Chandrashekar TV
In our office, 2 employees were physically abused by each other. what is the process for conducting an inquiry, Notice for the employee?
From India, Bengaluru
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Master Consultant
Maulin Suthar
Hr Executive
Kritarth Consulting
Posh Programs; Hr Management Consultants

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Dinesh Divekar

Dear Chandrashekar TV,

The scraps at the workplace are common. Occasionally, the scraps go to the level of affrays also. However, if a physical fight takes place between two employees at the workplace, then it is a failure at the higher level. Rather than concentrating on the parties involved in the incident, look at the incident itself.

Let the Enquiry Officer (EO) investigate: what happened, where it happened when it happened, and why it happened.

Was the trouble brewing in the past, and if yes, then were the senior authorities privy to the ensuing tension? What was the occasion that put the lid off? Did managerial authority intervene to douse the fire or is it that they intervened but it was too late?

There are three types of conflict viz. process conflict, task conflict, and relationship conflict. What has happened in your company is a relationship conflict but either task or process conflict always precedes this conflict. Therefore, what needs to be seen is whether you have systems and processes that sow the seeds of conflict in the company. If yes, then you need to eradicate the root cause rather than restricting yourself to initiating disciplinary action against the combating employees.

Earlier, I have given a reply to a post on the conflict at the workplace. You may click the following link to refer to it:


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Dear Shri Chadrashekar TV Citehr Member,

Our senior professional Sh. Dinesh Divekar has given a laconic insight into the causes of conflict at workplace. It is quite appreciated. I would seek permission to further add to the process of inquiry that needs to be conducted into the incident. It is through the process of inquiry that facts would come to light.

2. The first step is to record the statements of both the employees regarding the incident.

3. The second step is to issue a Show Cause Notice (SCN)/Memo to both the employees who indulged into physical fight directing them to explain their conduct, if they so desire, within a given time with reference to the incident with clear indication why disciplinary action should not be taken against them as per rules of the company.

4. After receipt of reply, or if no reply is received within the given time, the third step is to issue a charge sheet to both the employees directing them to submit their defense reply within the given time, if they so desire.

5. The fourth step is to consider the reply received, if any, and see whether the alleged charges have been admitted or denied. If charges have been admitted suitable penalty may be imposed as per rules of the company. If charges have been denied, an I.O. (Inquiry Officer) and a Presenting Officer (PO) may be appointed by the competent Disciplinary Authority with copies to the charged employees.

6. The IO will conduct the inquiry in a given time and submit its findings to the Disciplinary Authority who will consider the findings and take further action against the employees and also see the causes of conflict and issue necessary directions for improvement in working system. The detailed procedure of conducting inquiry can be obtained from me.

7. Any other information can be sought by email or phone.

Chandramani Lal Srivastava
Master Consultant

New Delhi/Sunday/06.11.2022/8:56 am

From India, New Delhi
Kritarth Consulting

Dear Guidance-Seeker,

Please advise if the mentioned Workplace Incident, as posted by you, is a Case of Two Employees Assaulting/ hitting each other Or a Case of "Physical Abuse" of a different kind / nature !!!

Harsh K Sharan
Kritarth Consulting Pvt Ltd
Bengaluru Guidance Centre


From India, Delhi
Maulin Suthar
The best way is go as per your company’s code of conduct. after identifying the main issue of conflict.
From India, Ahmedabad

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