Help two employees end a feud

Two of your employees don’t like each other, and their enmity is starting to affect their co-workers’ morale. It is time for you to take control of the situation. But where should you start? Follow these steps:

1. Bring the feuding co-workers together

Let them know how their behavior is affecting the workplace, and remind them that you are obligated to address any behavior that interferes with productivity and team spirit.

Remind them both that you value their contributions, and ask them to commit to working out their differences and restoring their working relationship.

2. Review their options

Tell them that you trust them to choose the best way to handle the situation. They can commit to working it out on their own, involve you in finding a solution or choose a disinterested mediator to help them mend their relationship.

Explain that those are their only options—if they are interested in continuing
in their current jobs.

3. Perform a skills check

If they insist on working things out between themselves, make sure that they are
equipped to do so. Look for both the motivation and communication skills necessary to resolve a conflict, and establish a plan to evaluate their progress so you don’t lose control of the process.

— Adapted from “Workplace Issues: Employees Who Dislike Each Other,” Mary
Rau-Foster, Foster Seminars, http://www.fosterseminars.com.

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