What to Do About Poor Relations With Other Staff Members?

Poor relations among staff members has the potential to create division among employees and create a work environment that includes poor morale and low job satisfaction. These factors can negatively affect productivity, increase turnover and result in poor customer service. In the end, poor relations -- left unaddressed -- can negatively impact the overall success of the organization.

Identify the Problems

  1. Conduct staff interviews or anonymous surveys to identify the underlying problems among staffers. This helps you determine if just a handful of people have issues or if there is widespread dissent in your organization. Encourage openness and honesty and ask staffers what they like and dislike about your business and their colleagues. Use the information to narrow the focus of your largest problem areas so you can concentrate on mitigating the major issues.

Mediate Conflict

  1. If it turns out a few colleagues have problems with other staffers, you may be able to mediate individual conflicts or bring in a seasoned arbitrator to do it for you. Strive to foster an environment of mutual respect in the workplace and intervene when possible about disagreements related to job responsibilities, professional behaviors or moral or ethical dilemmas. Refer to company literature, policies, procedures and employee handbooks and outline expectations for workplace behaviors if necessary.

Focus on Teambuilding

  1. Plan a corporate retreat or training session where you focus on team-building activities. You can lead this yourself or use a facilitator for the process. If feasible, conduct the event off-site to take people out of the normal workplace environment and put them in a more comfortable and relaxed setting. Team-building activities should help staffers get to know one another outside the work environment and appreciate each other for personal qualities. Conduct problem-solving activities, play games and host role-playing events, so employees can see each other from different perspectives.

Introduce Employee-Friendly Policies

  1. Look for ways to improve job satisfaction and increase morale in the workplace. Provide staffers with positive feedback when they do their jobs well and give constructive input when they don’t. Help employees achieve a work-life balance with flexible work schedules when possible or offer opportunities for professional development and enrichment. Promote teamwork through team incentives and encourage collaboration by including different departments in brainstorming sessions. Invite input from staffers about what would make their jobs more rewarding.

When You're the Problem

  1. If staff members have a problem with you as the business owner or manager, you have a few options. Conduct an honest self-assessment about whether the described problems are real and legitimate. If staffers find you rude, arrogant, standoffish or micromanaging, it's likely that new staffers would eventually feel the same way about you. If you can alter the way you interact with your employees and focus on being positive, inclusive and compromising, it may improve relationships.