Valentine’s Day and Your Business

Valentine’s Day is a highly personal event for lovers, lovers-to-be, and those who want to share love with friends and relatives. But it also has a minimal impact on your business, unless you happen to sell holiday-related items, such as flowers, jewelry, greeting cards, and candy. For the rest of us, here are some issues of concern.

Supporting healthy choices

You want your staff to be healthy and your company supports healthy choices. How does the box of chocolates on the receptionist’s desk impact your goals? It doesn’t, but what can you do about it, and, even if you can do something, do you want to?

Okay -- it’s one day, and displaying candy or pink donuts may not be the worst thing. While the calories may add up, so, too, will the benefits to the company from workers enjoying the day and bonding with each other on a common subject.

Consider sharing the treats with customers and clients -- they, too, will enjoy the day.

Office romance policy

Many government agencies and large corporations have formal policies about dating co-workers; most small businesses do not. Should you?

Recognize the dangers of office romances. They can be distractions from the work at hand. And, if things go sour, they can create bad feelings and a chilling effect on the team. Perhaps the worst effect is the possibility of sexual harassment claims, which may lead to legal problems; relationships between supervisors or managers with rank-and-file employees should be a no-no.

Be careful about your dating policy. There’s a fine line between personal and business matters. It may simply be better to monitor activities relating to your staff (dating usually impacts more than just the couple) and react to problems if and when they arise.

Owner’s practices

What should you do (or not do) today? Give gifts? Best wishes? It depends on your company culture, your personal comfort level, and what you want to spend on the holiday. There’s nothing wrong with a little levity in the workplace. Whatever you decide, be fair and share your generosity with your entire staff.

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