Sometimes managers will tell me that they find it difficult to deal with conflicts between two employees – because of the conflict, the employees don’t work well together and the manager may find that flexibility is dimished because they have to keep the employees separated.
So the question is – what should the manager do about this?
First, realize that employees not willing or able to work together is a performance problem. If the manager ignores the problem and keeps people separated, he or she is allowing the performance issue to continue.
Ask each employee to meet with you one on one and say that you know there were issues in the past and that now you require the employee to put the past issues behind them in order for the team to maximise performance. Ask for their commitment – Can I count on you? If necessary describe the consequences of the issue reemerging – possible discipline.
Then as an option, consider bringing the two employees together for a last discussion. Say that you have met with each individually and now together repeat the need to put past differences behind them, that you are counting on them and that there are consequences of the conflict reemerging.
If employees refuse to work together it can be grounds for dismissal and you should talk to the HR department for clarification.
Two upcoming courses in Windsor – Speaking for Success on April 29th and Advanced Communication and Persuasion Skills – May 7th. Go to www.leadershipwizard.com