Four ways to keep office romances from harming your practice

Office romances aren't as taboo as they used to be, and practice management consultants advise that it may not be reasonable or effective to try to ban employees of your medical practice from dating. Nonetheless, potential pitfalls of employee relationships include harassment, conflicts of interest, nepotism, morale and productivity issues for your practice.

The best time to address such problems is before they occur. Consider the following expert advice provided by American Medical News:

  • Consider requiring employees entering a consensual romantic relationship to notify their supervisors or sign a "love contract," a document that spells out workplace conduct during and after the potential demise of the relationship.
  • Make sure your policies clearly define all types of harassment and state that it will not be tolerated. Appoint at least two people in the office that employees can complain to, and describe how you will handle any such complaints.
  • Avoid allowing individuals in a romantic relationship to supervise each other. Keeping couples in separate departments may not be possible in a small medical office, and it may be better that one party work elsewhere; but be sure to consult legal counsel before terminating anyone.
  • If your office is too small to have its own employee assistance program, try to provide employees access to counseling and related resources through your local hospital or other organization with which you are affiliated.

To learn more:
- read the article in American Medical News