Personal Conflict Issues on Teams

A recent discussion with a staff member was mostly a venting of her frustration with her manager. It was just a week before a big event that all the sales teams had been getting ready for, and her manager decided to reshuffle the teams.  Although she and her partner had been one of the top producing teams, each was being reassigned because 2 other staff members were unable to work together.

She did not like being split-up just because the other group members were incapable of working together. She figured it was a stupid management decision to have the best two people re-partnered with two of the younger and much weaker staff members.

“It made no sense, just fire them if they are so incompetent; don’t drag the rest of us down as well,” she said. She had tried to reason with her manager to not do this so close to the event, but the manager had made up her mind, and the decision was final.

Making management decisions is not always popular or pleasant, and the results may be even more unpleasant, as they were in this case. All 4 members were unhappy and unproductive, because they did not really know how to work with their new team members. Was there a better solution?

Carefully consider motivating factors, the ‘Hygiene Factors,’ and the long term benefits when changing team members around. There are always good reasons to try to deal with conflict rather than shifting the combatants around. Check the pulse of your staff regularly, and try to remain objective and positive. Make sure the decision has been well thought-out for all affected team members and is in the interest of the long term goals of the corporation.

If this has happened to you, was it a good decision in the long run?

From David Egan

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