What to do if not with employees

We are a family. Collective action makes dreams come true. There is no “I” in “Team”.

These simple refrains are more than just slogans. They are often used to express how employees are doing as a unit. But if your team sings a lot of sad songs? What if, instead of feeling like a team, there is a feeling of conflict and contempt?

Unresolved employee conflicts can affect your business in several ways. Conflict in the workplace reduces productivity and morale. It also creates tension for viewers not involved in the conflict. Depending on the work environment, a conflict between employees can lead to absenteeism and turnover. This happens because collisions can occur Low employee engagement As employees may want to leave the organization. Conflict among employees can also lead to increased stress, burnout, and decreased job satisfaction. All of this is bad for your business and its goals.

What causes employee conflict

One of the first steps in solving the problem of employee conflict is to understand the different things that can cause it. Because employees are only human, reasons can vary from one situation to another. However, there are some common factors that you should look for. Here are just a few:

  • miscommunication– Miscommunication or misunderstanding is one of the most common causes of employee conflict. This can occur due to lack of clear communication, different interpretations of information or conflicting messages.
  • Workload and Responsibilities: Differences in workload and responsibilities can also cause conflict between employees. This is most common when an employee does not contribute as much to the work as others.
  • Contests and Contests: Competition and rivalry can also create conflict among employees. This can happen when employees compete for promotions, recognition or resources.
  • Differences in values ​​and beliefs: Differences in values ​​and beliefs can lead to conflict among employees. For example, employees may disagree on ethical issues, political views, or social values.
  • Personal conflicts: Personal conflicts may also arise between employees. It can happen due to personal tension, jealousy or resentment. The same goes for romantic relationships that develop at work.
  • power struggle: Power struggles can also occur among employees, especially when there are differences in rank or authority.
  • Negative attitude or right-Another common cause is the perpetuation of cynicism or Negative attitude by an employee. This often leads to an employee at odds with many others who do not enjoy being around that employee.

In order to resolve conflict and maintain a positive work environment, organizations need to address these sources of conflict quickly and effectively.

What can you do when some of your employees are not with you? Here are five ways to handle when employees don’t get along.

1. Determine the exact source of the conflict

If two or more people in a group don’t get along, it can be tempting to ignore the problem entirely. While it’s true that sometimes, employees will eventually work it out on their own, sometimes you must get involved. Find out why this problem exists. What is the source of conflict?

Consider these factors as you try to find the root of the problem:

  • How long has this conflict been going on?
  • If the conflict has gotten worse over time, what could have caused it to get worse?
  • If the conflict is new, what can it cause?
  • Who is involved in the conflict? Are there power differences that may contribute to conflict? (Example: Supervisor and Subordinate)

When you’re trying to find the source of the conflict, it’s important to keep a few things in mind Conflict at work The looks may not just be exciting or uncomfortable—they may be illegal. Determine if you are experiencing workplace harassment.

Harassment and discrimination in your business is illegal. If you suspect this is happening, you need to act quickly to stop it.

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Information is available to help you determine whether the dispute you are experiencing is harassment or discrimination. Business owners can be held responsible for these events, so it is imperative to take action as soon as they become aware of this illegal activity.

2. Listen to each side of the conflict

Each person involved in the conflict likely has their version of events. It’s important to listen to each version and document what each side is telling you. The more questions you ask, the more information you can gather. You’ll also want to:

Meet with each employee separately so that each person can speak independently. During this meeting, listen to each side objectively. Try not to use language that makes an employee feel like you’re blaming them for the conflict.

Ask questions that will help you determine the truth. Try to stick to only the most relevant questions to get an accurate picture of the situation. A question might be what each person thought created the problem. You may want to ask them what they think will solve this problem.

After you meet each person, keep your recorded information Your employee records. Make sure the information is kept in a safe, secure location.

3. Wait to see if employees can work

If the situation isn’t one of harassment or discrimination, you can wait to see if employees can work on their own.

After getting a chance to listen, each person can feel better about the situation. One – or both – parties may realize that their behavior needs to change, or they may find their own way to deal with the person they are in conflict with.

Another possibility is that both parties – if equally at fault – will come to a tacit agreement that, although they still don’t like each other – they will be cordial and professional at work.

4. Try to de-escalate the situation

During each meeting with the staff, they can offer you their ideas on how the situation can be resolved. Consider whether these ideas are real possibilities. For example, employees may have a minor personality conflict and propose a solution of sitting away from each other. Think about whether you want to give them an ultimatum to act or whether you want to give them the option of moving seats.

Deescalating may also mean having a conversation with both employees. If they are equally at fault, it should let them know that they need to work together. When adults at work keep bickering over petty issues, you may need to let them know that things need to change. Or, may follow a plan to completion.

5. Take any corrective action if necessary

Corrective action may also be required. During the meeting, you may have asked each employee what they believe is the source of the conflict. Perhaps an employee stated that they believe the workload is being unfairly distributed and that some workers are being overworked and others are underpaid. Suspicious biases can lead to conflicts. Another source of conflict can be gossip. This is definitely a factor that can lead to a toxic work environment.

During the dispute resolution process, you may uncover information that you did not expect. Perhaps there’s a problem you weren’t aware of in company culture, leadership, management, or workload. Don’t be afraid to make changes that will create a more positive environment.

If you want to fire an employee, Be sure to keep accurate records. It may not be a pleasant process, but sometimes it is necessary to fire an employee when their unprofessional behavior rises to an unacceptable level.

6. Get outside help if the situation calls for it

Sometimes, there are situations that you cannot handle on your own. If conflicts between employees lead to legal issues, you may need outside help. It is recommended that a small business should look into bringing in at least one human resources specialist if they have 10 or more employees.

An HR specialist can help with many issues involving your team when it comes to compliance. Beyond that, if the situation is serious enough, you can hire an independent investigator or legal counsel to make sure the situation is handled properly.


Conflict resolution is not a pleasant task. When employees can’t get along, morale and productivity suffer. Keeping all your employees happy And it may not be possible to keep everyone together all the time. Conflict is bound to arise. However, meeting with employees and hearing their perspective can help you develop an action plan. Tough conversations often follow when employees need to be reminded of what appropriate behavior looks like in the workplace.

Erin Shelby on Twitter
Erin Shelby

Team Writer: Erin Shelby is a writer and blogger based in Ohio. Follow her on Twitter @ByErinShelby

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