How to Deal with Employees Who Don’t get Along

You may have some terrific employees who always deliver on their promises and go above and beyond expectations. They intuitively know where to pick up on certain projects and how to get the job done right. You wish that all your employees delivered the same high quality work, but you’re content that you have enough to really help make your company stand out.

There’s just one problem — they don’t get along. It’s a real shame, because when teamed up, they ostensibly could do so much more. However, putting them together in the same room sets off a series of bickering and arguments and the whole thing becomes counterproductive. So, how do you deal with employees who don’t get along but are otherwise great assets to your company?

Disagreement Can be a Good Thing

While you’d like everyone to get along and work in harmony, you’ve got to remember that differences of opinion can be quite helpful. Call it devil’s advocate or thinking outside the box, but whatever it is, it can help you see certain things you would not otherwise consider. After all, different perspectives can help stir creativity and lean to solutions that you wouldn’t have thought of before.

Managers face a sticky problem when confronted with two adults in the same office who won’t get along. The tension between the two employees affects their work as well as the work of others in close proximity to their conflict. Employees become stressed because just coming into the office feels uncomfortable. —The Balance Careers

Disagreement can even lead to resolving issues that previously could not be solved. Sometimes, revisiting old problems can help people see others points of view and they become friends as a result, with a good working relationship. Of course, this magical moment doesn’t always happen, and it’s much more common than employees hold on to their differences instead of putting them aside to work together without strife.

How to Deal with Employees Who Don’t get along

The one thing you can’t do is ignore it and let the conflict fester. It will only worsen and that will eventually cause it to spread to other people. It could easily destroy company-wide morale. So, deal with it right away, by doing the following:

  • Meet one-on-one. This is a great way to learn about the conflict from each person’s perspective. It will also give you a sense of where each individual is coming from. Plus, it will help you identify the real source of the problem.
  • Meet together. After you have a better understanding of what’s going on, then you can meet together. Then, take the time to go over what each said to you separately and ask if what you recapped is a fair assessment. If so, you can work out one or more solutions.
  • Follow-up regularly thereafter. Of course, you can’t just assume that will fix the situation for good. You’ll need to follow-up with both parties and do so routinely (at least for the foreseeable future).
  • Be prepared to take additional action. It’s quite possible you’ll need to take more action. (It could even result in dismissing one or both of them. Or, some form of discipline, if necessary.) Should you need to devote more time, then it is definitely worth asking yourself if it’s worthwhile or descending into an unnecessary distraction.

What other suggestions do you have for dealing with employees who don’t get along? Please take a moment to share your thoughts and experiences by commenting and giving others something to consider.

Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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