The sad truth is working for a manager that deals with employee issues or conflict poorly or is not always illegal.

This week, I listened to the story of a local business owner with less than 150 employees. The owner deals with one of their senior employees poorly. I cringe as the Controller/Human Resources leader boasts how they create a job to displace the senior employee from their leader role. They change the job requirements significantly and advertise the job which is all legally defensible. The employee discovers the posting by seeing the advertisement in the paper, he is livid.

conflict with employeesRightfully so, the employee is angry. The employee confronts the Controller/Human Resources leader. She tells him to go and talk to the business owner, clearly she does not want to discuss it.

As the story unravels, the business owner was having trouble with the employee. The employee has been with the business for a long time, he came up the ranks. While he has a some development challenges, it is unclear what coaching or development has been done to improve performance. Instead of dealing with the performance issues head on, the owner decides to hire someone else. Obviously, the owner believes avoiding conflict with the  employee is the best solution.

What happens to this employee is anyone’s guess (I am sure I will hear about it in an installment). My question to the Controller/Human Resources leader  – “Does your boss realize how not only this employee is dealing with this betrayal, but also how the rest of the employees are waiting for the axe to drop on them?” She acknowledges the fear and distrust.

Her response was, “he doesn’t like to deal with conflict”. From my outsider’s perspective, he was just dealt a lot of conflict. Perhaps, he figures his Controller/Human Resources leader will clean it up for him.

Here’s the interesting twist – the business is thinking about coaching for the senior employee – to turn them around.

What do you think?