How to settle employee disputes

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Obviously it’s not HR’s responsibility to settle every little argument in the office but when a dispute goes on for too long it can damage office morale and make other employees feel uncomfortable – here’s how to put an end to any ongoing quarrels.

Learn from your parents

“Settling fights between employees is not that different from a parent dealing with a squabble between siblings,” says leadership expert Scott Ventrella.

“Conventional wisdom tells us that it’s usually best to let the two parties work it out between themselves,” he continues, but if employees have become too emotionally invested, it can be difficult to find a solution.

“Eventually, Mom or Dad will need to be called in to serve as the combination of a referee, judge, and jury,” says Ventrella.

Gather the facts

Corporate coach Ventrella, suggests meeting separately with each individual and having him or her share their own version of the problem as well as their own preferred outcome. This may require follow-up conversations or meetings with other employees to corroborate the respective stories.

“Remember, you are ‘Switzerland,’” says Ventrella, “completely neutral.”

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