Q: I have just found out that one of my junior account managers has started an affair with one of our most important clients. I know he is married. Help!
A: By the sound of it you don’t have any policies in place to help you manage this one, but if it ends in tears, it is likely you will be picking up the pieces. This is a junior account manager who needs helpful guidance about how to deal with the situation. Have a chat and explain that while you are not judging her, has she thought through all the implications – for example confidentiality issues with pillow talk, what happens if the affair ends and how it could put the contract at risk? Discuss this in an open way and hopefully, with her agreement, you could transfer her to another account. Then get a policy in place quickly to prevent this type of situation in the future.
Belinda Newton, Director of The HR Dept Exeter which supports local SME businesses with everything employment-related, offers practical straight-talking advice on people management dilemmas.