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How to Cope with Employees Who Hate Each Other

Posted by Insightlink on 07/16/15

When Work is a Battleground

employee conflictTrying to work with people who hate each other is damaging to the soul. Their negativity can infiltrate the minds and feelings of everyone they work with and, if left untreated, it could become infectious, spilling over into the lives of other coworkers and breeding an environment of discontent.

Instead of getting their work done effectively and efficiently, everyone gets swept up into the drama and then what?

What are the most common reasons employees hate each other?

In our research there are three main factors that repeat across the country and affect all industry types.

They are:
1. Employees with bad attitudes
2. Being unqualified for their job
3. Unwilling to take responsibility or “I get dumped on”

Doing damage control to mediate and resolve problems when employees don’t get along takes a skillful manager who knows how to approach a situation like this with an open mind. Empathy is required to dissolve hatred because it is usually a product of miscommunication, misunderstanding and fear.

Managers have to believe that their direct reports are good people experiencing a stressful situation and they must be calm and confident handling these intense feelings or they could provoke more anxiety in the people they are trying to calm down. Having the ability to defuse these situations doesn’t occur naturally and requires training for most managers.

At the same time, you really want to make sure you are hiring the right people so that everyone shares some of the same common values to begin with.

Make sure the people you have the necessary skills to do the job they were hired to do. Otherwise provide them with training so that they can do their jobs. If you hire people who can’t do their jobs, then their coworkers will have to pick up the slack and that breeds contempt.

Mission Vison and Values
Hire people who believe in your values. Determine ways to measure how well a candidate will fit into your culture. As an example, G Travel asks prospective hires to jump in to a ball pit while asking them questions to give them a sense of the person’s values. It’s a surprising end to an interview that reveals true selves and it helps G Travel decide who is a keeper.

Buy Into What You Sell
Do you honestly believe that your prospective employee believes in your products and services and will act as an enthusiastic ambassador for your company? If you don’t feel it, don’t hire them no matter what their experience or skill level is. Eventually if they don’t care about you and your organization, they won’t care about the people they work with either and you will end up being a stepping stone to their next job.

Wrapping Up
If you have more than just two employees going at each other, you could have a bigger problem than you might think. This is not a good time to be an ostrich! Pull your head out of the sand and take action, determine what’s wrong so you can take the appropriate action to get back on track before too much money is lost on drama.

If you have started to wonder if it’s time for an employee survey, we can help you get started.
Click here for a quote (we promise never to bug you).
Or please contact me, Lynn Lacey Gore at 866-802-8095 ext. 705 or

Here’s to happier employees!




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Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.

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