There’s trouble brewing among your employees. You can feel it, the very air is crackling with unspoken tension. Not to mention the mutterings around the water cooler, and the not-so-subtle innuendos that keep cropping up.
Most managers don’t want to get involved in employee-to-employee issues. They hope that it will all blow over soon enough, and as long as it doesn’t directly impact the work at hand, whatever the trouble is can be ignored. And certainly, that is sometimes true.
But other times, the mutterings aren’t going away, and you can sense that work, if not already suffering, will very soon.
What to do? Investigate first, take action second.
Before you come to any conclusions about what you think is going on, or make any decisions as to what you will do about it, sit down one-on-one with whoever’s involved. Get their side of the story – direct from the source. Guarantee the employees you speak with that what they have to say will stay strictly confidential, and honor that confidentiality. Before you decide on a course of action, even one as simple as counseling one or all of the parties involved, make sure you’ve taken into account all aspects of the situation.
Often what you think you know is built on half-truths, partial evidence, and fleeting impressions. You’ll score with your employees when you take the time to get the whole truth of the matter, as complete evidence as possible, and don’t rely on fleeting impressions, but on solid, well-thought out solutions.