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Travel Conflict Transfers Disciplining

I am a supervisor for a small manufacturing company. While I was on a trip, my lead man and a shop employee had a conflict, and this is not the first time. The lead man said the employee questions everything he says. The employee said the lead man is mean and shows no respect. I have met with them individually and separately, and we agreed to work together, but now I am at a loss for what to do.

This situation offers a perfect instance to switch from wondering to wandering. If you manage by wandering around, you will be far more likely to get an accurate picture of the work relationship between these two adversaries. In addition, if these two combatants know that you might be in their neighborhood, they are less likely to engage in combat.

However, these two individuals might hold their punches until you are not around. Either way, the next time you hear about one of their altercations, bring both of these workplace warriors into your office and investigate.

If they are both excellent employees, excluding their inability to deal effectively with each other, you might consider transferring one or both of them. Whether such an option is feasible or not, you need to do more than reach an agreement with them. Let them know that if things do not change, you will be counseling them, writing them up, and initiating severe disciplinary action. In a word, if their battles continue, their employment might not.

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