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I had handled such situation in my office once.
I would suggest to talk to both of them one by one and try to know reasons behind their behavior. After that you talk to both of them jointly and warn them that such incidence will not be tolerated again simultaneously in consultation with your seniors issue them waning letter or show cause notice to restrict such incidence in future.
Terminating them is not a solution. They should be given one chance and others should also get a lesson from them that such things will not be tolerated in the office.
Regards
Sonali

From India, Mumbai
Dear Parameshwar,
After reading your suggestion , I have doubt as you said warning letter can put them in probation period i just want to know is this applicable for a permanent employee of the organisation, As per my knowledge probation will be in the intitial stage in first three or six months. please clear my doubt.
Thank you
Priya

From India, Kalpakkam
Priya -extention of probationary period due to warning letter is upto the discretion of company. -It is applicable to all Permanent/Temporary/Contract status employees
From India, Chennai
I have gone through the comments above. Some suggested reformative approach and others suggested retributive approach.Both approaches are correct in their own right depending on the merits of each case.However, we tend to see a riotous or disorderly conduct and an imperfect behavior that lacks some social decency or civility through the same prism of disciplinary action. If the conduct of an employee assumes hostile proportions as to intimidate and threaten the safety and security of the employees in general or his continuance is likely to threaten industrial peace in the organisation, then the case deserves the stricter option of disciplinary action including suspending the employee/s concerned.

However in the case of a bitter argument or even a quarrel between two colleagues and their conduct is confined to a loud exchange of few provocative remarks only between themselves over a personal matter or even over a matter related to their respective jobs but which is purely individual in nature, then it is advisable to go for reformation but not retribution since in many such cases,the employees forgive each other once they get back to their normal state of mind..The organisation too shall not act on the rush of blood as the employees do in friendly fire situations or bilateral conflicts.However if the employees are repeat offenders,then appropriate disciplinary action may be taken but give reformative approach a chance in deserving cases whether it is a manufacturing sector or service sector

B.Saikumar

In-house HR & IR Advisor


From India, Mumbai
Dear Mr Parameshwar Reddy.V

Your Post: "Two of our employees had an argument and they had used unparliamentary language. This happened in front of all the other employees and during working hours. I request you to tell me what kind of letter to be given as per process? Shall i give them a show-cause notice letter and then a warning letter. Few superiors are asking to give suspension letters.Request your suggestion asap. please send me some formats

Position: In case your Company / Establishment / Organization an Industrial Establishment covered under Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946, you would certainly have your Co's Certified Standing Orders. The SO define Acts of Misconduct" and the Punishment Procedures. Just be guided by SO. Such acts as narrated briefly are deemed Grave/Serious Acts of Misconduct as they fall in the category of Indecent and riotous behavior at Workplace irrespective of cause or provocation. Since such act disrupt normalcy at Workplace and interrupt Work Performance they are serious and Suspension-Pending-Inquiry will be apt and not arbitrary act on Employer's Part.Only Point is the Date,Time of occurrence of the said Incident as Suspension-Pending Inquiry is ordered immediately after the Report of Incident and or as soon as the Preliminary Inquiry is completed to ascertain prima facie facts of the case

Issue a Charge-sheet or an Explanation Letter ( also commonly referred to as Show-Cause Notice) Immediately, seek the Replies, Order an Inquiry as per procedures and based on the Inquiry Report submitted by the Inquiry Officer take prescribed Disciplinary Action. Any short cuts does not help

Any such action worth taking is worth taking Well in time

Harsh K Sharan

Kritarth Consulting Pvt. Ltd

2.4.14, 9.45 pm


From India, Delhi
Hi Parameshwar

I completely echo with Saikumar. He has given a complete HR perspective to deal with the situation. I think it is the more matured way of dealing with the people in the question. It will be all the more important to handle the situation in such a way for you if these two people are your key talents. I want want to add my two cents here:

1. Counselling/ Discussion with the two people is must: You may involve their people manager (immediate supervisors), their functional heads and a senior person from HR in the discussion. In the discussion 4 things should clearly come out. One : Describing the incidents ; Two : How adversely it impacted others in the work area; Three: Talk about the Code of Conduct and the Culture of the Org ;and Four: Bring their attention to what clearly are the unacceptable behaviours and what consequences they would attract as per the code of the conduct of the company.

2. Check out if they are apologetic ( I'm sure they will ) and ask them for apology letters immediately.

3. Give them a warning letter highlighting the incident, the discussion you had with them (as in point #1 above) & quote their apology letters and say that you are taking a lenient view and restraining from taking any action against them and expect them not to repeat the similar behaviour again.

4. Ensure all the communications to go in their personal files.

5. And lastly, seek consensus from people managers and functional head that you would reduce their incentive to a small extent and help the people manager to talk about it while they distribute the incentive letters to them. ( if you have incentive payout system. Else decide if you can impact their increment basis the seriousness of their misconduct)

Hope this helps you with a detailed action agenda for you.

Regards

Nanda

Email:


Dear Parames,
Altercation using unacceptable language between 2 employees in the presence of others is definitely not acceptable. It can amount to misconduct. Follow the normal procedure of show-cause letter. Upon receiving their show-cause reply, you may proceed to either give them a warning or take more harsher punishment. This kind of behaviour cannot be left unpunished.
S. Ponusamy (Sam)

From Malaysia, Ipoh
Mr.Nand Kishore has well laid out a procedure for conducting the process of reformation through counselling etc.. Yes, as he said, they may be your key talents and cannot be dispensed with for what is a behavioural aberration but not otherwise threat to industrial relations or discipline It is important to involve their mangers/supervisors in the process as he pointed out.
B.Saikumar
In-House HR & IR Advisor
.

From India, Mumbai
Hi,
I suggest you should look at their past behavior as well. If there has been no such instances earlier and employees are above average performer as well then in that case, suspension letter will be too harsh. You can have a one to one discussion and sort out the issue.
Regards
Vineet

From India, Delhi
Hello
Firstly you have to make compromise in both of these employee so that this type of incident should not be happen in future.
Secondly you should give them a verbal warning and told them that if these type of incident happen in future than they should be terminate.
Regard
Anshul Dhiman
HR Executive

From India, Delhi

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