So I've recently been appointed as manager of a deli-restaurant. We have (among others) two mature members of staff who both have 30+ years' experience in the catering trade. They both have very valid viewpoints and one of them has worked for the business on and off over a long period of time and has proved herself invaluable. The other is new to the business, but seems to be knowledgeable and have good ideas. My problem is they clash big time. They disagree on just about everything, from displays to preparation, you name it. They slate each other and try to boss each other around. Their hours overlap every day and I'm wondering how best to approach the problem. I don't want to lose either of them, so need to get them on the same page, but it's easier said than done.
Hi there, I would recommend you sit them down separately and ask them respectively their reasons for the clash. See if there are any real issues there that need resolving. Effectively, your job as manager is going to be about trying to find a way for these two people to find some common ground and get through their differences. Does that help at all??
Any chance you could help to ease the tension by giving them different responsibilities - for example, make one in charge of food prep and another in charge of displays etc?
As previous response suggested, I think it is vital you speak to them separately to find out if it's just rivalry - or some deeper problem. My brother used to own a post office and had 5 part time staff. The only way it worked in the end (when he wasn't there) was to make clear who was in charge of decision making on different days. The good thing (although obviously it upset those who weren't in charge on a given day) was that he found the different strengths and weaknesses of them all and this allowed him to appoint an overall deputy manager for when he was on hols etc. He did always have people asking to speak to him about a decision that X made yesterday which they disagreed with but it avoided confrontations on the day. HTH