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Ask the Experts: HR Compliance Tips & Advice

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Our Employee Benefits customers receive access to the Mineral HR and compliance platform. Mineral goes beyond just tools, offering direct access to certified HR experts. We make a selection of expert answers to common questions available to all of our clients.

Question: We have two employees who openly dislike each other. How can we help them work together effectively?

Answer: Personal animosity can create a toxic environment and obstruct productivity beyond the individuals directly involved. We recommend the following practices to help improve the situation:

Investigate the cause or causes of the conflict

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about what is happening. Speak separately with 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 mediate the situation and communicate openly. If your employees are struggling to communicate effectively, they may benefit from communication training, including active listening and conflict resolution.

Set clear expectations

Establish guidelines for behavior, communication, 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 should be professional in the workplace.

Lead by example

Model open communication and positive conflict resolution with your teams and peers.

Follow up

Ensure that things are improving (or have reached an acceptable stasis) and that your expectations, as well as each employee’s needs, are being met.

This article originally appeared on the Mineral blog and is adapted with permission. It does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

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