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How To Effectively Deal With Employee Conflict

Well, this is awkward. You’ve posted some insurance jobs this year, and you’ve hired someone who seems like a great fit for your insurance agency. The references check out, and that person’s skills are an amazing addition to your insurance team. Everyone’s excited about what your new hire will bring. The individual is even involved in the local charity that you support, and his values are very similar to those of your insurance agency. What’s the problem, then? The problem is that once he’s arrived and settled in, you just don’t like him. How do you manage someone you don’t like?


1. Reflect on Your Behavior 

If you find yourself disliking one of your employees, consider how you’ve behaved toward that person. Have you treated that person in the same way you treated the last person who held that job? Sometimes an outstanding employee or someone who overworks can set the bar very high for the next person, and it’s easy to make unfavorable comparisons.

Have you talked to the employee about how you like things to be done? Perhaps he likes to complete certain types of work later than you anticipated. Discuss this before it becomes a serious problem. According to Inc , “People can’t read minds, and it’s an easy mistake to hold someone accountable without having first set the expectation.” Consider what unwritten rules you’re expecting that person to follow. Personality conflicts are certainly real, and if you are bothered but no one else is, you need to discover and articulate the problem.


2. Consider Whether Coaching Is Necessary 

As the manager of your agency, you are responsible for making sure that all of your employees are performing. According to Fast Company , “Managing and leading a team is not really about what you like and don’t like. It is about how you can grow yourself and your team to be better.”

If you’re getting irritated by someone’s performance but you just can’t pinpoint the problem, you need to determine whether your new hire is actually working as an employee.

  • Have you set out clear goals for that person’s work? Is he achieving them?
  • Have you discussed the expectations around customer service?
  • Have you outlined workplace cultural norms? For instance, if taking an extra long lunch is frowned upon, even if your employee is making up the time later, mention this instead of allowing it to irritate you.

Sometimes, an individual’s hard skills are top notch, but their soft skills are not working for your company.

Look at your metrics. If your employee is not succeeding at part of the job, even a small part, coaching could be in order. Your job is to ensure that you’re using your employees’ skills to the fullest and boosting those areas that are not strong. It could be that your dislike of the employee is due to a performance problem that others have noticed, and your job is to help that person improve.


3. Let It Go 

If your employee makes silly jokes and you don’t like them, that’s not a good reason to fire someone. Take a look at how the employee is really doing at work. Is she getting her work done on time and well? Are customers complaining about her behavior, or are you losing customers? If so, you may have a problem employee. If everything is going along as usual or getting better and your employee has a few irritating habits, you’ll either need to address them or let them go. Try to find something about that person that you really appreciate, and focus on that instead. You don’t need to be friends with everyone you work with: you just need to have a great team.

At American Agents Alliance, we want to help you find the right people for your insurance jobs. Visit our blog, network at the 2018 American Agents Alliance Convention & Expo, and take a look at our insurance classifieds. Contact us today to learn how we can help your insurance agency succeed.

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