Ideally, your employees would be a tight-knit team who always support one another and get along beautifully. However, it doesn’t always go this way.
Workplaces are filled with a variety of personalities, and sometimes they don’t mix. Even employees who typically get along have moments of discord they can’t easily resolve themselves. As the boss, it’s your job to nip it in the bud, so here’s some helpful advice.
5 Tips to Manage Feuding Employees
Get to the Bottom of the Issue
Some conflicts stem from much more serious problems than others. For example, a spat regarding an alleged sexual harassment incident is extremely troublesome, whereas a creative difference of opinion probably isn’t a critical matter. It’s important to know exactly what’s going on, so you can handle it appropriately.
Encourage Them to Resolve the Issue Themselves
You’ll probably be inclined to step in and help your employees settle their spat, but if possible, try to stay out of it. Both of these people are adults, so they should be able to work together to solve their problem. Calling a truce on their own will strengthen their bond and save you from having to get involved.
Listen to Both Sides of the Story
In some cases, they won’t be able to resolve the spat on their own, so you’ll have to intervene. If this happens, call them to your office together and give each person the floor. Allow them to tell their side of the story without interruption, so you can get the full picture of what’s going on. Listening to their colleague’s take on the situation might also help the other employee see where they’re coming from.
You’re the moderator in this situation, so you have to take an unbiased stance. If one employee believes the other two are ganging up on them, they’ll — understandably so — become upset and defensive. It’s your job to help resolve the problem, instead of having one person walk away from the situation feeling like they were treated unfairly.
Find a Solution Together
Working with employees to find a middle ground that satisfies both of them is the best way to resolve the conflict. This allows each of them to get something they want and teaches them to compromise. Involving them in the process ensures they both have a voice, so the end result is satisfactory for each person.
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