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Updated: Aug 31, 2020

DEAR MOMENTS OF FOCUS: I have three employees who really don’t like each

other; they bicker, they undercut each other’s work and create a tense atmosphere. Is

there a fair way to resolve this?

DEAR CUTTING THROUGH THE TENSION: Often, the best way to cut through

tension is by using a tool that will allow you to end up with clean lines of

communication. Clean lines of communication allow people to see things clearly with no


The following are three tools that you can use to cut through the tension in your office:

• Clear Communication

Set an impromptu meeting with all three employees together. Make a general

announcement that the company will be making a few changes in how their positions will

work together in the future. Let them know that there will be details to follow but, in the

meantime, all reports and concerns should be sent directly to you or one of your

managers. Employees who have been functioning at their own pace often need to feel the

shift of the unknown. The lack of control on their part may remind them that they work

with your company and not on their own.

• A New No-nonsense Policy

Develop a “no-nonsense policy” that addresses all the issues at hand. Send out a memo

that states that the company has adopted a policy and it is to be signed off by all

employees as an addendum to the employee handbook. This is great way to create a new

structural change and send out a message to all your employees that the company will not

tolerate such behavior.

• A Systemic Change

Reevaluate your current system. Look to find possible changes, based around the work of

all three employees, which can be put into place that will prevent them from being able to

bicker and create a tense atmosphere.

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