When employees don't get along

Your employees are not always going to agree with one another. Following are some tips for mediating employee disputes:

  • Listen closely to both sides. Try to clear your mind of distractions. Don't think ahead about what you will say, and concentrate on employees' words and nonverbal communication.

  • Acknowledge the disagreement. Fighting employees may never reach an agreement, but your acknowledgement of both employees' feelings may help reduce their anger.

  • Respond calmly. Even if you agree with one employee, don't attack the opposing one. Remember to criticize the idea, not the individual.

  • Resolve the argument. After both employees have explained their sides, identify what is causing the disagreement. Break the problem into manageable parts, and work together with the employees to generate a solution.

Source: Adapted from The Motivational Manager, March issue

SBA warns of letter scam

In late February, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a scam alert to small businesses warning them not to respond to letters falsely claiming to have been sent by the SBA. The letters ask for bank account information to qualify recipients for federal tax rebates.