Conflicting Personalities in the Workplace


Most managers have a few of the same nightmare scenarios, but at the top of most lists are ones like the know-it-all who does know a lot, but still grates on everyone’s nerves and the two outstanding employees who revert to sixth grade bullying every time they are in a room together. Personality conflicts in the workplace that seem to have to no easy solution are some of the most difficult to deal with, but that doesn’t mean you have to ignore them.

Don’t Let It Stew

Personality quirks in the workplace are perishable. As a manager, it’s your job to take care of them before they turn the whole place sour. When you have an employee whose attitude or behaviors are causing problems, don’t put off sitting the employee down for a gentle, but frank discussion intended to remedy the problem. It’s the employee’s warning to shape up, so that if further problems result in disciplinary action, no one is surprised.

Draw — or Examine — the Lines in the Sand

When ongoing differences between employees are threatening the morale of the whole department, turn to your company’s policies to see what they say about the employees’ behaviors. If breaches of policy have already occurred, you need to give warning or even escalate to disciplinary action; but if your policies are vague or simply unhelpful, it may be time to consider whether your company needs to reevaluate policies on professional attitude and/or acceptable conduct.

Trust the Professionals

If continuing education is not part of your company policy already, it should be. A workshop for employees who are constantly engaging in petty squabbles can be useful, and also act as a final warning to improve or face consequences that can include firing. Look for workshops or other educational opportunities offered by reputable presenters or organizations, and explain to the employees who will be attending that this is meant to help them curb their bad workplace behaviors or else.

Being a manager means dealing with employee conflicts on a regular basis. This, along with your other job requirements, can leave you little time for recruiting employees that could potentially lighten your load! That’s where Staffing Partners’ staffing professionals come in. Our Portland recruiting gurus have great temporary and temp-to-hire employees ready to fill your staff vacancies, so give us a call today!


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