My attitude is that I don’t think people have to like one another, but they do have to respect and work with each other.
So what do you do when you have two employees who aren’t getting along?
First, try to understand the dynamics of what’s going on. If you have a work behavior or personality traits tool, it can give you quite a bit of insight. For example, I had two managers who were not getting along and could not for the life of me figure out why. They were both competent and I thought they should be doing great together, , , but not so.
Their work behavior profiles pointed out what was going on. One of the managers was significantly more detail oriented than the other and she wasn’t getting enough detail from her counterpart. When this happens, high detail people think the other person is lazy or not smart. The fact was that both were very hard workers and very smart.
When I outlined the issues for them, their attitude toward one another improved and they began working much better with one another.
Sit down with the two employees and discuss what’s going on, , , get it out in the open and create the opportunity for them to work it out. It’s also appropriate for you to expect them to work out their differences.
Another thing I do is that when we have some kind of group event or contest, , , the two people who aren’t getting along always get paired on the same team so they have an incentive to help one another.
These two people may never like one another and become best friends, but they do have to work with one another and respect each other.