Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wah - Get Over It

We all have at least one person we work with that just crawls under our skin (and slowly eats away at our very being – did I write that out loud?). It ends up affecting the morale of your other employees who get tired of having to constantly hear and see the skirmish. What’s worse are the two employees that come to you "telling" on the other one. Don’t you just want to say “Wah!” sometimes? It takes up a lot of time to deal with them. But you have to deal with them a bit more judiciously.

You – the leader – have to take control of the situation BEFORE it gets out of hand. While conflict in any environment is inevitable, when it goes unchecked and effects the workplace environment, it’s getting to be too late to deal with it quickly. It’s always easier to resolve the disputes before they become problems.

Here are a couple of things that you can do to help the situation turn around:
1st, Bring the two employees together so you can:
• show them how their behavior is affecting their colleagues and workplace,
• advise them that anything that’s interfering with a nice pleasant workplace (that you’ve tried so hard to develop) must be resolved,
• remind them that they’re both valuable employees and that you’re confident that they can resolve their differences and be able to work together (give them the benefit of the doubt),
• get their COMMITMENT to work out their differences so they can work together, and
• ensure that they understand the seriousness of the problem and that – here’s the KEY - while they don’t have to like each other, you do expect them to learn to work together.
And don’t forget to DOCUMENT everything – just in case.

2nd, Review the options with your problem children employees:
• They can work it out on their own.
• You can meet with them to address the issues.
• You can bring in a mediator to work with them to resolve the issues.
• They can refuse to work on the issues, in which case, you will be accepting their resignations in the morning (tough love).

It’s never easy, or desirable, to have to deal with these types of issues. But a good leader is going to be ready for it. This is something that you can plan on happening at some point in time. Stash this little checklist away and be ready to pull it out at the earliest onset of a problem – don’t let it get to the full on problem stage and you’ll have a much easier time dealing with it, all the way around.

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