Managing people that don’t get along is tough. You must try to figure out how to keep the drama low and the productivity high. Before you call in the professionals to mediate, we’ve got a few things to keep in mind as you manage two people that hate each other.
Find The Root
Sometimes employees aren’t on the same page in their private lives, and you really can’t touch any reasoning outside of the office. Other times there is conflict stemming from systemic issues. Talk to them about their productivity and expectations at work. Find the root of the issue if it is due to work. If they simply have issues working well together because they think differently, you can start working with these issues.
You might feel frustrated and start to judge your employees. If you’re not feeling empathetic, you won’t be able to help. It’s important to think positively before you speak with the employees. They may be experiencing stress in their professional or personal life. They might not truly have an issue with the other person. Don’t jump to conclusions.
Take the time to give feedback when you see issues stemming from this relationship. Tell each person that you just saw them roll their eyes when the other spoke or you noticed a negative comment under their breath about the other employee. When you take the opportunity to call out the employees, they realize that you know there is a problem.
Encourage each co-worker to slip into the other person’s shoes. Ask them how they feel about the other person’s professional life. They may feel envious for getting passed over for a promotion. They may feel the other person isn’t pulling their weight in the office. Encourage them to be open about their opinions in the office.
Co-workers will not always get along, but it’s important as a manager to invest in this behavior. Fix the problem before it becomes an issue for the company. Never take sides and take the high road. Work to develop the employees into leaders that can work together. This will help them figure out a way to come together for the good of the company.