Get the latest in print & creative arts business updates, trends, and inspiration.

Dear David: Employee Discord Is Impacting Performance

We have two employees who don’t seem to like each other, which is starting to affect their work. How do we help employees who don’t get along to work well together?  

Getting employees who don’t like each other to work well together can be challenging, but here are several steps you can take to improve the situation: 

  • Investigate the cause or causes of the conflict. It’s easy to jump to conclusions about what is happening. Speak to the employees involved and try to understand the tension between them. Is it a personality clash, a misunderstanding, or a difference in working style? Once you understand the cause, you can work to address it and find a solution. 
  • Encourage the employees to communicate openly with each other. You may need to facilitate a conversation to help them understand open communication. If your employees struggle to communicate openly, they may benefit from training in effective communication, including active listening and conflict resolution. 
  • Set clear expectations for behavior and performance, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Create a shared vision for the team and encourage everyone to work towards that common goal. Tell your employees that they don’t need to be friends, but they do need to be able to work together and be professional in the workplace. 
  • Lead by example. Model open communication and positive conflict resolution with your teams and peers. 
  • Follow up to ensure the solution works and your expectations are being met. 
  • If one or more of your employees continues to not meet your behavioral and performance expectations, it would be appropriate to discipline them, up to and including termination. 

You can find more helpful hints for conflict resolution on the platform. 

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law. 

This information is from Mineral, a human resource solutions portal. Every month, we share an important HR Q&A. As a VMA member, you can also get other HR questions answered for free through your complimentary Mineral account. Contact jessica@visualmediaalliance.org for questions. 

David Katz
Vice President
VMA Insurance Services

To send your questions, write to david@visualmediaalliance.org

Sign Up to Start Receiving Chronicles

Contact me for the next session

Contact me about the next Print 101 class


Get a Free eBook on using Ancilliary Benefits to Retain Employees