013 survey (n = 327) 2005 (n = 472) 2001 (n = 468) Gossip/distraction among co-workers70%** Those involved in the romance got married or became long-term partners 51%62%66% Complaints of favoritism from co-workers of those involved in the romance 40%44%46% Divorce/ending of long-term relationship with significant other 30%** Decreased productivity by those involved in the romance 24%26%41% Claims of sexual harassment23%19%26% Complaints of retaliation when the romance ended 22%15%26% Inappropriate sharing of confidential information between those involved in the romance 20%** Decreased morale of co-workers of those involved in the romance 18%25%24% Complaints of stalking when the romance ended17%16%19%

26 In the past five years, have any of the following occurred at your organization as a result of a workplace romance between employees? (continued) Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was only provided in the 2013 survey (n = 327) 2005 (n = 472) 2001 (n = 468) Complaints from co-workers of those involved in the romance about public display of affection 15%** Decreased productivity by co-workers of those involved in the romance 14%** Decreased employee engagement of co-workers of those involved in the romance 13%** Legal action was taken against the organization 6%** Increased morale of co-workers of those involved in the romance 6% 7% Increased employee engagement of co-workers of those involved in the romance 3%** Organization's public image was damaged as a result of exposed romance 3%** Increased productivity by those involved in the romance 2%5%9% Increase in workplace violence2%3%4% Increased productivity by co-workers of those involved in the romance 1%** Other5%13%10%

27 In your opinion as an HR professional, should employers have the right to prohibit workplace romance between employees? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: n = 385. Percentages do not equal 100% due to rounding. More than one-half of respondents who selected depends on the situation indicated that employers should have the right to prohibit workplace romances between a supervisor and a direct report.

28 In your opinion as an HR professional, which types of workplace romance should be restricted and/or acted upon by organizations? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 398

29 Does your organization ask employees involved in a workplace romance to sign a love contract? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 371 In this survey, a love contract refers to a document affirming that a workplace romantic relationship is consensual, that employees involved will not engage in favoritism, and that neither will take any legal action against the employer or each other if the relationship ends.

30 In your opinion as an HR professional, do you agree with the following statements related to love contracts? Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 290

31 Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Demographics

32 Demographics: Organization Industry Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: n = 384. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. Percentage Professional, scientific and technical services 18% Health care and social assistance 16% Manufacturing 15% Government agencies 10% Finance and insurance 10% Educational services 7% Retail trade 7% Transportation and warehousing 7% Information 6% Construction 5% Utilities 4%

33 Demographics: Organization Industry (continued) Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM Note: n = 384. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. Percentage Accommodation and food services3% Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 3% Religious, grant-making, civic, professional and similar organizations 3% Wholesale trade 3% Repair and maintenance 2% Real estate and rental and leasing 2% Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services 1% Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting 1% Arts, entertainment and recreation 1% Personal and laundry services 1% Other industry 5%

34 Demographics: Organization Sector Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 385

35 Demographics: Organization Staff Size Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM n = 384

36 n = 399 Demographics: Other Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM U.S.-based operations only 74% Multinational operations 26% Single-unit organization: An organization in which the location and the organization are one and the same. 31% Multi-unit organization: An organization that has more than one location. 69% Multi-unit headquarters determines HR policies and practices 54% Each work location determines HR policies and practices 2% A combination of both the work location and the multi-unit headquarters determines HR policies and practices 44% Is your organization a single-unit organization or a multi-unit organization? For multi-unit organizations, are HR policies and practices determined by the multi-unit headquarters, by each work location or by both? Does your organization have U.S.-based operations (business units) only, or does it operate multinationally? n = 400 n = 283 Corporate (companywide) 64% Business unit/division15% Facility/location21% n = 285 What is the HR department/function for which you responded for throughout this survey?

37 37 SHRM Survey Findings: 2013 Workplace Romance Response rate = 13% 384 HR professionals from a randomly selected sample of SHRMs membership participated in this survey Margin of error +/- 5% Survey fielded July 9-26, 2013 Survey Methodology Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM 2013

38 For more survey/poll findings, visit shrm.org/surveys shrm.org/surveys For more information about SHRMs Customized Research Services, visit shrm.org/customizedresearch shrm.org/customizedresearch Follow us on Twitter Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM About SHRM Research Project leader: Yan Dong, research intern, SHRM Research Project contributors: Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SPHR, vice president, SHRM Research Evren Esen, manager, Survey Research Center, SHRM Research Copy editor: Katya Scanlan, SHRM Knowledge Center

39 The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the worlds largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 260,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Workplace Romance Survey ©SHRM About SHRM


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