We employ a Store Manager who has probably overstepped the mark. Would appreciate any advice on what you would do.
In 2008, a the owner of a restaurant next door to our shop premises sought permission from the council to have tables & chairs outside for al fresco dining.
The Area Manager asked the Store Manager if there was any documentation to support this situation, as the tables & chairs encroached on our shop front. The Store Manager said that there was not any.
A few weeks ago, the restaurant erected a canopy, encroaching further on our shop front and hiding some of our display. When the restaurant owner was questioned about permission for this and the tables & chairs, he said he had a signed letter from our company giving no objection.
It transpires that in 2008, the Store Manager had helped the restaurant owner get the relevant licence, by signing a letter, giving our company's permission that table & chairs would be fine. Our Manager did not consult with anyone at Head Office or seek anyone's authorisation in signing & issuing the letter.
Therefore, the Store Manager lied in 2008 when denied there was any documentation regarding this matter and did not consult or get permission to issue the letter. More recently, breached trust by lying that there wasn't a letter and only admitted this when the letter was produced by the council.
What disciplinary action, if any, would you take?
Ooooh - interesting question and no doubt there will be a range of opinion from those who would hang or publicly flog him down to the stroking of beards and shaking of heads coupled with "Well, it was a loing time ago...." (leading to complete inaction).
However, the real question here is what do you want to do to him?
semper ad meliora
I don't think there's enough information here to decide on whether the Store Manager actually did anything wrong - and it all hinges on the letter he signed.
For example one possible scenario could be that the adjoining restaurant asked your store manager for help and your store manager wanted to be nice and obliged. If the letter simple asked whether your store manager had any objection to the restaurant having outside tables and chairs then I'm not sure what the issue is with him sigining it (of course there is a whole question about the autonomy you give your managers and how much responsibility they have for their unit which would answer the question of whether or not the store manager should have approached their area manager). There is also the chance that as this happened in 2008 the store manager has forgotton about it as it wasn't an issue then and only remembered it when the letter was produced.
This seems to be an issue about the extent of the encroachment - the restaurant owner may have a letter stating the store owner had no objection to tables and chairs outside the restaurant, but does the letter state the store manager agreed that they could encroach onto your store front? Has anyone spoken to the coucil with regard to what type of permission was granted outside the restaurant - who owns the area outside the restaurant and store?
To me there are still a lot of questions before a decision on what disciplinary action could be considered.
So far your store manager does seem guilty of being a bit of a burke and not being very pro-active (in trying to sort this out) but not necessarily of anything that warrants disciplinary action, unless he has actually admitted lying (as opposed to say 'Oh yes I remember now), or breaching policy through not asking permission from the company or area manager - though if this all started in 2008 and there was encroachment then from the tables and chairs then thats a long time lapse from the problem arising to action being taken.
There are probably other factors in this that I am not aware of, but I hope having another viewpoint has helped and I'd be really interested to find out where you go with this.
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